Create Virtual Hard Disks [Windows 7]

Have you ever wished you had an extra Disk Drive to set aside your documents, files, etc.? This is one of the new features of Windows 7, that helps you create Virtual Disk Drives, similar to your Hard Disk drives.

If you are not a Windows 7 user, you can always use TrueCrypt, a freeware tool, to create encrypted virtual disk drives. The process is similar.

To start with, right-click ‘Computer’ (My Computer) and click ‘Manage’. Choose ‘Disk Management’ under ‘Storage’ in the left pane. Or type in diskmgmt.msc in the run command to directly open up ‘Disk Management’ window.

Disk Management window

Now, from the ‘Actions’ menu, click ‘Create VHD’.

Create VHD - Virtual hard disk drive - Disk Management

You should now see a window similar to the one below


Now, specify the location where you want the VHD file to be saved to. Secondly, specify the size of your new virtual disk in MB/GB/TB. Finally, you can choose to have it dynamically expanding or set it to a fixed size.

Once you are done, click OK. The ‘Disk Management’ window will now show up ‘Disk 1’ with an unallocated space.

Disk Management - Disk 1

Right-click ‘Disk 1’ and choose ‘Initialize Disk’. ‘Disk 1’ will be already checked. Leave it as Master Boot Record and click OK.

Disk Management - Disk Initialization

Now that the disk is initialized, right-click the unallocated space in ‘Disk 1’ and click ‘New Simple Volume’.

Disk Management - New Volume

Follow the wizard to create your new partition. You’ll just have to select a new drive letter, allocate space, choose the File System and key in a label. If you choose NTFS, you can take advantage of its File and Folder Compression.

New Volume - Partition Type, Allocation

Click ‘Next’ to see a summary of your partition and to create it. Once done, you’ll have your new virtual hard disk drive ready.

New Virtual Partition

In the next post, you’ll learn to delete this virtual partition.