I've created a VHD file of my C: drive, for backup purposes, using Disk2vhd 1.0.

When I try opening the file using 7-Zip 4.65 (to view the contents) I get the error: "Can not open the file XXX as an archive".

Does anyone know why this is? I have to assume that either the VHD creation failed and it's a corrupted file, or Disk2vhd creates a variation of the VHD format that 7-Zip doesn't support.


I'm using Windows 2008 Server R2, and it supports mounting VHDs as drives from Computer Management\Storage\Disk Management. Win7 probably does the same.

Here's a fun script to mount it from the Windows Explorer menu: http://www.howtogeek.com/51174/mount-and-unmount-a-vhd-file-in-windows-explorer-via-a-right-click/



You can open VHD files with 7-zip 9.20 x64, under Windows 7. It seems this functionality has been present since 9.04, so it wouldn't have worked with the version you mention.

As mentioned above, Windows 7/Server 2008 R2 supports mounting VHD files as drives through the Disk Management snap-in. This can be accessed by selecting Attach VHD on the aforementioned MSC.

  • This doesn't answer the author's question in the slightest. The only helpful bit is the fact you mention you can attach the VHD image within Windows 7's Disk Management of course the author already knew this. – Ramhound Jan 10 '13 at 13:19
  • @Ramhound: It seems like a perfectly reasonable answer to me. What am I missing? – Der Hochstapler Jan 10 '13 at 15:00
  • @OliverSalzburg It appeared to me, to be more of a comment than an answer. However now that I've read it in more detail I agree with you. – James Mertz Jan 14 '13 at 18:20
  • @Ramhound Unfortunately, I'm a bit of a master of circumlocution and hide answers in walls of text. I could pare it down a bit, if you wanted? – Jeeva Jan 16 '13 at 10:13
  • @Jeeva - Make some sort of modification and I will remove my downvote. – Ramhound Jan 16 '13 at 11:50

As noted here, the program GizmoDrive (freeware) can be used to mount vhd files as a virtual drive.

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    I'm running Windows 7 so I can do this through the Disk Management utility anyway, but I think I read that it's not a good idea if the VHD is an image of the system you're currently booted into. – Tom Robinson Oct 19 '09 at 15:02

I think the only way to get the contents from your .vhd file is to actually boot it up with a Virtual PC or from a hyper-v server.

I don't believe it is in any sort of backup archive format (but I'm willing to be corrected).

  • I've opened .vhd files created by other applications using 7-Zip, it's quite handy and definitely possible. For example, the ones created by the Windows Vista Complete PC Backup. – Tom Robinson Oct 19 '09 at 15:01
  • Interesting! And those backup VHD files are known to be the same format as virtual PC VHD? I was completely unaware :-) – Chris_K Oct 19 '09 at 15:31
  • Yep, more information on the format here: en.wikipedia.org/wiki/VHD_(file_format) – Tom Robinson Oct 19 '09 at 16:04
  • I said "willing to be corrected" not down-voted w/out comments :-p – Chris_K Apr 18 '10 at 14:45

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