I am using VMWare and my OS image is in the form of a VHD (virtual hard drive). I've done some searching but I don't see anything on this.

So my question is: Is it possible to load my OS onto my VMWare virtual machine using a .VHD file? If so, how?


From what I know, you have to convert it to a VMDK format image. You can use a tool like VBoxHDTools to convert between image formats.

  • 2
    I think you need virtualbox installed to use VBoxHDTools, and all VBoxHDTools does is run Cli commands from virtualbox – steampowered Dec 16 '14 at 15:07

The latest version of VMWare player seems to play .vhd files out of the box.

Create the VM using "I will install the operating system later." and then when the VM has been created edit its settings to remove the existing empty virtual hard disk (.vmdk) and then add the one you created from the .vhd

  • 4
    Even better, create your new VMware VM using "Custom Settings", select "Existing Disk" during setup, and when prompted for the VMDK extension, change the extension to *.* All Files, select the .vhd, and you're good to go. Boots right up off of the VHD file. Windows 81. w/VMWare Workstation 11.1, booting XP Mode's vhd - just did it now. – Eric Duncan May 27 '15 at 22:36

Just use Oracle Virtualbox. It supports VHD files directly.

  1. New VM
  2. Select the Operating system of the VHD
  3. Select the RAM
  4. Select "Use Existing Virtual Hard Disk" and browse to your VHD file.
  5. Click "Create".
  6. Done.

Your VHD will be booted immediately.

I did this with a 127GB VHD file downloaded from Microsoft Azure.

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