Virtual Hard Disk Files – Windows 7

By | March 15, 2011
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Windows 7 allows you to create and manage virtual hard disks files that work as if they were real drives. This allows you to use allow you to use a live Windows installation on the virtual disk without the need to boot the virtual Computer. For example: If you make the partition big enough you can install a different version of Windows to it.

To create a virtual disk file, press the Windows Key, right-click on Computer, then go to Manage, right-click on “Disk Management” and chose “Create VHD”. From there you can specify the location and size of your virtual hard disk file. We suggest you choose “Fixed Size”. For this tip we chose 4000 MB (about 4 GB).

To attach the virtual disk file, press the Windows Key, right-click Computer, then go to Manage, Disk Management, Action, “Attach VHD”. Now browse to the file you created in the step above – choose if  you want the virtual disk to be “read only” or not. We suggest that you that not check the “read only” box.

In order to use the virtual disk file, you have two more steps to go. First you have to initialize it:

To initialize a virtual hard disk, press the Windows Key, right-click on Computer, go to Manage, Disk Management, Action, Attach VHD, specify the location, click Ok, then right click on the virtual disk file and choose “Initialize Disk”.  One more step: Select the partition style you want to use and then right-click on the unallocated space and click “New Simple Volume” and follow the instructions wizard. We suggest that you choose NTFS as the file system and assign a drive letter to it.

All done. You’ll that a new hard drive appears in Windows Explorer and you can use it as if it were a real hard drive partition.

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