Monday 4 May 2009

Windows 7 – Create and Mount a VHD

We have a need to insert ShadowProtect image files into a VHD for recovery purposes. To date, we would attached the drive with the images to a server and then share it so that we could get access to it via network.

There are other solutions available for this task, but for now we have not had a lot of need to look any further.

Windows 7 solves this dilemma by allowing us to create and mount a VHD (Virtual Hard Drive) on the Windows 7 system we are working on. This enables us to attach the USB drive and copy the ShadowProtect files right into a VHD which we can then mount in the Virtual Machine that we will run a recovery to.

The process is actually quite simple:

  1. Start –> DiskMgmt.msc [Enter].
  2. Click Action and Create VHD.
  3. The Create and Attach Virtual Hard Disk window comes up:
  4. Set the name and location of the new VHD file, the size of the file in MB or GB, and whether it will be dynamic or fixed in size.
  5. A new disk will appear in the Disk Management Console:image
  6. Right click under the Disk # and Initialize the disk.
  7. Once the disk is initialized, it can be formatted and have a drive letter assigned to it.
  8. AutoPlay will pop up asking what we want to do with the new drive (for the time being as AutoPlay will be disabled soon in Windows)

We do not close the Drive Management console as it is needed to detach the VHD once we are done with it. To detach, right click under Disk # in the list of disks and Detach VHD.

To attach a VHD, in Drive Management we click on the Action menu item and Attach VHD. Once we specify the VHD file we are good to go with our edits, changes, or file insertion.

This is a real time saving feature for us when we need to make quick changes to a VHD file, run a check disk on a seemingly corrupt VHD, or create a VHD and install files such as service packs or install files for VM access.

Very Nice!! :)

Philip Elder
Microsoft Small Business Specialists
Co-Author: SBS 2008 Blueprint Book

*All Mac on SBS posts will not be written on a Mac until we replace our now missing iMac! (previous blog post)

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1 comment:

Anonymous said...

Thx very nice feature. Now i dont have to install the complete virtual server :)