d7x uses integrations with both Sysinternals Disk2VHD and TeraByte Unlimited’s Image for Windows software (each with their own strengths and weaknesses) to create disk images of live systems, resulting in VHD (Virtual Hard Disk) files. In this way, you can for example create an image of a live system that you can then boot inside a Virtual Machine. In d7x, visit the Data Backup > Disk Imaging (Create VHD) tab to get started.
Before using either software, you must select a location and filename at the top of this tab; type in a fully qualified path or click the Save As button to select/create one. Once you start a backup, the path/filename you select will be saved in this field’s dropdown list for future usage.
Using Sysinternals Disk2VHD
Two options exist for using Disk2VHD:
Create VHD (This PC) – use this button to create a standard VHD file which is useful for mounting to retrieve files, and may boot in Virtual PC, but will NOT boot UEFI based systems.
Create VHDX (This PC) – use this button to create a VHDX file which is useful for mounting to retrieve files, and may boot in Virtual PC, but is NOT compatible with VirtualBox.
Naturally, d7x will automatically download Disk2VHD for this functionality.
Using TeraByte Unlimited – Image for Windows
This option creates a standard VHD file (technically a VHDD format) useful for mounting to retrieve files, and you can expect the output file to boot successfully in both Virtual PC and VirtualBox (and yes, it will even boot UEFI based guest systems in VirtualBox!) This is a huge advantage over either format as created from Sysinternals Disk2VHD.
If you don’t already have an installed copy of Image for Windows, d7x will automatically download and install the 30-day trial version in order to create the VHD file. There is no limitation placed on the resulting VHD file if the trial version is used. You can select the “Uninstall Image for Windows…” checkbox to automatically uninstall the trial software after the VHD file has been created. Of course if Image for Windows is already installed on a machine, that version is used rather than downloading the trial (and of course, a pre-existing installation will NOT be uninstalled even with this checkbox selected.)
VHD Size in GB – Technically the VHD file is a VHDD file (the extra D meaning “Dynamic”) and this selection is for the size in GB of the virtual hard disk (as seen by the virtual OS booting this VHD) NOT the size of the actual VHD file itself (which will only be as large as necessary to hold all imaged data.) While specifying your own VHDD size is an advantage over using Sysinternals Disk2VHD, it is IMPORTANT that with this option you must manually select/input a size in GB equal to or larger than the actual size of the data on the disk you are backing up!
Create VHD (This PC) – This button starts the process.
A link also exists at the bottom of this tab to purchase any TeraByte Unlimited products with an exclusive coupon code. Click the blue link and you will be offered the option to copy the coupon code to the clipboard before opening the TeraByte website. Full disclosure: Visiting the TeraByte website through the link in d7x will also allow us to receive a small commission on any product you purchase.