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Windows® Internals, Sixth Edition, Part 2 by David A. Solomon Mark E. Russinovich and Alex Ionescu

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Virtual Hard Disk Support

Windows includes extensive built-in support for VHD (Virtual Hard Disk, the Microsoft virtual machine disk format) files. Using disk-management utilities, you can create, delete, and merge VHDs, as well as attach them to the system as though they were physical disks. Windows also includes support for booting Windows installations stored in NTFS volumes within VHDs.

There are three types of VHDs, all of which are supported by the VHD functionality in Windows:

  • Dynamic The VHD does not necessarily contain all the blocks it is advertising (thinly provisioned) and will be grown as necessary, up to its maximum size. In other words, the amount of space being consumed by the VHD is equal to the amount of data that is being stored ...

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