How to mount a VHD under Vista by double clicking

[for Windows 7 read this post

In my daily work I use a lot of Virtual PC images (VHD) so my host Vista system will stay clean of beta and test software. To get to the files I stored inside a Virtual PC images I normally start the Virtual PC and drag and drop them to my host system. This can be more efficient using the command line tool VHDMount. You mount the VHD and can read and write the files like a normal hard disk in your host system. By importing a small registry file you don’t need the command line anymore and can mount and unmount (dismount) the VHD.

VHD Mount

This is what you need to do to mount a VHD inside Vista by double clicking.

  1. Microsoft Virtual PC

    1. Download "Microsoft Virtual PC 2007" from the following link:

    2. Install "Microsoft Virtual PC 2007" normally by double clicking.

  2. Microsoft VHD Mount

    1. VHD Mount is part of "Microsoft Virtual Server 2005 R2 SP1".

    2. Download "Microsoft Virtual Server 2005 R2 SP1 - Enterprise Edition" from the following link:

    3. Install (using the custom setup option) only the VHD Mount tool.

  3. Double clicking VHD integration in Vista

    1. Create a text file and rename it to vhdmount.reg.

    2. Edit the vhdmount.reg file and add the following lines:

      Windows Registry Editor Version 5.00



      @="\"C:\\Program Files\\Microsoft Virtual Server\\Vhdmount\\vhdmount.exe\" /u /c \"%1\""


      @="\"C:\\Program Files\\Microsoft Virtual Server\\Vhdmount\\vhdmount.exe\" /p \"%1\""


    3. Run the vhdmount.reg file.

Comments (20)
  1. Wes says:

    Just swinging by to say Hi and thanks for posting this tip — greatly appreciated!

  2. Almost right says:

    You need to add a /d or /c to the dismount command for discard or commit changes so the line should be:


    @=""C:\Program Files\Microsoft Virtual Server\Vhdmount\vhdmount.exe" /u /d "%1""

    For dismount changes or


    @=""C:\Program Files\Microsoft Virtual Server\Vhdmount\vhdmount.exe" /u /c "%1""

    For commit changes

  3. Instructions seem missing something.

    Created vhdmount.req file but cannot run it. It is not an executable file?

    Also the comments by PM indicate the the registry key settings should be different.

    Is this correct?

  4. Dermott – the extension of the registry file is .REG, it is only difficult to read by the underline.

    I updated the post and added the dismount command /c option.

  5. KComp says:

    First, thanks for the info, very handy and to the point but I’ve noticed that with each mount a new device is discovered and a new

    MS Virtual Server SCSI Disk Device

    entry is made in the registry


    Or you can see them in the device manager using commands or batch file.



    Then in the view menu selecting Show hidden

    Not that it matters too much in my case but someone doing this a lot is going to end up with lots of hidden no more used device listings in the registry. Just a heads up. Thanks again.

  6. KComp says:

    Just add to this, it doesn’t seem to redetect the device when don’t dismount and restart the computer and mount again.

  7. KComp says:

    I guess I should have tried this some more, it doesn’t redetect everytime the same vhd is mounted but it did a couple of times.

  8. WW says:

    I’m just wondering, how do I actually access the disc once I’ve mounted it?

  9. You can access your files like on a normal hard drive, for example D: or E: (depending on your configuration). You shoed see a new drive letter.

  10. James says:

    There is only one additional action required if you have UAC enabled – go to the location of vhdmount.exe and in compatibility properties check ‘Run as the administrator’ to make this working.

  11. Lately I have been running into the following error message when unplugging a VHD file that I mounted

  12. b2dac says:

    I recommend using the /f switch so that an undo disk does not get created by default. All changes are then written directly to disk, like you would expect.

  13. Bryan says:

    This is Frustrating!!  Using best practices..running as a restricted user..meaning I have to run as everything as administrator with domain admin credentials.  You can’t mount as a restricted I open command prompt and type my administrator credentials.  I added C:\Program Files\Microsoft Virtual Server\Vhdmount to my paths in system variables.

    So I run, vhdmount /m /f WCUeBriefcase.Staging.vhd K  As and administrator and I get this message below..and It never mounts!!

    The Virtual Hard Disk is successfully plugged in as a virtual disk device. However, not all the volumes on the disk were successfully mounted. Use Disk Manager

    to mount the volumes.

    My God why can’t Microsoft just get it together and make a nice tool like vmware. It’s like you have to pull teeth for everything you do.  Sorry I had to vent.

    If anyone can help me out..much appreciated.



  14. win 7 says:

    trying to do this under windows 7 but it’s always giving me an message, something like:

    The specified virtual hard disk <snip> is being plugged in using the default Undo Disk option.  Use /c to commit or /d to discard the changes to the mounted disk.

    Then there was one more line that I couldn’t read before the thing cmd window disappeared, but not drives that I could see.

  15. Jeff says:

    I tried this and followed all the instructions carefully. Everything appears to work (no errors) but nothing happens (no new hard drive letter.)

    So, I’m loading a full vpc install to see if I can access my vhd once it’s up and running.

  16. Bob Dole says:

    I get the same problem, here is the issue, not sure how to fix.  This drive i’m mounting (my backup from vista) is greater than 128GB (even if the file isn’t the file thinks it is…) so it has be mounted as a scsi virtual device with vhdmount, i can do this fine within virtual server, but no joy using vhdmount, any hidden options to associate it with virtual scsi controller?

  17. Windows 7 has native support for VHD mounting (and booting). In my earlier blog post about VHD mounting

  18. Jez says:

    Getting similar issues with Vista x64.  using /m and /f VHDMount says the drive has been plegged in ans has been mounted but no new drive appears.  In computer management the drive is shown as active but with no drive letter and the only option allowed for it is to delete the volume – cant assign a drive letter to it?

    Anyone have any ideas?

  19. Derek says:

    Try manually installing both INF files in teh vhdmount folder through add hardware… Then after mounting the drive (may have to unmount then remount), go into device manager and look for the warning symbol under Disk drives. Right click, update driver, and point it to the directory holding the INF files.

  20. sampath says:

    Just what i was looking for…..thanks!!!

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