On a Windows 11 PC, we can create a VHD (virtual hard disk). Windows 11 uses both VHD and the newer VHDX file formats for the virtual hard disk management. A virtual hard disk contains everything a real physical hard disk drive contains – partitions, files, folders and more. We can use these VHDs with virtualization software to run different operating systems. If you have a very large hard disk drive (1 TB or above) then you can try creating VHDs and use them in Hyper-V virtual machines or VMware Player.
You can create and attach a new VHD on a Windows 11 PC in the following manner:
- Right-click on the Start icon in the taskbar and choose Disk Management from the menu. You can also bring this menu up using the hotkey Win+X.
- In the Disk Management window, select Action and then Create VHD from the menubar.
- In the “Create and Attach VHD” window, you can choose VHD size, VHD file location, format (VHD or VHDX), and type (fixed or dynamic). VHD format has maximum disk size limit of 2040 GB while VHDX has a maximum limit of 64 TB. Click on the OK button when done.
- At this point you should be able to see the newly created VHD in the Disk Management console. It has already been attached but it needs to be initialized. For this, right-click on the VHD and choose Initialize Disk.
- During the initializing process, you will have to choose disk type – GPT or MBR. If in doubt, choose GPT as it is newer way of partitioning the disk. However, GPT style might not be recognized by older operating systems.
- Once a VHD has been initilized, you can create partitions on it by right-clicking on it and choosing New Simple Volume. This will also assign a drive letter to your new VHD.
- Now you can start using the new virtual hard disk using File Explorer or any other application as usual.