How to Mount VHD Files Without Virtual PC

I use VirtualPC for a lot of the guides you see on this website. The beauty of this application is that changes made on the virtual computers are transparent to the host PC, which means I don’t need to format my computer every six months because it has all the junk that has been left over from the programs I write about. I’ve been using it for quite a while now and there are certain things that have always bothered me, for instance there are times when I need access to files located on virtual hard drive (VHD). This requires that I boot up the virtual PC in order to gain access to those files which at times can be time consuming and inconvenient. Another annoyance is an error that has cropped up several times while transferring large files. Both these issues have left me with the need for a method of accessing these files without having to deal with the error or having to boot up a virtual computer.

I came across a program not too long ago that helped me with these two issues and I wanted to share it with everyone. Gizmo Drive allows users to mount ISO, BIN, CUE, NRG, and VHD files using a Virtual CD-ROM drive. This essentially means that the program emulates a physical DVD/CD drive that you can load images onto. In my case I wanted to mount a .VHD (virtual hard disk) file so that I can access the files on that drive. Thus far the software has met that need and done so in an easy to use and stable experience.

Below I will walk you through the easy process of mounting .vhd files (same for ISO, BIN, CUE, and other Image file formats) so that you too may access the files without opening Virtual PC. If you know of an easier way to load VHD files or have any questions please post them below.

Note: I used Windows Vista and Gizmo 2.7

Before proceeding with this guide, download and install Gizmo

Mount VHD Files

1. Right-click on the Gizmo icon located in the Notification Area on the bottom right corner of the screen. Go to Virtual Drives > Device 1 > Mount Image.

Mount VHD Files

2. Locate the drive (.VHD) file that you wish to mount, select the file and click Mount.

Mount VHD Files

3. Assign an available Drive Letter from the drop-down menu, click OK.

Note: On this screen you are provided with several options;

  • Remount image when Windows starts up: Simply mounts the image whenever the computer boots up, I recommended it if you will be accessing this VHD frequently.
  • Mount image as read only: When enabled, it will not allow you to write onto this drive. I would recommend enabling this option as a safeguard to prevent anything from being added or deleted to the virtual disk.

Mount VHD Files

4. Open Start > Computer and locate the drive letter you assigned to your virtual drive and browse freely without a virtual pc.

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  • Thank you for saving me hours of work. Sometime back I had to return a 500 Gb Seagate Barracuda HDD that was part of a bad batch and needed the firmware replaced. I had not backed up the drive yet and was terrified I would lose my precious data. Fortunately it came back data intact and since then I regularly ran backups.

    The drive recently collapsed completely and had to be replaced. I thought I had the situation in hand after backing up my Windows 7 installation just days before. When I got the replacement drive I reinstalled Win 7 and went to do the restore from backup. That’s when the problems began. It would not recognize the MediaID file and would not restore for some reason.

    So now having read this article and installed Gizmo I have all my important data available to me from the VHD files. It has taken quite a search to find this article and I nearly dumped all my backup files in disgust. Thank you once again and I shall include your RSS in Comment Sniper so I know each time you post an article plus share this URL.

    • Dennis,

      Thanks for the kind words. Glad you found the article and the site useful.
      If you have any suggestions feel free to send me an email.

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  • dino

    I mounted my VHD driive , however the transfer speed is very SLOW, Only 1-2MB/s. How can i acheive faster speed ? Thanks

    • It’s a hit or miss. Depends on the number of files transferred and where the
      VHD is located. I would recommend placing the VHD files locally. Also when
      transferring files limit the number of files transferred. I too have ran
      into this issue and these two steps helped a bit. Hope it helps.