Monday, June 06, 2011

Windows 7: Using VHD Files

Windows 7 allows you to create and mount VHD (Virtual Hard Disk) files. These files were originally created for Microsoft's Virtual Machine (VM) technologies like Hyper-V and Virtual PC.  Using this feature you can directly access and edit the contents of these files.

Creating a VHD:
  • From the search box in the Start menu, type DISKMGMT.MSC then press Enter.
  • In the Disk Manager, in the Action menu select Create VHD
    • Choose the options in the dialog that best fit your system requirements for the VHD that is being created (e.g. name, size, format, and type of VHD).
  • Right-click the VHD and select Initialize Disk, then right-click the unallocated space and select New Simple Volume.
    • Follow the options in the wizard and make the selections that best fit your system requirements for the VHD that is being mounted.  In general the default options will probably be the most appropriate selections for most situations.

VHD drive behave like any other drive, you can put files on them, install applications, etc.  To remove a VHD drive in the Disk Manager right-click the disk and select Detach VHD.

Mounting a VHD
  • In the Disk Manager, in the Action menu select Create VHD.
  • Find and select the VHD file you want to mount.
The virtual drive will appear in Windows Explorer as any other mounted disk.

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