Two Simple Methods to Repair Damaged and Corrupt VHD Files

Pooja Chaudhary | Updated On - 08 Sep 2021 |

Read time 7 min

Corruption of VHD files can lead to loss of essential files and folders including the boot files. Let’s discuss what this VHD file is all about, its reasons for corruption and how can you solve it using PowerShell commands locally on your machine.

Know About VHD File

VHD is a format for Virtual Hard Disk Drive. It is primarily used for backing up a system image. The data on your hard drive can also be stored to VHD. But a VHD file is vulnerable to corruption issues that make it unavailable to be used on a Virtual Machine.

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Reasons for VHD File Corruption

There could be many possible reasons for corruption of VHD files, like:

  • Virus infection: It is a very common reason behind corruption of VHD file. Once a system is attacked, it ruins files on the system including the VHD files.
  • Failure of storage media: Due to corruption or failure of storage media, the files become inaccessible, and with that VHD file also gets corrupted.
  • Abrupt system shutdown: Accidental or sudden closure of your computer can cause severe damage to software and hardware of your PC. Also, if the Virtual Machine is active at that moment, then it may lead to the corruption or damage of VHD file.
  • Paused state of Virtual Machines: If we do not notice the early signs of VM (Virtual Machines) failure or paused state of Virtual Machines, it leads to VHD file damage.
  • Due to human errors: Intentional/accidental deletion or removal of stored files, registry modification errors, force shutdown of the system, and improper disk management are some of the human errors that can damage VHD files.

How to repair a damaged and corrupt VHD file?

As we have discussed a bit about VHD files and the reasons for corruption and damage in a VHD file, now let’s move towards the solution. As we have studied and researched, we have come up with the two best solutions to deal with this scenario. Have a look at the solutions and the processes mentioned below:

Repair Your VDH File Using PowerShell Commands

Many VHD repair methods can be performed to restore your virtual hard disks after corruption issues. Here, the commands used to scan and restore the VHD file are explained one by one.

  1. Command to scan an image for corruption
    • Command: Dism /Online /Clean-Image /CheckHealth
    • Description: This command scans the file completely to check for corruption.
  2. Command for checking an image for corruption
    • Command: Dism /Online /Cleanup-Image /ScanHealth
    • Description: This command will check whether the image file is corrupted or not and will specify whether it can be repaired or not.
  3. Command for repairing and restoring from corruption
    • Command: Dism /Online /Clean-Image /RestoreHealth
    • Description: This command will automatically perform the repair if it finds corruption.
      command will automatically perform the repair if it finds corruption

Fix the damaged VHD File by creating Virtual Server

Another way to fix a VHD file is by creating a virtual server. This method is very cost-effective also. Virtual servers are hosted on an operating system and are designed to share software as well as hardware resources. Without making any further delay, let’s learn how to do this:

  1. Start with creating a virtual server.
  2. Once created, connect a hard drive to it. You can add it by clicking on the Settings option.
  3. After the successful addition of the hard drive, browse the desired VHD file for the further process.
  4. Once done, make a click on the Virtual Disk Wizard and select a Compact.
  5. Check the box next to Convert it to a fixed size virtual hard disk.
  6. Once you have performed all the above steps successfully, save the VHD file at the desired location on your system.

So, this is how you can fix a damaged VHD file with two different methods. There are possible chances that one of these two methods would work for you. But in any case, if none of them is providing you the results you desire, we would recommend you to read further.

Simpler Method to Fix VHD Corruption

The manual techniques to repair VHD files from damages and corruption are not that easy; sometimes even PowerShell commands do not work. In such a case, it is best that you go for a third-party tool, Kernel for VHD Recovery. It is a professional tool specially designed to recover VHD files from severe corruption and damages. The important features of the VHD Recovery tool include recovery of lost and permanently deleted files, retrieval of data from corrupt VHD partitions, quick file searching for specific files after recovery, user-friendly and interactive GUI, and more. Hence, I strongly recommend using the trial version of this software to experience the features and decide for yourself.

For better assistance with the tool process, given below are the detailed steps to guide you throughout the process:

  1. Open Kernel VHD Recovery tool.
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  3. Click Select (1), open damaged or corrupt VHD file, and click on Quick Scan (2) button.
    Select damaged file to repair
    Note: You can try Extensive Scan and File Trace modes in case if the VHD file is corrupt or damaged badly.
  4. Select Virtual Hard Disk 0 (1) and click Next (2).Select VHD file
  5. Select Partition (0) and click Scan (2).
    Select partition and start scan
    Note: If you’d created multiple partitions in the VHD then, all partitions will be listed in the left section.
  6. Once the scan is complete, Kernel VHD Recovery will display all VHD file content, as shown below.

    Tick-mark all or required file(s) and folder(s) (1) and click on Recover (2) button.
    Select files to recover
    Note: To make sure of file integrity and data hierarchy, you may preview items by clicking on them.

  7. Select a location to save and click Ok.Select a location to save files
  8. Wait for the recovery process to complete, click Ok.Recovery is successful

Kernel VHD Recovery tool has completed the Virtual Hard Disk file recovery successfully.


Practicing native methods helps to eliminate the standing issue but it doesn’t guarantee a resolution, and that being the reason, the use of third-party tools with dedicated functionalities is recommended, Kernel VHD Recovery utilize advanced algorithms to overcome such corruption issues.

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