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I have just created a VM with Windows 7 which I hope to use as my Developer machine. While creating the VM with VM Player, I picked the option where the contents of Hard Disk will be stored as Multiple Files (I quite do not recollect the exact words of the option that I picked).

All of the earlier machines that I built using VM Player have always had the Single File as a Hard Disk.

Now, I am not an infrastructure person at all. So, I really do not know which is the best option for my purpose.

I still have not installed any software in it. I plan to install the following -

  1. Visual Studio 2010 (To Learn ASP.NET MVC)
  2. SQL Server 2008 (To Learn SSIS)


  1. Will either of the options make a difference in what I am going to be using it for?
  2. Should I have picked the Single Disk option? If so, why. If not, why not?
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All you have done is limited the size of a single file. If you have specific questions I would look in the documentation for VM Player for more details on the option you actually selected. – Ramhound Aug 20 '12 at 14:52

Having split up drive images is good when you need to store the drive on a fat32 partition, with its 4gb limit, or know you potentially need to move the image on smaller media. Larger single drives are better performance and space wise, especially with dynamically expanding disks.

If you ever think you need to move the images onto a fat 32 drive for storage, splitting it up is a good idea. Else single disk is fine. You're unlikely to have a massive difference in performance between the two options under low intensity usage IMO.

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Thanks! I would assume that building sample ASP.NET MVC applications and building SSIS packages would fall under low intensity usage? – Maverick Aug 21 '12 at 8:05
Building can be a little disk intensive. Personally, with modern file sistems, a single file drive image is a better idea. – Journeyman Geek Aug 21 '12 at 8:49

Here you can find detailed description for all options regarded VM storage settings In two words configuring storage in multiple files allow to shrink VM storage to multiple physical storages of your host system.

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