2.1 Beta: Questions on VHD formatting - Printable Version

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2.1 Beta: Questions on VHD formatting - steje - 02-21-2015

Hi there... new here after being pointed by Leo Davidson from GPSoftware to an article on lifehacker by Whitson Gordon:

I downloaded the 2.1 Beta and selected an SSD drive in an external USB 3.0 enclosure after using AOMEI Partition Assistant to first convert the disk to GPT, then create a single 256MB FAT32 partition, and the rest (~110 GB) an NTFS partition.

I then selected these partitions as the EFI system and boot partitions in the 2.1 Beta, and selected the VHD installation mode which I assume is new in the Beta?

The regular Windows format dialog popped up about needing to format the drive - which initially wasn't clear to me 'what' was being formatted but it is now clear that it was the VHD file mounted as a drive letter (F: in my case). I've seen some other WinPE based tools have the same initial behavior where the Windows format dialog actually pops up making you think you need to actually need to click 'Start' in order to begin... but you've actually already begun the operation.

Bottom line, is if you're not sure what just happened and you abort the operation, you're left with a mounted VHD that many users might not know how to unmount, and retrying the operation without cleaning up the aborted attempt causes an error:


If you retry the operation AFTER cleaning up (detaching the VHD in Disk Mgmt, and then deleting the VHD file from the NTFS partition), you don't get the confusing Format dialog popup.

I bet if I were to blow away the partitions and start over the same confusing format dialog thing happens though... If I verify that - would you be interested in looking at it and seeing if you can make it smoother?

Question 2: if a user aborts a VHD install, would you consider adding something to advise how to unmount the VHD or do it yourself programatically?

RE: 2.1 Beta: Questions on VHD formatting - steje - 02-21-2015

So, I deleted and recreated both partitions on my external USB drive...

Sure enough, after starting the installation against a newly partitioned hard drive, you get the following dialog when your app formats the mounted VHD drive:


The reason I raise this up is that the format dialog is confusing, you actually have to just 'Cancel' it. If you follow natural instinct and hit 'Format Disk' instead, and the format properties dialog pops up, and you then hit 'Start' well you get an error that it's being accessed already (because your app is now copying Windows install files to the already formatted HDD).

Seems to only happen on a newly partitioned drive...