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Windows 7: Virtual Hard Disk - Create and Attach VHD

10 Mar 2010   #60
Kari

Microsoft Community Contributor Award Recipient

 

If you are unsure about if your system can handle virtualization, download and install Microsoft® Hardware-Assisted Virtualization Detection Tool and SecureAble. These two small apps help you to determine if your system is able to run Virtual PC.

When you install Virtual PC and XP mode, the virtual machines are always there until you delete them. You don't have to re-install or re-mount them. You just start the virtual machine you want from their default location C:\Users\Your_Username\Virtual Machines (this folder will be created when you install Virtual PC).

Here you can see my virtual machines. As you see, some of them are hibernated which allows a faster boot. To boot any of these machines, anytime, I just double click it:

-vpc_machines.png

A virtual machine is a file, a vhd or virtual hard disk file acting like a real HD. Virtual PC puts XP Mode vhd and any vhd's belonging to other virtual machines you create to a folder, so there's no need to create a separate partition for your virtual machines. By default the location of Virtual PC vhd's is C:\Users\Your_Username\AppData\Local\Microsoft\Windows Virtual PC\Virtual Machines. Notice that because AppData is a hidden folder, you have to enable Show hidden files and folders (Control Panel > Folder Options) to see it.

Kari

EDIT: This tutorial is about attaching (mounting) a vhd as an additional HD to your system. Doing it with an XP vhd does not allow you to run the applications from that vhd as in XP because the vhd is only a HD in a Windows 7 system.

To be able to run applications in XP, you need to install and setup Virtual PC and XP Mode. That said, I think you should read another of Brink's excellent tutorials: Windows XP Mode - Install and Setup




My System SpecsSystem Spec
10 Mar 2010   #61
Ivan05

Win 7 64-bit/32-bit/XP
 
 

Quote   Quote: Originally Posted by Kari View Post
If you are unsure about if your system can handle virtualization, download and install Microsoft® Hardware-Assisted Virtualization Detection Tool and SecureAble. These two small apps help you to determine if your system is able to run Virtual PC.

When you install Virtual PC and XP mode, the virtual machines are always there until you delete them. You don't have to re-install or re-mount them. You just start the virtual machine you want from their default location C:\Users\Your_Username\Virtual Machines (this folder will be created when you install Virtual PC).

Here you can see my virtual machines. As you see, some of them are hibernated which allows a faster boot. To boot any of these machines, anytime, I just double click it:

A virtual machine is a file, a vhd or virtual hard disk file acting like a real HD. Virtual PC puts XP Mode vhd and any vhd's belonging to other virtual machines you create to a folder, so there's no need to create a separate partition for your virtual machines. By default the location of Virtual PC vhd's is C:\Users\Your_Username\AppData\Local\Microsoft\Windows Virtual PC\Virtual Machines. Notice that because AppData is a hidden folder, you have to enable Show hidden files and folders (Control Panel > Folder Options) to see it.

Kari

EDIT: This tutorial is about attaching (mounting) a vhd as an additional HD to your system. Doing it with an XP vhd does not allow you to run the applications from that vhd as in XP because the vhd is only a HD in a Windows 7 system.

To be able to run applications in XP, you need to install and setup Virtual PC and XP Mode. That said, I think you should read another of Brink's excellent tutorials: Windows XP Mode - Install and Setup
Thanks for clearing that up Kari. So, just install Win 7 normally, with no need to create a separate partition for the VHD, do the VHD thing as mentioned in the tutorial (which made it sound pretty simple!), install my scanner software in the XP Mode machine and I should be off and running. Sounds better than dealing with the dual boot setup.

Thanks again for your help. I'm going to give this a whirl over the next few days and will report back if I have any questions or problems.

Now, it's off to build the new computer!
My System SpecsSystem Spec
10 Mar 2010   #62
churin

W7 Ult x64 and W8 Pro x64
 
 

Quote   Quote: Originally Posted by Ivan05 View Post
Thanks Kari and churin for the additional information. How do you know if it will support XP mode? Parts just arrived for my new build and now I'm even more confused. My old system is on it's last leg and I'm upgrading to a Core i7-860 and assumed it would handle the task with no issues.
I7-860 does support XP mode. If there is + mark on VT column in this table then the cpu supports Virtualization Technology(VT).
My System SpecsSystem Spec
10 Mar 2010   #63
Ivan05

Win 7 64-bit/32-bit/XP
 
 

Quote   Quote: Originally Posted by churin View Post
I7-860 does support XP mode. If there is + mark on VT column in this table then the cpu supports Virtualization Technology(VT).
churin, thanks! Even though the i7-860 will support VT, are you still required to run the Microsoft® Hardware-Assisted Virtualization Detection Tool? Does it modify the registry to tell Win 7 that the machine will support VT/VHD?
My System SpecsSystem Spec
.

10 Mar 2010   #64
churin

W7 Ult x64 and W8 Pro x64
 
 

Quote   Quote: Originally Posted by Ivan05 View Post
Quote   Quote: Originally Posted by churin View Post
I7-860 does support XP mode. If there is + mark on VT column in this table then the cpu supports Virtualization Technology(VT).
churin, thanks! Even though the i7-860 will support VT, are you still required to run the Microsoft® Hardware-Assisted Virtualization Detection Tool? Does it modify the registry to tell Win 7 that the machine will support VT/VHD?
There may be one more hurdle: The virtualization feature may be disabled by default in the BIOS. The tool available at the link will tell you about it for your BIOS. Or just check the BIOS setting to see if the virtualization is enabled or not. It's not too hard to find it out. The word to look for is "Virtualization" or something like that.
My System SpecsSystem Spec
10 Mar 2010   #65
Ivan05

Win 7 64-bit/32-bit/XP
 
 

Quote   Quote: Originally Posted by churin View Post
Quote   Quote: Originally Posted by Ivan05 View Post
Quote   Quote: Originally Posted by churin View Post
I7-860 does support XP mode. If there is + mark on VT column in this table then the cpu supports Virtualization Technology(VT).
churin, thanks! Even though the i7-860 will support VT, are you still required to run the Microsoft® Hardware-Assisted Virtualization Detection Tool? Does it modify the registry to tell Win 7 that the machine will support VT/VHD?
There may be one more hurdle: The virtualization feature may be disabled by default in the BIOS. The tool available at the link will tell you about it for your BIOS. Or just check the BIOS setting to see if the virtualization is enabled or not. It's not too hard to find it out. The word to look for is "Virtualization" or something like that.
Will do. That's usually the first thing I do when I power up a new build for the is first time. Thanks.
My System SpecsSystem Spec
10 Mar 2010   #66
karlsnooks

MS Windows 7 Ultimate SP1 64-bit
 
 

Brink,
Would there be anything to gain from assimilating some of the info in this series into your excellent tutorial?
My System SpecsSystem Spec
10 Mar 2010   #67
kepin

win 7 starter
 
 

Does this virtual hardisk behave like partition? So, if there's something wrong with my OS I can format the C: (OS) only, and back up all my data to E: (created virtual HD)?
My System SpecsSystem Spec
10 Mar 2010   #68
Kari

Microsoft Community Contributor Award Recipient

 

Hello Kepin, welcome to the Seven Forums.

I see no reason why not, as long as you remember the vhd is a file, a virtual hard disk and not a physical HD and you don't keep it on the OS partition. If your vhd is located on the partition you format, you lose everything saved on that partition including your vhd.

You can backup and even use Windows Easy transfer to copy your files to vhd.

Kari
My System SpecsSystem Spec
10 Mar 2010   #69
karlsnooks

MS Windows 7 Ultimate SP1 64-bit
 
 

As Kari pointed out, a VHD is a file. If you format the drive containing this VHD file, then the VHD file is gone.

You can copy the VHD file to anywhere you desire. You can then use DiskMgmt.msc to "mount" the VHD whenever you need it.
My System SpecsSystem Spec
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 Virtual Hard Disk - Create and Attach VHD




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