Mounting virtual hard disks in Windows Server “8”

Mounting virtual hard disks in Windows Server “8”

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I have done many posts over the years about how to mount virtual hard disks under various releases of Windows.  Windows Server “8” makes this the easiest possible thing to do.  To mount a virtual hard disk – just find your .VHD or .VHDX file and double click on it:

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The virtual hard disk will be mounted, and you will automatically be directed to the first partition on the virtual hard disk:

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Here you can easily copy / move / manipulate files.  When you are done, just choose to eject the disk (shown in the picture above).

Note: You do need to enable the desktop experience in order to get this experience with Windows Explorer.

Cheers,
Ben

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  • Does the ISO or VHD remain mounted post a reboot? What does double clicking another VHD do? Mount it to another drive letter or replace this one? Can you have more than one VHD or ISO mounted? Also, up to Windows 7, Drive Letter Assignment has a conflict bug wherein drive letters of removable or mounted drives conflict with mapped network drives. You had to use Disk management to change the drive letter of the drive. Has this been fixed?

  • Hi Ben,

    Like always, great blog post!

  • I cannot imagine that it will work for more than one filesystem per VHD properly or installable filesystems different from FAT and NTFS.

  • xpclient -

    No, it does not persist across reboot.  Double clicking another VHD will result in both VHDs being mounted with different drive letters.  You can have multiple VHDs and multiple ISOs mounted.  I do not know about the last issue you mention.

    Andreas Kohl -

    I can assure you that multi-partition, multi FS and IFS scenarios all work perfectly here.

    Cheers,

    Ben

  • Hi Ben, would you advice a better way to have 2 partitions (1 system, 1 data) in VHDs setup for Win7/Win8? Data partition is common for two systems. Now I've scheduled the task to mount 2nd VHD for data on computer startup. But there is the lag when computer boots and the data partition gets connected. Actually, I manage to login and run an application which depends on the data located on that VHD which is still not connected. I have to wait 1-2 minutes before VHD gets connected. The task is "VHDBatch.cmd mount V:\VMM\W7x86UltD.vhd"

    Sometimes there is a related problem when a flash drive was connected on computer start or reboot and it gets the drive letter of data partition which is apparently connected later.

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