How To Create Virtual Disk From Hard Drive With Disk2vhd For Microsoft Virtual PC VM

Disk2vhd is the latest inclusion of the ever-growing Sysinternals apps list. Like all other Sysinternal apps, Disk2vhd is portable freeware app that’s small in size. It helps convert physical disk into VHD or Virtual Hard Disk format. Microsoft Virtual PC or Microsoft Hyper-V virtual machines (VMs) supports the VHD disk format.

Create Virtual Disk From Hard Drive with Disk2vhd

Disk2vhd eases the complex technical process of converting physical disk to VHD format.

  • When you launch Disk2vhd, it displays all available physical hard disks attached to the PC.


  • To create a VHD image of the actual hard disk, select the path where you want to save the virtual image.
  • Next, give a name so that you can recognize the VHD image.
  • Finally, select the physical hard disk(s) whose virtual image you want to create.
If you are not an expert user, you should keep the default selections and start the process.

After the process completes, you can exit Disk2vhd. You are now ready to use the virtual image in Microsoft Virtual PC or Microsoft Hyper-V.

Disk2vhd creates one VHD for each selected volumes present on the disk. It preserves the partitioning information of the disk. Since it only copies the data contents for selected volumes on the disk. This helps you capture just system volumes and exclude data volumes.

There is a limitation in Virtual PC about the maximum virtual disk size it supports. The size limit at the time of writing is 127 GB. While creating a VHD from large hard disk, keep a note of the VHD size limit. If you exceed it than the VHD will not be accessible from a Virtual PC VM.
While creating a VHD do not attach them on the same system on which you created them. If you boot from them, Windows will assign the VHD a new disk signature to avoid a collision with the signature of the VHD’s source disk. Windows keeps references about hard disks in the boot configuration database or BCD. Take care that you don’t forget this.

Microsoft only allows customers with Software Assurance and full retail copies of Windows XP and higher to migrate a Windows installation from physical-to-virtual hard drive. According to Microsoft licensing terms, you may not transfer OEM editions of Windows XP and higher to a virtual hard drive.

Disk2vhd runs on Windows XP SP2 and higher, and Windows Server 2003 SP1 and higher including x64 systems. You can download Disk2vhd from Sysinternal webpage.

You may also like...