Converting to a fixed virtual hard disk–the easy way

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As I discussed yesterday – I have been working on converting my virtual machines from dynamic virtual hard disks to fixed virtual hard disks.  There are a couple of ways that you can do this.  The easiest way is to just convert the disks using Hyper-V.  To do this you need to:

  1. Shutdown the virtual machine (do not put it into a saved state)
  2. Open the virtual machine settings and select the virtual hard disks one at a time
  3. Click the Edit button on the settings page:
  4. This will open the edit virtual hard disk wizard with the selected virtual hard disk.  Choose the Convert option:
  5. Next, enter a file name for the new fixed virtual hard disk:
  6. Wait for the virtual hard disk to be converted (this will take a while)
  7. Change the virtual machine settings to point to the new, fixed, virtual hard disk
  8. Boot the virtual machine
  9. Once you have confirmed that everything is working properly, delete the old dynamic virtual hard disks

While this process is fairly easy to follow – it has one big drawback.  The fixed virtual hard disk will take up the maximum space of the dynamically expanding virtual hard disk.  For some of my virtual machines I had created small dynamically virtual hard disks, so this worked well.  But for some of them I had created foolishly large dynamically expanding virtual hard disks.

Tomorrow I will document the process that I used for these virtual machines.


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  • Isn't the process to resize the partition inside the VM and then convert it? Why did MS create the XP mode VHD a differencing one and then make its minimize size so large? It could have been a fixed mode VHD with undo disks turned on instead of a differencing VHD.

  • Tried this on Win2008R2 Hyper-V and endied up with the new fixed VHD maked with a lock on the icon and it didn't mount. Any idea what I'm doing wrong?

  • Wouldn't it be easier to just put a quota on the harddrives from within the VM?

  • Do we have a faster method to convert the dynamic vhd to fixed size?

    I have a 150 GB dynamic vhd and it takes hours to convert to fixed size.

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Converting to a fixed virtual hard disk–the easy way