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Summary: Microsoft introduced VHDX alongside VHD in Windows Server 2012. VHDX offers higher capacity, data protection, and performance. Users should choose based on needs. Upgrade VHD to VHDX for newer Windows versions and use Kernel software for file recovery.

In the ever-evolving realm of technology, innovative approaches consistently emerge, and the field of virtualization is no exception. Microsoft, in particular, took significant strides with the introduction of Windows Server 2012, bringing forth a multitude of enhancements in this domain. Notably, one pivotal advancement was the incorporation of the VHDX file format. It is crucial to emphasize that Windows Server 2012 not only embraces this new format but also accommodates Hyper-V administrators in their continued utilization of the conventional VHD format. Nevertheless, a central question persists:

“When to Use VHDX or VHD files with Hyper-V?”

So, let us try to understand this more with a comparison between both formats, i.e VHD vs. VHDX.

How do VHD and VHDX differ?

If we try to make a comparison between VHD and VHDX files, these are the major differences:

  • Compatibility: VHD enjoys compatibility with a range of Windows Server editions, including 2008, 2008R2, 2012R2, and 2012. In contrast, VHDX is exclusively supported by Windows Server 2012 and subsequent versions.
  • Capacity: The older VHD file format imposes a storage limitation of 2TB, whereas the newer VHDX format boasts an impressive maximum storage capacity of 64TB.
  • Logical Sectors: The new VHDX format supports 4KB logical sector size which is a nice performance boost. While VHD format file supports logical sector size of 512 bytes only.
  • Data Protection: Another remarkable feature of the VHDX format is its built-in self-protection mechanism, which guards against file corruption resulting from unexpected I/O failures, such as those stemming from sudden power outages. Furthermore, VHDX offers larger block sizes compared to VHD files, particularly beneficial for dynamic and differential disks, while also accommodating custom metadata features.
  • Resizing: Live resizing is possible for VHDX files, whereas it is not possible for VHD files.
  • Data Alignment and Trimming: VHD file format has issues with data alignment while VHDX file offers smooth data alignment. Also the trimming feature is available only in VHDX file formats.
  • Storage Types: : Now, let’s explore the various storage options available with VHDX in Hyper-V. Hyper-V provides two primary types of hard disk storage: fixed and dynamic. Dynamic storage offers the advantage of requiring minimal initial space and expands as you use more space. In contrast, fixed storage maintains a constant size allocation. When it comes to performance, fixed storage tends to be more efficient compared to dynamic storage.

Now that you have a clear understanding of the primary distinctions between VHD and VHDX files, the choice of file format should align with your specific needs and preferences. Ultimately, which one to use depends on your individual requirements. Opt for VHD if you require maximum compatibility or backwards-compatibility. On the other hand, if you prioritize top-tier performance and reliability, VHDX is the better choice. If you’re unsure, it might be worthwhile to experiment with both formats to determine which one best suits your particular situation.

Upgrade of VHD files to VHDX

It’s important to note that the new VHDX format is not compatible with Microsoft Server 2008/2008R2. Therefore, if you plan to deploy your virtual machine on a Microsoft Server 2008/2008R2 running Hyper-V, ensure that your files are in VHD format.

For users of Windows Server 2012 and later versions, it’s highly recommended to upgrade your VHD files to VHDX to take full advantage of the benefits offered by this new format. You can easily convert VHD to VHDX format using the Hyper-V Manager in the Windows Server 2012 User Interface. Simply access the ‘Edit Virtual Hard Disk Wizard’ under ‘Actions > Edit Disk.’ Alternatively, you can utilize PowerShell to perform the conversion from VHD to VHDX format.”

Run the PowerShell as an administrator and run this command for the conversion.
Convert-VHD -Path ‘C:\New Virtual Disks\Fixed Disk.vhd’ -DestinationPath ‘C:\New Virtual Disks\Fixed Disk.vhdx’

So, we get that VHDX files are to be used with Windows Operating System 8 version & above and Windows Server 2012 & higher versions. While for the older versions, use of VHD files is suggested as VHDX files are not supported on these versions.

Protect Your VHD/VHDX Files

Similar to other file formats, VHD and VHDX files can be vulnerable to corruption or data loss due to various factors such as hardware failures, sudden system shutdowns, power outages, or interference from antivirus programs. If you are currently experiencing corruption and subsequent data loss in your VHD or VHDX files, you can confidently opt for the advanced Kernel for VHD Recovery software.

This powerful tool thoroughly scans the virtual hard disk drive and effectively recovers your desired data, including deleted partitions. It provides a preview of the recovered data before allowing you to save it to your preferred destination location on the system drive. The software is capable of successfully repairing VHD and VHDX files from any server version.

To get started, you can download the trial version of the software from the website. Whether you are working with VHD or VHDX file formats, rest assured that your data is in safe hands with this tool.

If you are someone looking for the option to open VND files then, there are many options available to open VHD files, but to open VHD files in VirtualBox is the best to opt for.

Select VHD/VHDX file


In conclusion, let’s recap the essential points from this article. We strongly recommend the use of VHDX files for new Hyper-V deployments, as they offer numerous advantages and features. If you are transitioning from VHDs, there’s no immediate need to convert your disks; however, it’s crucial to use the latest version of Hyper-V Manager for effective management.

Additionally, in the unfortunate event of data loss or corruption in your VHD/VHDX files, we recommend considering our Kernel software as a solution. It can be a lifesaver when dealing with issues in your virtual disk files. When you need to recover data from a Hyper-V virtual machine, don’t hesitate to give this software a try.

Kernel for VHD Recovery