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How to create a virtual hard disk in Windows 7

Virtual Hard Disk or VHD acts like a normal hard drive built into your computer. Cool thing is, it comes in a form of a single file so you can make a copy of it and virtually attach it to any other Windows computer.

 
  Author: mat | Version: 7 | 18th March 2013 |  
 
 
1.
 

Click Start and enter compmgmt.msc into Search programs and files field.

 
 
2.
 

Computer Management window should open.

Under Computer Management, click Storage and Disk Management.

 
 
3.
 

In order to create a new VHD (Virtual Hard Drive) we need some space on your existing drives. Check out how much free space you got on your hard drives and choose the one (if you have more than one) that has enough space for your new VHD.

Don't worry if you see only one or two drives, I have an additional built in drive and and existing VHD I created in the past.

I want my new VHD to be 50 GB (gigabytes) big that's why I'm choosing my F: drive that has 129 GB of free space, which is more than enough.

 
 
4.
 

Now right-click the Disk Management and choose Create VHD.

 
 
5.
 

Click Browse ...

 
 
6.
 

... and choose the location on the drive you chose that will host your new virtual drive.

Name your new VHD file as you wish and click Save.

 
 
7.
 

Now set the size of your new VHD.

50 GB in my case and remember the size of the virtual drive cannot exceed the size of the drive that is hosting it.

Leave the Fixed size option checked and click OK.

 
 
8.
 

You will probably get the Microsoft VHD HBA device driver software successfully installed notification.

 
 
9.
 

And wait for the VHD to be created.

The amount of time you will need to wait depends on how big your new VHD is.

 
 
10.
 

VHD is now created but still unallocated.

Unallocated means you have space available but the drive is still not set and ready to be used by your computer. We need to initialize the disk first and then format it so we can start using it.


 
 
11.
 

Right-click your new VHD (Disk 2 in my case) and choose Initialize Disk.

 
 
12.
 

Leave the Disk selected and choose the MBR option.

Click OK.

 
 
13.
 

Now right-click the Unallocated space of your VHD and choose New Simple Volume...

 
 
14.
 

Click Next ...

 
 
15.
 

... as you probably want to use the whole size of your new VHD leave it or set it to its maximum size.

In my case 51197 MB (megabytes) which is 50 GB (gigabytes).


Click Next ...

 
 
16.
 

... now assign a drive letter to your new VHD.

You can leave the suggested drive letter or choose one of your own. I'm leaving the suggested option.

Click Next ...

 
 
17.
 

... all there's left to do is to perform a quick format and the new Virtual Hard Drive will be ready to roll.

Choose the NTFS as File system, enter the Volume label (it's the name you will see in your windows explorer - Virtual Disk 1 (G:) in my case.

Choose the Perform a quick format option and click Next.

 
 
18.
 

Formating should be finished pretty quickly, when done click Finish.

 
 
19.
 

And that's it. You are now a proud owner of a new Virtual Hard Drive.

 
 
20.
 

If you now go into the explorer (Windows Key + E for a keyboard shortcut) you should be able to spot the new VHD.

Virtual Disk 1 (G:) in my case.

You can copy files on your new VHD, install new Windows, basically anything you can do with any other conventional drive on your computer.


 
 
21.
 

As mentioned at the beginning the whole virtual drive and everything your store on it or install will be saved into a single .vhd file stored at the location of your computer you defined in the step 6 of the tutorial.

If you would copy this file to let's say an usb removable disk and then copy it onto some other windows powered computer, where you would then attach it, all the stuff stored in this VHD would be available on this new computer. To backup your VHD all you need to do is to copy the .vhd file onto a backup location, like another hard drive or removable usb storage.


 
 
 
   
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kanecharles, 6th Apr 2024, 7:01 AM
It's a great way to easily share and move data https://time-calculator.io/
 
 
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Alice12, 10th Apr 2024, 4:29 AM
In the Create and Attach Virtual Hard Disk window, specify the location where you want to save the VHD file, the size of the virtual hard disk https://fridaynight-funkin.io (in MB, GB, or TB), and choose whether you want the VHD to be dynamically expanding or fixed size.
 
 
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patrickrall, 2nd May 2024, 6:43 AM
Informative and resourceful sites such as this one are rare to find. Thank you very much for sharing this.
 
   
 
 
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