now i know vhd booting is an enterprise feature (and while i do have enterprise lics these particular pcs are win7 pro as they are odd touchscreen hps and i thought it was better to leave hps install at least short term) but im wondering if i can use win7 pro on the physical hdd and test win8 ent as a vhd with a boot menu?

As the win7 pro never has to use the vhd i thought it might be workable but im not sure anyone know if it is likely to work?