Saturday, January 29, 2011

Installing Microsoft Dynamics AX 2009 Refresh 4 on Windows 7/Vista

Microsoft has released yet another wonderful VPC that showcases the entire stack of Microsoft products working with Dynamics AX 2009 (Can be found HERE with PartnerSource/CustomerSource). says:

This virtual machine is configured for Windows 2008 Hyper-V and can’t be used with VPC (or Windows 7 Virtualization)
You can get Refresh 3.5 to work as a VPC...but I'm going to show you a neat way to get Refresh 4 running as a dual bootable Dev environment.

This HowTo assumes you have downloaded Refresh 4 and extracted it and you have AX5-W8R2-01.vhd and AX5-W8R2-01_DB.vhd available.

Start by right clicking on computer and clicking "manage".

Go to Storage>Disk Management, then click the action menu at the top and click "Attach VHD".  Attach both VHDs.  You will need the AX5-W8R2-01_DB.vhd to be the F: drive, or once you mount it, you will need to copy over the files and file structure to the F: drive of your machine.  This is because this SQL instance looks for its database on the F: drive.

After you've added these, all you need to do is create a boot entry to boot the VHD's.  This can be done with the command line tool BCDboot.  If your Windows partition of the VHD is now on the E: drive for example, you just need to type from an elevated command prompt:
>bcdboot E:\windows
This will add a boot entry.  To see your work, just run "msconfig" and click the boot tab.  There you can set the default OS you'd like to boot, the wait time (I changed mine to 5 seconds), etc.

All that's left to do is restart the machine and make sure you select the Server 2008 R2 instance.  Expect the following:

  • First boot will be slow because all of the drivers are trying to sync to your new hardware
    • This means your desktop might not show up for several minutes
  • Page file issues initially (not sure why these occur, but I just ignore)
  • Some drivers you might have to manually download and install specific to your machine.  The only one I had to install was my graphics driver so that it would detect my two monitors.
This is nice because Refresh 4 requires a good amount of horsepower to run (recommended min of 4GB memory, dual CPU), and you can devote your entire machine to it.  Also dual monitors, etc feel nicer when it's not in a VPC window.

Happy DAX'ing!


  1. Hi Alex,

    Thanks for providing this article. It really helped me to configure Windows 2008 R2 dual mode on Windows 7 machine. However, once I configure successfully as per your article, I am not able to login to Windows 2008 R2. Once I select the Windows 2008 R2 in the boot menu, I am seeing a blue screen for 2 seconds and immediately coming back to boot menu.

    Can you please help me on this?


  2. Hm, this boot doesn't work :)
    I getting message: Failure when attempting to copy boot files.
    How should I know where is my Windows partition of the VHD?
    Any advice?

  3. @V - I'd need more details to help you solve this.

    @Darinka Stokanovic - When you attach the VHDs, you select a drive letter for them. Let's say you choose E: for the AX5-W8R2-01.vhd, then you will use "bcdboot E:\Windows". It's just the windows folder on the HD. Make sure you run it from an elevated command prompt, i.e. right click>run as administrator.

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  6. I attached two VHD: AX5-W8R2-01.vhd and AX5-W8R2-01_DB.vhd.

    After this step, I run cmd as Admin: bcdboot H:\windows and I got message: Failure when attempting to copy boot files.

    Also, created H disk is empty, but F (database) disk have some data, like are SQL, OLAP, etc.

    Maybe I missed some step?

  7. The H: drive shouldn't be empty if the H: drive is the AX5-W8R2-01.vhd mounted. Something must have gone wrong there. I have program files, windows, users, etc.

    Do you have enough disk space? Otherwise that's your problem.

  8. Hi Alex,

    I solve the problem, but now I have the same problem as Unknown wrote in his comment. I have 6 GB, i7 processor, so I suppose it is not problem in configuration. Do you have any solution?


  9. I wonder if perhaps it is just an unrecoverable driver error...for example my display needed a driver. I'd think you could try and do a windows recovery or safemode to get to a point where you can load some drivers specific to your machine. I wish I could be of more help here.