How To Boot from A Virtual Hard Disk (VHD) File on Your Virtual Machine (VM)

Have you ever wondered how virtual machines (VMs) boot from a Virtual Hard Drive (VHD) file? If so, this article is for you! We’ll explain exactly how to boot your VM from a VHD file and the pros and cons of doing so. So, keep on reading to find out more!

Virtual Machine (VM) RECOVERY


Be sure to back up your VM before you begin. To boot from a VHD, you’ll need to first create a new VM and attach the VHD to it. You can do this using the Azure portal, or you can use PowerShell.

Once the VHD is attached, open the VM’s settings and go to the ‘Storage’ section. Here, you’ll see the VHD listed under ‘Attached Disks’. Select it and then click ‘Edit’.

In the ‘Boot order’ section, select the option to boot from ‘Hard Disk 1’. Save your changes and then restart the VM. It should now boot from the VHD!

What is a Virtual Hard Disk (VHD) File?

A Virtual Hard Disk (VHD) file is a file that stores the complete contents of a virtual hard disk drive. VHD files are used by Microsoft Virtual PC, Microsoft Hyper-V, VMware Workstation, and other virtual machine programs.

A VHD file contains all the data stored on a physical hard disk drive, including the operating system, applications, and user data. VHD files are typically used to store virtual machines or backups of physical computers.

When you boot from a VHD file, the virtual machine program loads the operating system and applications stored in the VHD file just as if it were booting from a physical hard disk drive. You can then use the virtual machine just as you would use a physical computer.

How To Boot from A VHD File on Your VM

Booting from a VHD file on your VM can be a little bit tricky, but it is definitely possible. In order to do so, you will need to have access to the settings of your VM, and then edit the boot order. Once you have done that, you should be able to select the VHD file as your boot device. Here are the detailed instructions:

1. Open the settings of your VM. This can be done by right-clicking on the VM in question, and then selecting ‘Settings’ from the menu that appears.

2. Once you are in the settings menu, navigate to the ‘Boot Order’ section.

3. In the Boot Order section, you will need to move the VHD file up to the top of the list. To do this, simply click and drag it until it is in the desired position.

4. After moving the VHD file up in the boot order, make sure to save your changes and exit out of the Settings menu.

5. Now, when you reboot your VM, it should boot directly from the VHD file!

Benefits of Booting from a VHD File on Your VM

There are many benefits to booting from a VHD file on your VM. Perhaps the most obvious benefit is that you can have multiple operating systems on the same computer. This can be very convenient for testing and development purposes. You can also easily share data between the two operating systems, which can be a big time saver.

Another big benefit is that you can take advantage of the speed and flexibility of virtualization. Booting from a VHD file allows you to quickly create and destroy virtual machines without having to worry about losing data or damaging your physical hard drive. This can be a huge time saver, especially when you’re working with complex applications or large amounts of data.

Finally, booting from a VHD file can help improve security. By keeping your operating system and data separate from your physical hard drive, you can help protect yourself from malware and other security threats.

Potential Drawbacks of Booting from a VHD File on Your VM

Booting from a VHD file on your VM can have some potential drawbacks that you should be aware of before you try this method. One such drawback is that you may not be able to access all of the features of your VM if you boot from a VHD file. Additionally, booting from a VHD file can also make it difficult to troubleshoot issues with your VM since you will not have access to the full range of diagnostic tools. Finally, if you do not properly configure your VM before booting from a VHD file, you could potentially damage or corrupt your VM.

Tips and Tricks for Booting from a VHD File on Your VM

If you have a virtual machine (VM), you can boot from a virtual hard disk (VHD) file. This can be useful if you want to use a different operating system on your VM, or if you want to test something without affecting your main operating system.

To boot from a VHD file on your VM, follow these steps:

1. Shut down your VM.

2. Go to the settings of your VM and open the ‘Storage’ section.

3. Add a new storage device and select ‘Add Disk’. Choose the VHD file you want to boot from.

4. Select the new storage device and choose ‘Boot Order’. Move it to the top of the list so that your VM will boot from the VHD file first.

5. Start your VM and it should now boot from the VHD file.

Keep in mind that when you boot from a VHD file, any changes you make will only be saved to that VHD file. So if you want to make permanent changes, you’ll need to copy the VHD file to another location before making any changes.


In conclusion, booting from a virtual hard disk (VHD) file on your virtual machine (VM) is a great way to expand the capabilities of your system. With this method, you can add more storage space and better manage multiple operating systems and applications without having to purchase additional hardware. Although it may take some time and effort to properly configure the VHD file, once set up correctly, it will provide greater flexibility for how you use your VM.