Windows 10 How to create a Virtual Hard Drive
Windows 10 How to create a Virtual Hard Drive

In Windows 10, a virtual hard disk (VHDX or VHD) works in the same way as a physical hard drive but the hard drive is contained within the virtual system. The virtual hard disk is a file using either the “.vhdx” or “.vhd” extension on Windows. You can use the virtual drive as a hard drive, CD drive, or RAM disk. In this guide we will show how to create such a virtual drive in Windows 10.

The multiple uses of a virtual hard disk can extend your disk management capabilities on Windows 10 and have various benefits. Importantly, creating a vhdx or vhd on Windows 10 is no longer a complicated process. For Ramdisks, a virtual hard disk, or virtual DVD drive, generating a virtual drive is relatively simple.

Creating a virtual drive in Windows 10 is certainly useful for numerous situations. For example, loading a DVD image in ISO format, partitioning ramdisk for apps that hog system performance, or creating a drive that is secured by a password.

While a traditional hard disk is a physical component in a Windows 10 PC, a virtual drive is just simulated by the platform as a separate drive while the holding file might be stored anywhere on your system . The data in the drive is available in files or folders, which are represented by software in the operating system as a drive.

Windows 10: How to Create a virtual drive as a hard drive

In order to create a virtual drive as a normal hard drive, the “Disk management” built into Windows 10 is the best place to start. You can find this by right-clicking on the Start menu and via the alternative context menu.

Windows 10 - Open Disk Management
Windows 10 – Open Disk Management

In “Disk Management” you click on “Action” in the menu above and select “Create virtual hard disk“.

Windows 10 - Disk Management Actrion - Create Virtual Hard Disk (Create VHD)
Windows 10 – Disk Management Actrion – Create Virtual Hard Disk (Create VHD)

In the settings window you first click on “Browse” to specify the location of your virtual drive.

Windows 10 - Create and Attach Virtual Hard Disk
Windows 10 – Create and Attach Virtual Hard Disk

Then you select the desired folder and enter a file name. All data on the virtual hard disk will be written to this file later.

Windows 10 - Create and Attach Virtual Hard Disk - Location and File Name
Windows 10 – Create and Attach Virtual Hard Disk – Location and File Name

Next you choose the desired size of the virtual hard disk, format and type.  We recommend the standard format VHD and “Dynamically expandable” for reasons of flexibility.

Windows 10 - Create and Attach Virtual Hard Disk - Set size, format, type
Windows 10 – Create and Attach Virtual Hard Disk – Set size, format, type

You can then see the virtual hard disk in the data carrier list, but it still must be initialized. You can do this by right-clicking on the data carrier label on the left and selecting “Data carrier initialization“.

Windows 10 - Disk Management - Initialize Disk
Windows 10 – Disk Management – Initialize Disk

In the selection window for the partition style you can accept the default “MBR” by clicking on “OK“.

Windows 10 - Disk Management - Select partition style
Windows 10 – Disk Management – Select partition style

After initializing, you click with the right mouse button in the dashed area in the disk overview and select “New simple volume“.

Windows 10 - Disk Management - New Simple Volume
Windows 10 – Disk Management – New Simple Volume

An assistant opens, which you start by clicking on “Next“.

Windows 10 - Disk Management - Create Volume - Wizard
Windows 10 – Disk Management – Create Volume – Wizard

As the volume size, you accept the default setting and click “Next“.

Windows 10 - Disk Management - Create Volume - Wizard - Size
Windows 10 – Disk Management – Create Volume – Wizard – Size

Then you give your virtual hard disk an available drive letter, such as “V” for “virtual”.

Windows 10 - Disk Management - Create Volume - Wizard - Drive Letter
Windows 10 – Disk Management – Create Volume – Wizard – Drive Letter

Then you must select a file system and can enter a “drive name”. “NTFS” is the best option on Windows 10. After clicking on “Next” your new virtual hard disk will be formatted and automatically recognized in Windows 10.

Windows 10 - Disk Management - Create Volume - Wizard - Select name and format
Windows 10 – Disk Management – Create Volume – Wizard – Select name and format

You can then use the virtual drive in File Manager just like any other hard drive.

Windows 10 - File Explorer - Virtual Hard Disk
Windows 10 – File Explorer – Virtual Hard Disk

Windows 10: How to Create a virtual DVD drive

Unlike in the case of virtual hard drives, you have to install additional software for virtual CD, DVD or Blu-ray drives. The most popular applications for this purpose are “Daemon Tools” and “Virtual CloneDrive”. With those apps you can mount image files from optical data carriers as a virtual drive. In the case of Virtual CloneDrive, this can be done conveniently just using double-click.

Windows 10 - Virtual CloneDrive
Windows 10 – Virtual CloneDrive

Windows 10: How to Create a virtual drive as a RAM disk

With a RAM disk, you use part of your super-fast RAM for a virtual drive. In this separate tutorial we show you how you can create even use permanent RAM Disk.

SoftPerfect RAM Disk - RAM-DISK in File Explorer
SoftPerfect RAM Disk + RAM-DISK in File Explorer