Windows 7: How to Attach VHD (Virtual Hard Disk) Files

Posted November 9, 2008 by Rob Rogers in Windows 7

I use Virtual PC quite a bit for checking out various operating systems. sometimes I have files on a virtual OS that I need to use on my real system. This usually means that I have to fire up Virtual PC and run the desired operating system. Windows 7 allows you to attach VHD files so that you can access the disks from your virtual OS without having to run Virtual PC.

1. Click the Windows Orb (Start button).

2. Right-click Computer and select Manage.

3. When the Computer Management window appears, go to the left pane, under Storage, and select Disk Management.

4. Go to the menu, click Action, and select Attach VHD (or right-click Disk Management and select Attach VHD).

5. Browse to the location of the desired VHD file. Select the file and click the Open button.

6. If you want to keep the virtual info from being changed, check the Attach this virtual hard disk file as read only checkbox.

7. Click the OK button.

The virtual drive will be attached. You can access the drive by going to computer and selecting it.


About Rob Rogers

Once a prolific author here on Tech-Recipes, Rob has moved on to greener pastures.
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  • Ankit

    How to do the same for a windows Vista operating system?? can u help ??

    • Rob Rogers

      Stay tuned . . . I am preparing a tutorial on that very thing. Should have it ready before the end of the week.

      • Anonymous

        Well i am eagerly waiting for your tutorial
        I hope there a lot to learn from it
        Plz make it as soon as possible

  • Gaspar Nagy

    Is there any (built-in) way to also mount ISO images? The Attach VHD says:
    “The file or directory is corrupted and unreadable.”

  • God

    Is there a way to do the same via a batch-file (or command input)?

    • Dennis Pauw

      Yes, why not attach iso’s also? That would be nice if it would be built-in to windows 7.

      You can use DISKPART to do the same on the commandline.

  • Name

    That’s great, but how do you run it?

  • Michelle

    It didn’t work for me. I saved the backups on 10 dvd’s using WindowsImageBackup on Vista. I installed Windows 7 and was told it was easy to install but nothing is happening. I’m using the first disk and used your method…it seemed to be fine until I pressed ok and got this error message: THE REQUESTED OPERATION COULD NOT BE COMPLETED DUE TO A FILE SYSTEM LIMITATION. I rebooted, tried half dozen times but nothing. I need to access files…help!!

    • Almecad

      Did you find the solution ?

  • Martina

    I donĀ“t have the option “attatch VHD”. is it because I have win 7 home edition? Is there any possibility how to get .vhd working on my computer?

  • Nick

    I have tried to do this method a few times. Each time, i can access the drive, but the only folder in it is a “recovery” folder, with nothing in it. When I do a properties search on it, it says there is nothing in it (size). but when looking at the drive on the “computer” it says that there is 500MB+ worth of data. What can I do to get full access to this drive. Looking for a very important file.

    PLEASE HELP!!!!!