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In order to run a certain "visual studio" compiler interface, I have to use a windows XP virtual machine; very well. When it comes time to perform a backup of the files on the computer, I am plagued by file Windows XP Mode.vhd being backed up, it being over 2GB in size. The backup software does offer to avoid cache files, etc. which I want, and can also be directed to avoid named files, but this last has to be done every time.

I would like to have this file deleted at the end of my virtual machine run, of course after any file changes have been forwarded to my normal (non-virtual) usage of the c: drive. Normally I do nothing, and indeed, the new versions of the compiled prog. appear for normal use outside the VM even as the VM continues. I don't understand why this file can't just vanish at the end of a VM session, and be recreated at the start of the next as a fresh file, of no-difference. Is there perhaps some obscure option that I missed in the installation of the virtual windows system?

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migrated from stackoverflow.com Aug 14 '12 at 2:37

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At the risk of offending you, I suspect that you don't understand the role of this file, or how XP Mode works.

A Virtual Hard Drive (VHD) is a virtual representation of a physical drive, in that it stores the partition in which Windows XP is installed, for XP Mode.

Your backup software should, instead of trying to back up the VHD, be running as a service inside XP Mode, backing up files to the server while XP Mode is running.

Microsoft has in its wisdom made XP Mode "transparent" to Windows 7, so that while you are inside XP Mode, the windows, Start Menu, notification area and so on, act as part of the Windows 7 environment.

Consider starting XP Mode directly, and operating it as a separate machine, in the Virtual PC window, as opposed to calling the compiler from the Windows 7 Start Menu. That way you have more control over what's running inside it, and you can manage your backups better.

Then you can easily add an exclusion to the backup process on your Windows 7 machine to ignore this large VHD.

As for wiping the VHD every time, I hope my answer has explained why this is simply not possible. Hopefully, though, your backups will be managed better by running XP Mode in its own Virtual PC window.

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