A Virtual Hard Disk allows multiple operating systems to reside on a single machine. This method enables everyone to test software on different operating systems without the cost or hassle of installing a second hard disk or creating a separate partition on a single hard disk. The ability to directly modify a virtual machine’s hard disk from a host server supports many applications, including:
- Moving files between a VHD and the host file system
- Backup and recovery
- Antivirus and security
- Image management and patching
- Disk conversion (physical to virtual, and so on)
- Life-cycle management and provisioning
- Mapped in the network
One of the new features in Windows 7 is the ability to create Virtual Hard Disks.
1. Right-click on My Computer and select to Manage. Alternately you can type diskmgmt.msc into the Start search box and enter.
2. In the Computer Management screen select Disk Management then click Action and Create VHD from the dropdown.
3. Browse to the directory you want the disk to reside, choose the size you want it to be, and select dynamic or a fixed. If you want the disk to expand in size as you add files to it, then choose Dynamically expanding. Check Fixed size if you want a specific size and for it to stay that way.
4. In Disk Management you will see the virtual drive listed in blue as unallocated space.
5. Right-click and select Initialize Disk. To begin using it.
6. In the initialize disk box just keep MBR selected and hit OK.
7. Now create a volume by Right-clicking the unallocated space and select New Simple Volume.
8. Click next on the Simple Volume Wizard
9. Choose the amount of space you want to use for the volume. leave it default to use the full volume.
10. Assign it a dive letter from the drop down that is not currently being used.
11. Format the new volume as NTFS, FAT32, or FAT.
12. Click on Finish and the wizard is complete.
If you have AutoPlay enabled it should pop up for you to open up your new virtual hard disk. You will also see it listed under My Computer.