How to copy VHD contents to an extenal hard drive.

edited May 2017 in Hardware
Ok guys, this will be as simple as possible, so if you need help, just message me.

Stuff you will need:
    -a VHD file (Obviously) -7-ZIP (it's free) -an external Hard drive (again Obviously)

Skill level: Novice

ok now that we got all that out of the way, let's get started :D

ok so 1st off, get 7-ZIP because it's free and you'll need it. here's the link:


Once you've installed it, navigate to the VHD file you want to extract and right click it, and select "open with". (i'm using my windows 95 vhd)


find and select "7-ZIP File Manager" or "7-ZIP FM". if it's not on the list navigate to "C:\Program Files\7-Zip" and select "7zFM.exe"


Once you've done that, 7-ZIP will open showing the contents of the VHD file


Then all you have to do is extract the files to the device you want to use (i don't have a hard drive on hand, so I'll just use a directory)




and you're done, all you have to do now is just insert the hard drive into whatever device you want to boot...

Now for some quick notes:
    If you see this on other forums, don't be alarmed. I will have posted it myself, and that's because not everyone knows about winworld, so i'm just spreading the word to more than one source so everyone can see it and know how to do it. also, i've put black boxes (censors) around my name for privacy reasons. if want to get in contact with me either message me in this forum or use my email ""


  • Ok, so 7Zip supports VHDs. I don't see how it makes a drive bootable.
  • meh...
    Whether a floppy or a hard disk drive, the very first sector of a bootable
    disk ( the boot sector) contains the Master Boot Record (MBR).

    For DOS systems, the MBR will point the computer to two hidden
    start-up files. The first of these files is IO.SYS (or for IBM computers, IBMBIO.COM).
    This must be the very first file (physically) on your boot disk or your disk
    will not boot.

    The second file is called MSDOS.SYS (or IBMDOS.COM for IBM computers).
    This must be the second file (physically) on the boot disk or it will not boot.

    This is why you cannot create a boot disk by simply copying thse files to blank
    disk. They would be on the disk, but they would not be in the proper
    position for the boot process to find them.
  • Or did you know that you can mount a vhd like a hard disk and browse+edit it like a normal drive?


    However, still won't help make a bootable external.
  • 3 simple tools come to mind:



    HDD Raw Copy Tool

    WinImage lets you browse/edit/delete/add/redate files in the VHD and has the option to write to an MBR image.

    The other 2 tools are straightforward VHD to physical drive utils that know how to and are designed to give the desired bootable HD.

    Lots of others out there.

    One advantage of 7zip is that it can open and extract the VHD from OVA files.
  • SomeGuy wrote:
    Ok, so 7Zip supports VHDs. I don't see how it makes a drive bootable.
    well, if it's bootable in Virtualbox, it's do-able using physical hardware, i've done it.
  • Or did you know that you can mount a vhd like a hard disk and browse+edit it like a normal drive?


    However, still won't help make a bootable external.

    yeah... that's true, but at my school using "Windows 7" I can't do it because I don't have Administrator Privileges...

    7-ZIP on the other hand doesn't require Administrator Privileges other than to install it, and my school has 7-ZIP preinstalled on every computer...

    still, good point there :)
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