On Windows, a Virtual Hard Disk (VHD or VHDX) is the file format that represents a Virtual Disk Drive. The VHD or VHDX files act like a Physical Hard Drive, but the difference is that this is a real file stored on disk. VHD contains Disk Partition, File System, Partition Table, and having files and folders. You can store any files in VHD or VHDX such as the document, videos, pictures, music, and entire OS.
Typically, a VHD file is used to add additional storage to use Hyper-V technology. With Virtual Drive, you can install other OSs in the existing operating system. You can use this storage virtualization technology to make a dual-boot OS machine in the existing disk partition. The difference between VHD and VHDX format is that the VHDX format supports the larger size of 64 TB disk.
In this article, we explain the process to create, attach, and detach virtual hard disk with Windows Disk Management Utility. VHD is virtualized hard disk file, which once appears on a mount and gives a lot of identity to a physical hard drive. They are most commonly used with Hyper-V virtual machines. We will carry you through the steps to create, mount, and unmounted virtual hard disks on Windows.
Create a VHD file on Windows by using the following steps: –
Step 1. Open Start, and search “Disk Management” or “Computer Management”.
Step 2. You can also open Disk Management utility with This PC (My Computer) >> Right Click >> Open Manage option.
Step 3. Open Disk Management option, and click on the Action button or create a VHD file.
Step 4. “Create and Attach Virtual Hard Disk” Wizard open, you can find three different sections.
Step 5. Click the browse option and choose the location you want to save VHD or VHDX files.
Step 6. Use the Save as Type option such as Virtual Disk Files (*.vhd, *.vhdx), if you are a plan to create VHD or VHDX directly.
Step 7. Under “Virtual Hard Disk Size“, specify the size of the VHD or VHDX file in MB, GB, or TB.
Step 8. In “Virtual Hard Disk Format” choose VHD or VHDX option according to requirement.
Step 9. In “Virtual Hard Disk Type” select VHD file types such as Fixed Size and Dynamically Expanding.
Step 10. Now, click on “Ok” option to create VHDX or VHD files.
Before creating a Virtual Disk, make sure that the necessary storage is available on your physical hard drive. Different types of Virtual Hard Disk are fully depended on virtual machine application software. But, usually, there are two types of Fixed and Dynamic VHD files.
Fixed: – Fixed virtual hard disk is a fixed size disk image whose size is determined while creating it. Even if you change the internal data files in a certain disk image, the size will be defined as before.
Dynamic Expanding: – The Dynamically Expanding file grows to its maximum size as data is written to the VHD or VHDX files size limitation.
Follow the below steps to mount VHD or VHDX files on Windows: –
Step 1. Open Disk Management utility and open Action >> Attach VHD file option.
Step 2. Choose VHD file location, and click on Ok open to load VHD file.
Step 3. Right-click on disk and open Initialize Disk option.
Step 4. Use the partition style such as MBR (Master Boot Record), or GPT (GUID Partition Table).
Step 5. Now, Right-click the unallocated space, and open “New Simple Volume” option to create Partition.
Step 6. Now, Stipulate the size of the VHD or VHDX partition.
Step 7. In the next Step, assign a drive letter of your VHD or VHDX file.
Step 8. Now, choose the File System of your Virtual Disk and Format VHD Partition.
Step 9. Click Finish to complete the process.
Save any files and applications that reside in VHDX or VHD file before detaching or dismounting them to avoid data loss. Follow the below steps to detach VHD file from Disk Management utility.
Step 1. Open Disk Management utility.
Step 2. Right-click on VHD Disk drive, and choose to Detach VHD option.
Step 3. Check before detaching the correct disk or drive, and click on ok to detach VHD or VHDX file.
Step 4. After a few seconds, the VHD or VHDX disk will no longer be displayed in Disk Management utility.
In this article, you will learn the process of creating VHD or VHDX files without using Virtual Machine. With Windows Disk Management utility, you can easily create numbers of VHD or VHDX files to keep store your data without Physical Hard Disk.