What is VHD in Windows 7?
VHD or Virtual Hard Disk is a new feature supported by Windows 7 operating systems. This means users on the Windows 7 platform can “virtually” save files on the VHD format, similar to file storage systems using standard physical hard disks. VHDs are a welcome feature for users and computer experts since it allows for multiple platforms or operating systems to be installed in one computer. In this way, one can check if programs will run on the specific operating system installed without having to use another computer or having to create a separate partition for each operating system to install.
VHD on Windows 7 has a “boot for VHD” feature, which is not necessarily available in most virtual types of environment. Computer booting using VHD is similar to booting from the main disk and all hardware devices will be leveraged by the VHD system including USB ports, wireless devices, and graphics. With VHD, computer performance is not compromised even if multiple operating systems are running on the same computer terminal. But as for native booting, operating systems that came before Windows 7 are not supported. It is also important to note that users must make sure to have enough space for the VHD feature to allow for the computer and all other applications to work properly.
To create the VHD disk space or VHD file, one may use the command prompt. VHD files (named .VHD) may be created anywhere in the computer and users are the ones who will designate the file size. It may also take several minutes for the computer to create the specified .VHD file. A great advantage for Windows 7 is that one person only needs to copy one .VHD file and all necessary system files are included. It also makes possible to save “increments” of VHD files which in turn will save the user a lot of space available on the disks.