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Creating a Standalone VHD

By Joseph Yedid

I recently had the need to backup some files before upgrading a system to Windows 10. These files were going to be stored off-site and needed a place reside. What better way than to use a virtual hard disk to store them. Instead of making the VHD on a server, I knew I could create a standalone VHD in Windows 8.

Creating a Standalone VHD-Create VHD

First, open Computer Management, then expand Storage and choose Disk Management. Right-click on Disk Management, and then select Create VHD.

Creating a Standalone VHD-Specify Location_Size_Format_Disk Type

Next, specify a location to store the file and specify the size in MB or GB. Select whether it will be in VHD or VHDX format. Choose whether the disk type will be fixed size or dynamically expanding.

Creating a Standalone VHD-Joseph Specifications

In my case, I specified the file to be saved on the root of C:\. The file size will be 20GB in a VHD format and the file type will be dynamically expanding.

Creating a Standalone VHD-Initialize Disk

Once that is done, the new VHD will show up in Disk Management as an unknown disk. The new disk will need to be initialized. Right-click on the disk and choose Initialize Disk.

Creating a Standalone VHD-GPT

As the disk is 20GB, choose GPT.

Creating a Standalone VHD-New Simple Volume

Now that the disk is initialized, you need to create the volume. Right-click on the unallocated space and choose New Simple Volume.

Creating a Standalone VHD-New Simple Volume Wizard

Click Next.

Creating a Standalone VHD-New Simple Volume Size

Click Next as the size is already filled in.

Creating a Standalone VHD-New Simple Volume Drive Letter

Assign a drive letter.

Creating a Standalone VHD-New Simple Volume Format Partition

Accept the defaults.

Creating a Standalone VHD-New Simple Volume Completion

Click Finish.

Creating a Standalone VHD-New VHD

You now have a brand new empty VHD that is already mounted!

Creating a Standalone VHD-Detach VHD

To unmount the VHD, right-click the disk and select Detach VHD.

Now that I have created the VHD, I can store my backup files in it. If necessary, I can even attach the VHD to a virtual machine.