Convert VHD to VMDK

Nov 14, 2014
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Recently I found myself in a situation where I had a .VHD file and wanted to upload and attach it to one of my VMs in ESXi server. Easy enough, right!! Well, not as easy as I thought.Apparently the Microsoft Hyper-v version of the virtual hard disk(.VHD) is not directly compatible with the format of other VMWare product such as VMware Workstation, VMware Player, VMware Server, VMware Fusion or something like VMWare ESXi. My assumption was that ESXi will be able to accept .VHD file and attach is just fine with the existing VM but that is not true.

After doing some research online I figured that .VHD file can not be attached directly. So what I ended up doing is

  • Converting the .VHD file to .VMDK file.
  • Then uploading .VMDK file to the ESXi Data Store
  • Attaching the .VMDK file as a Hard Drive to my Existing VM

Anyway, the point is, I wanted to list out some of the free tools available out there for someone like me who wants to move the Hyper-V .VHD files to VMWare infrastructure.

Of course I did not use all of these tools but just wanted to list them out here for some who is interested in using one of these utilities. I am sure, there are plenty of other tools available. You can also use Oracle VM VirtualBox VBoxManage.exe application to convert between different formats of the virtual hard drivers.

Also be careful if you are planning to use VMWare vCenter Converter because that only converts the live VHD meaning you can not just point it to non attached .VHD file and convert to .VMDK

What I ended up using was WinImage and I following is the step by step tutorial on who to convert .VHD file to .VMDK file using WinImage.

Be mindful that WinImage is something you have to buy. For me this was not an issue because they provide 30 Day trial version and this conversion was a just a one time deal for me.

Install and open WinImage.

Convert VHD to VMDK Free

Go to Disk menu and select the option "Convert Virtual Hard Disk Image"

Convert VHD to VMDK Free

Select the source .VHD file.

Convert VHD to VMDK Free

Select if you want it to be fixed size or a dynamically expanding Virtual Hard disk.

Convert VHD to VMDK Free

Select the destination location and type of the file you want to save it as (.VMDK)

Convert VHD to VMDK Free

Go ahead and click save and you will see a progress bar showing you the conversion process.

After the conversion is complete, it will ask you to attach the converted Virtual Hard Disk file to one of the partition in your current OS. Ignore that and you now have your original .VHD file converted as .VMDK. Have fun.