VMFS Recovery™
Recover data from damaged or formatted VMFS disks or VMDK files
Recover data from damaged or formatted VMFS disks or VMDK files
Last updated: Jun 27, 2023

How to Convert VHD to VMDK

Here you will find out:

  • importance of converting VHD to VMDK
  • how to convert VHD to VMDK
  • when DiskInternals can help you

Are you ready? Let's read!

The importance of converting VHD to VMDK

VHD to VMDK converter may be needed when planning to migrate a virtual machine from one hypervisor to another for testing purposes. Also, converting VHD to VMDK will be needed if the virtual disk format for the virtual machine (VM) is incorrectly selected during its creation. After all, you can’t import VHD into VMware products in any way until you convert Hyper-V VHD to VMware VMDK.

This article will tell you in detail how to properly convert VHD to VMDK, and what else you need to know about this problem.


VHD refers to the Hyper-V file format (supports only Hyper-V Generation 1 virtual machines) as a replacement for Microsoft Virtual PC. It is also supported by VirtualBox and is used in the Microsoft Azure cloud. The maximum size of VHD files is 2 TB.

VHDX is already a newer version of the virtual disk format, which is a replacement for the VHD format. The maximum disk capacity is 64 TB, which is significantly more than VHD. VHDX is better protected against power outages compared to the previous format. VHDX virtual disks can be created in Windows 10 and Windows Server 2016 in the "Disk Management" section.

VMDK is an open format for virtual disk images for various hypervisors (VMware, VirtualBox, QEMU, etc.), except Hyper-V. This format is quite common because of its high compatibility with various virtualization applications. Here, the maximum virtual disk size is 62 TB. VMDK virtual disks have several options: sparse, monolithic, split, flat, as well as thin and thick with provision.

How to open VHD, VHDX, and VMDK files with DiskInternals

DiskInternals VMFS Recovery is suitable for this purpose. Open the application and mount the files. Now, you can simply open them and browse them calmly.

You can also use the DiskInternals Linux Reader to mount files and open them.

What can you do for the safety of VHD, VHDX, VMDK files?

Use also DiskInternals VMFS Recovery (or Linux Reader) to create a disk image for file security.

Having a disk image, you can always return to the saved state of the system with the previous parameters and data. This is very convenient and does not burden you at all, but you will have a “safety cushion” for free.

Qemu-img to convert VHD to VMDK on Linux or Windows

QEMU is an open-source machine emulation and virtualization utility that is used to convert virtual disks from one format to another. That is, you can use it to convert VHD to VMDK, as well as convert Hyper-V to VMware virtual disks. The program runs under Windows and Linux.

  1. 1. Convert VHD to VMDK using qemu-img on Linux:

Download qemu-img from online storage:

sudo apt-get install qemu-utils

Next, go to the directory where the virtual disk images are stored. For example, the path is:


Check the VHDX file and use the sudo su command to get administrator rights. Next, view the necessary information about the VHD image and the VHDX virtual disk. The commands for this, respectively:

qemu-img info test-disk.vhd

qemu-img info /media/user2/data/WinServer2016.vhdx

Now, we proceed to directly convert the VHD formats to VMDK.

The command for this is as follows:

qemu-img convert /media/user2/data/WinServer2016.vhdx -O vmdk /media/user2/data/WinServer2016 qemu.vmdk -p


p - progress bar

O - determine the format of the output file

Now, you need to wait for the conversion process to complete.

  1. 2. If you use Windows, then your actions will be as follows:

As soon as qemu-img is downloaded from the official website, extract the files from the downloaded archive and then run the Windows command prompt (CMD). You must have administrator rights.

Now, you need the directory:

cd C:\Programs\qemu-img

Next, qemu-img commands on Linux are similar to Windows.

Then, start converting VHD to VMDK on Windows using the command line:

qemu-img.exe convert -p c:\Virtual\Hyper-V\test-disk.vhd -O vmdk c:\Virtual\Hyper-V\test-disk .vmdk


O - output file

p - show progress

Also, you need to wait for the process to complete.

VMFS Recovery for VMDK files recovery

DiskInternals VMFS Recovery will also help you recover damaged or missing VMDK files.

All settings and application options are configured at a professional level, but at the same time, the interface is quite intuitive even for a novice user. The application works with both faulty and working virtual disks. As soon as you see a window with the scan results, you can view them for free. To do this, there is a preview function at no cost. Then you decide on the possible acquisition of a license to export data.

Algorithm for DiskInternals VMFS Recovery:

1. Download and install the software on your laptop or computer.

2. Establish an SSH connection or go to the next step.

3. Left-click on the local drive or SSH and open it.

4. After scanning the disk, mount the found VMDK files.

5. Now, browse for free data found.

After that, the export of data will begin (purchase of a license is mandatory at this stage).

Learn more about VHD recovery!

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