Robert Westerlund

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No hibernation on Windows 7 when booting from VHD

Ever since I heard that Windows 7 would include a boot loader which supported booting directly from a VHD file I have been eagerly awaiting the arrival of Windows 7. For quite some time I have been doing development on virtual machines instead of non-virtual machines in order to be able to isolate the development environment for the different projects, so the boot from VHD option suits me perfectly since it removes the great performance loss of running a virtualisation software on top of an operating system.

I am also a big user of the Hibernate option, both in my private development projects and during work projects. Any time that I need to shut down when in the middle of something (read: not completely finished with something), I always use the Hibernate option in order to save a lot of time when starting again (I won’t have to start up the programs and I don’t have to try and remember when I stopped working last time, it’s right there).

Therefore, after running Windows 7 for a short time, I felt the need to be able to hibernate again, but I couldn’t find the option to turn it on. Thinking that they had just moved it for Windows 7 (it’s their right, after all), I tried <insert favourite search engine here>ing it. Unfortunately, what I found on the Windows Virtualization Team Blog was the following message:

Native VHD boot in this release does not support BitLocker, or hibernation (which includes resuming from hibernate).

The lack of the hibernation option is actually so big for me that I will probably remove my VHD-boot and go back to either running without virtualisation (in which case I will run into problems later on) or just use some desktop virtualisation software (in which case I will have a loss of performance). They do leave some hope for me there, though, when writing that “in this release”-part. Next step for me is to evaluate the option of installing Windows Server 2008 R2 on my laptop and running HyperV. I just need to check on the performance and the ability to hibernate first.

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