Today, we will see how to create and set up (initialized and formatted) a new VHD and VHDX virtual hard disk file in Windows 11/10 using Disk Management. But before we begin, we will see what is a VHD and VHDX.
What is VHD and VHDX
- VHD (Virtual Hard Disk) is a file format that represents a virtual hard disk drive (HDD). It may contain what is found on a physical HDD, such as disk partitions and a file system, which in turn can contain files and folders. It is typically used as the hard disk of a virtual machine.
- VHDX is a Hyper-V virtual hard disk file format. VHDX has a much larger 64 TB storage capacity than the older VHD format 2TB limit. It also provides data corruption protection during power failures and optimizes structural alignments of dynamic and differencing disks to prevent performance degradation on new, large-sector physical disks.
You can choose to have a fixed size or dynamically expanding VHD or VHDX file.
- Fixed size = This type of disk provides better performance. The virtual hard disk file is allocated to its maximum size when the virtual hard disk is created.
- Dynamically expanding = This type of disk provides better use of physical storage space. The virtual hard disk file grows to its maximum size as data is written to the virtual hard disk.
Once you have the new .vhd or .vhdx file created and set up, you can copy or move it to any Windows 10 PC you want to mount it on.
When you mount a .vhd or .vhdx file in Windows, it will be added as a drive in This PC to open it from.
Create a new VHD or VHDX file in Windows 11/10
- Press Windows key + R. In the Run dialog box, type diskmgmt.msc, hit Enter to open Disk Management.
- Click Action in the menu bar, and click Create VHD.
- On the dialog that pops up, click the Browse button.
- Navigate to and select and open the location (folder or drive) where you want to create and save the .vhd or .vhdx file at, type a file name you want, and click Save.
- Enter a size (eg: “1 GB”) you want for the virtual hard disk.
- Select the radio button for VHD or VHDX for what virtual hard disk format you want.
- Select the radio button for Fixed size or Dynamically expanding for the virtual hard disk type you want.
- Click OK.
You have now successfully created a VHD or VHDX file.
How to set up new VHD or VHDX file via Disk Management
1. Open the new blank .vhd or .vhdx file you created.
This will add the new virtual hard disk as an unknown (not initialized) unallocated disk in Disk Management.
2. Click OK in the Couldn’t Mount File error message prompt.
3. Open Disk Management (Press Win + R. Type diskmgmt.msc in the box, hit Enter).
4. Right-click on the unknown disk (eg: “Disk 1”) for the unallocated virtual hard disk, and click Initialize Disk.
6. In the Disk Management, right-click the unallocated disk for the virtual hard disk, and click New Simple Volume.
7. In the New Simple Volume Wizard dialog, click Next.
8. Make sure the Simple volume size is the same size as Maximum disk space (eg: 1021), and click Next.
9. Select the radio button for Assign the following drive letter, select a drive letter (eg: “E”) you want in the drop menu for the virtual hard disk, and click Next.
If you only want to set up the virtual hard disk without mounting it right now, you can select the radio button for Do not assign a drive letter or drive path instead.
10. Select the radio button for Format this volume with the following settings, select the file system (eg: NTFS) you want for the virtual hard disk, type a volume label (eg: “Lab VHD”) you want for the mounted virtual hard disk name, and click Next.
11. Click Finish.
You can now exit Disk Management.
You have successfully set up a VHD or VHDX file which you can now mount and unmount on any Windows 10 system.
We hope you find this tutorial on how to create and set up a new VHD or VHDX File in Windows 10.
All the best!