How To Convert VMDK To VHD in 5 Minutes

Posted by Marcus on February 13, 2019

This is a complete guide on converting VMDK to VHD that explains virtualization, differences in VHD and VMDK files as well as the top 2 tools for conversion. Scroll down for the conversion GUIDE, if you want to skim over the introduction details. We show the process of converting VMDK to VHD using 2Tware’s conversion tool that is compatible with both Windows and Linux.

In this article we cover:

  • What is virtualization: 101
  • Is virtualization FREE?
  • How does Vmware work?
  • How to convert VMDK to VHD in 4 steps

We also mention WinImage which converts the same but for older versions of Windows. If you you’re running a Windows older than XP (for instance, Win NT, 95, 98, etc) you’ll want to install WinImage for conversion. If you’re on Windows 7 or later you should stick to 2Tware’s converter because it doesn’t bug.

Hold Up: What The Hell Is Virtualization?

To explain this like I would to a 7 year old, if you have a computer and you want to expand its abilities by installing a different OS (this is how people install Mac OS on Windows machines), you have to run the OS virtually on the machine. You could literally “hack” every piece of hardware and install something you’re not supposed to – virtualization is popular for running Windows on Mac machines and/or even installing Mac OS on Windows machines (which the company itself fights against).

You could technically install a Mac OS on a regular non-Apple PC if you install a virtualization app and then run Mac OS from there. The virtualization software will work on every OS: Windows, Linux, Mac. Virtualization also has numerous professional uses such as booting Android from a PC. If you’ve made it as far as converting VMDK files to VHD, you probably know of the numerous uses.

Is Virtualization FREE?

Yes – and the most popular virtualization program Vmware is available for free download. It’s used by millions of people around the world and you could install it on your Windows laptop or Macbook machine. Vmware is compatible with all hardware.

How Does Vmware Work?

Basically Vmware is the main software that allows you to boot OS’s on a device. It serves as a “disk manger” meaning you it reads images like VMDK images as a “disk” and allows you get to work. Let’s say you want VMware to read your OS – you would usually have something downloaded in VMDK format, which is the typical Vmware-compatible format.

The problem is that Microsoft also has a huge slice of the virtualization pie and their format of choice is VHD. What happens when you want to run the VHD file on Vmware, which only accepts VMDK files? The answer is: you convert your file.

Is Conversion Expensive?

No, conversion is free (and fast!)- all you have to do is download software that will convert your “disk” to the appropriate format. In this case we’re converting a VMDK file and we want to convert an Android VMDK image to VHD which makes it compatible with Microsoft virtualization software. Scroll below to see a detailed guide showcasing the conversion.

How To Convert VMDK to VHD In 5 Minutes:

  • STEP 1: DOWNLOAD 2Tware’s converter

Head over to the CNET’s download page or Google “2Tware convert VHD”. 2Tware won’t ask you for any information like your email/personal info and you can download the software from the website. You could use mirrors but it’s best to download the latest version from the official CNET website:

Hit “Download now” and it will download the installer on your computer.

  • STEP 2: Install 2Tware Converter

This is a straight-forward process and you could leave the default settings here because it takes under 30 seconds to install the software:

  • STEP 3: Browse and select the VMDH image

NOTE: You ONLY need the upper box here, don’t make the mistake of using the lower “Convert Physical Disk to VHD” option. Basically you have to select your VMDH image in the “Source VMDH” box. For this demo, we select an Android VMDH file:

Under “Destination VHD” you want to select where you want the program to output the converted file. This should be somewhere you have available space. The Android file we’re converting is 2.6GB. We named the converted file “converted.vhd”. Now hit convert and wait for the program to convert the VMDK file:

  • STEP 4: SUCCESS! Use your converted VHD file.

2Tware is very fast and it converted our 2.6GB file in under 2 minutes! This will depend on your computer speed, but in most cases it takes minutes. You will get a prompt by the converter saying “Convert Success” once the conversion goes through successfully:

Now the “converted.vhd” file is available on our desktop. It’s only 500MB smaller than the VMDK original which was 2.6GB (this one is 2.1GB):

Congrats! The VMDK to VHD conversion process takes only a few minutes. We’ve tried every tool in the shed and 2Tware’s is hands down the fastest, most reliable tool for converting VMDK to VHD. The best part is that 2Tware doesn’t require opt-ins or any payment/subscription, it’s 100% free and available directly from CNET’s website. If you have an older version of Windows, we suggest using WinImage which works similar to 2Tware but is better for older versions like XP, 2000 and 95.


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