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It is possible to use the command line Diskpart tool to do everything I describe in this how-to. If you’re comfortable with that, you are a ninja. You don’t need me.
The procedure I describe here uses the absolute minimum number of command-line steps. For this portion of the job, we’ll use the Disk Management console.
Open Windows Explorer, right-click Computer in the navigation pane on the left side of the window, and click Manage in the shortcut menu. That opens the Computer Management console.
Click Disk Management in the pane on the left side of the window and wait until you see all currently installed disks in the contents pane, as shown here:
As you can see, this machine has a single hard disk (with the tiny 100MB boot partition and a much larger partition used for Windows and all data files).
Click the Action menu and you’ll see two VHD options. Click Create VHD to get started.
Click Browse to choose the location where you want your VHD stored, and give it a descriptive name. (The name in this screenshot includes CP, to indicate that I originally did this with the Consumer Preview. For the RTM code, I recommend you use Win8 or Win8-RTM.)
In the example shown here I created a VHD folder on the C drive because it’s easy to remember, but you can put the VHD file anywhere you want and give it any name you want. Specify a size (I’ve used 60GB here). In Windows 7, you can choose between a Dynamically expanding virtual hard disk or a Fixed size VHD. Which one you choose doesn’t really matter; just make sure you have enough room on your current physical disk to accommodate the space you specified.
Click OK to create the VHD file and continue. Watch the progress bar in the lower right corner of the Disk Management console to see your virtual disk being created. It only takes a few seconds for a dynamically expanding disk; a fixed size VHD takes several minutes. When it’s done you’ll see a new entry in the Disk Management console.
As far as Windows is concerned, that’s a brand-new 60GB disk you’ve just installed. You don’t need to initialize it or format it or do anything with it at this point. Make a note of the exact path and filename of the VHD you created; you’ll need it shortly. You’ve now done enough to move on to the next phase.
Plug in the bootable USB flash drive you created earlier or insert the bootable DVD installation media and restart your PC. Do whatever it takes to start your computer using that bootable media. When you get to the Windows 8 setup screens, you’re ready to move on to the next phase.
Page 3: Installing Windows 8 on your VHD -->