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Windows 7: In XP Mode, where does the Hard Disk come from?

28 Jan 2010   #1

Windows 7 Ultimate
In XP Mode, where does the Hard Disk come from?

I'm running XP mode, and i'm running a 74GB raptor (really working on changing that). In XP mode, It says i have 123GB available from a 126GB drive. Where does that space come from? I understand having virtual hard drives, but i don't understand how that works. Can anyone explain or point me to the direction to where i can get an explanation?

My System SpecsSystem Spec
28 Jan 2010   #2

Windows 7 Ultimate x64

It's a file on your hard drive. The virtual machine thinks it has a 123GB file to work with, but I assure you when you run out of space on your host machines' 74GB will have no more space on your virtual machine either.

Under these VM's, the files start out small and can grow over time to a maximum size and it's the maximum size that is reported within the VM. But you are constrained physically to the amount of space on your physical hard drive.
My System SpecsSystem Spec
28 Jan 2010   #3


Hello Sleepyhead, welcome to the Seven Forums.

Virtual hard disks are files on your computer. If you have not changed the default XP Mode settings, you can find your XP virtual hard disk (vhd-file) in C:\Users\Your_Username\AppData\Microsoft\Windows Virtual PC\Virtual Machines folder and check yourself how big it currently is. The maximum size of a Virtual PC vhd is 127 GB; even if your HD is bigger that's the maximum size of XP Mode or any other Virtual PC virtual hard disk.

When you install XP Mode the default disk type is differencing, a combination of a fixed size XP Mode base vhd and dynamic XP Mode vhd files (expanding or shrinking as needed). The XP Mode base disk is stored in C:\Program Files\Windows XP Mode\Windows XP Mode base.vhd, and should not be moved, removed or edited.

If you are sure you don't need a dynamic / differencing XP Mode vhd, you can merge your base vhd with XP Mode vhd and create a new fixed size XP Mode vhd. Just go to Settings, choose Hard Disk 1 and click Modify:

In XP Mode, where does the Hard Disk come from?-xp_vhd1.png

It opens a new window letting you choose if you want to merge or compact your vhd:

In XP Mode, where does the Hard Disk come from?-xp_vhd2.png

You can not change the disk type and / or size if XP Mode is hibernated. Turn off XP Mode before changing settings.

Only XP Mode vhd can be differencing. Additional vhd's you create can be dynamic (default) or fixed. You can always convert a fixed vhd to dynamic, or vice versa.


My System SpecsSystem Spec

28 Jan 2010   #4

Windows 7 Ultimate

thanks for the info! I think that basically answers my question. This forum's awesome
My System SpecsSystem Spec

 In XP Mode, where does the Hard Disk come from?

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