How to install an Operating System without formatting the Hard Disk ( in a Virtual Hard Disk )

Many of you may want to upgrade your operating system but cannot do so because you fear that all your data will be lost ( you do not have a backup of your data). Well, this will solve your problem. Here, you will be taught how to install an operating system into a Virtual Hard Disk (VHD) without losing your data


  • Your computer should be running Windows 7
  • Your computer has a  decent amount of RAM 
  • Your computer has a DVD Drive or can boot  from a pendrive.
  • If you want to boot the Windows 8 Installation from a USB, then you need a USB stick (Pen Drive) with min 4GB size.
Step 1: Get a valid ISO image of the Operating System you want to install. You can try the Microsoft Windows 8.1 – 90 day trial here. Download the ISO.
Step 2: Create a bootable Pen Drive. If you don’t know how to do it follow these steps
  • Download Rufus (software used for creating bootable Pen Drive) here .
  • Run Rufus
  • Select the Device (Pen Drive) from which you want to boot.
  • Click on the drive image to select the Windows or Ubuntu ISO file.
  • Click start, a message will appear saying that all of you USB data will be deleted and the USB will be formatted.
  • This process may take a few minutes. When the process ends, click on close
  • All Done.
    Creating a bootable USB with Rufus
Step 3: Boot from the USB device. This can be done generally by entering the BIOS and selecting the USB device for booting.
Step 4: Select the setup language. Press Next.
Step 5: On the next screen do not select Install option. Instead of this please press Shft+F10, to start the command promt.
Step 6: Type Diskpart and press Enter.
Step 7: Within this Diskpart we will now create a new Virtual Hard Disk on the REAL Hard Disk.
Step 8: Type in “list disk” without quotes and press Enter, now type “list volume” also without quotes  to find your actual Data partition, in our case the partition E.
Step 9: Create the virtual hard disk with the command  create vdisk file=”E:win8.vhd” type=expandable maximum=30000. Press Enter
Step 10: Type select vdisk file=”e:win8.vhd” . Press Enter .Then type attach vdisk. Press Enter.This will attach the VHD to the remaining installation process. Leave diskpart with the command exit and close the command prompt again with the command exit

Ctreating VHD using Command prompt
Step 11: Continue with your Windows-8-Installation by pressing Install  
Step 12: Select the “Custom: Install Windows only (advanced)”
Step 13: Select this disk to install Windows 8 on it and just ignore the error “Windows can’t be installed on to this drive”
Note: Please select the newly created VHD file (about 30 GB).
Now press Next to start the installation of Windows 8. The new OS will be installed into this VHD file and all your files would be left untouched.
Windows 8.1 setup
Howdy! I’m Shashwat Lahiri a tech. geek from India, Lucknow. I love computer games, computer hardware, smartphones, and … FOOD! I am a Pro Gamer and SMM expert.


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