Home » Blog
date 3.Apr.2016

■ Browse into virtual hard disk contents without extra tools

VHD files are used by windows backup and virtualization tools like VirtualPC (optional for virtualbox and vmware). Like ISO images that usually represent a DVD, VHDs play the role of the hard disk that stores all the virtual machine state and files. There are occasions where you might want to access their contents without starting the VM. If you have windows 8 and later, this is very easy, just right click on the VHD and pick Mount command from the context menu. This will create a pseudo-drive you can access with a drive letter. Then you can roam inside the VHD file like any external drive and access — even modify — the contents.

To remove/unmount this drive, right click on its drive letter icon and pick Eject menu command

What about older windows? The API infrastructure exists on windows 7 too, but it is only accessible through the disk management applet, so it isn't as convenient to mount and unmount VHD files. Instead of running DISKMGMT.MSC, I found a clever solution that adds the mount commands to send to context menu for easier access. In essense they use diskpart command line tool to select to attach the VHD as such:

SELECT VDISK FILE="c:\path\test.VHD" 

There is no easy way to automatically choose the drive letter, diskpart picks usually the first available drive letter, but you can manually change it if required.

When it comes to ISO image files, there is no system way to mount them before windows 8. But there are plenty of 3rd party tools, or you can use xplorer² own compressed archive shell extension that among other things can browse into ISO files — without even mounting them first on a drive letter.

That's all folks!

Post a comment on this topic »

Share |

©2002-2016 ZABKAT LTD, all rights reserved | Privacy policy | Sitemap