How to Recover Data from Virtual Disk (VHD Files)?
Virtual Hard Disk (VHD) is a file format that represents a virtual hard disk drive. VHDs have the same features and properties as physical drives; the difference is that they cannot be touched physically (if it is not a physical drive where the VHD is saved). A VHD file typically contains a boot record, file systems, disk partitions, and folders/files.
VHD files may be mounted directly to a Windows PC running Windows 7 or later versions, despite the fact that they are normally used for logical drives in a virtual machine environment. Furthermore, virtual hard drives can get corrupted, accidentally erased, or destroyed for a variety of causes, which results in data loss even if they cannot be physically handled (if the VHD is saved on a non-physical drive).
In this article you will find out:
- How to Recover Data from Virtual Disk
- What Actually is a Virtual Hard Disk
- Reasons for Data Loss in Virtual Systems
Ready? Let's read!
How to Recover Data from Virtual Disk
When a VHD file is corrupted, it becomes difficult – sometimes impossible – to access the files and data. But then, it is possible to recover files from virtual disks. However, the process requires the use of a professional data recovery software like DiskInternals VMFS Recovery.
DiskInternals VMFS Recovery stands out from other virtual disk data recovery programs out there because it offers a suite of built-in handy tools and features:
- Designed to clearly read VHD,
- Recovers information from corrupted or healthy VHD drives,
- Recovers remotely in online mode (no shutdown is required),
- Recovers VHD drives stored on corrupted and inaccessible hard drives,
- Automated recovery includes step-by-step recovery wizard,
- Virtual drives can be mounted as local disks accessible by Windows Explorer etc,
- Windows restrictions are bypassed by recovery process!
Also, the software can recover your VHD file irrespective of how it got lost – hard drive partition damage, accidental deletion, wrong formatting, or any other scenario.
To get started, download the trial version; this trial version is fully functional and also allows you to preview the recovered files for FREE
Step 1: Select Your Virtual Disk Drive (The Physical Drive, Actually)
Launch the DiskInternals VMFS Recovery software – the Recovery Wizard will launch automatically too – select the disk where you had saved the VHD file and choose a scanning/recovery mode.
Step 2: Scan The Drive
You may start with the Fast Recovery mode, which is pretty fast and time-saving. However, if you want to do a wholesome recovery to repair corrupt or damaged files, choose the Full Recovery mode. While the recovery scan is ongoing, DiskInternals VMFS Recovery will automatically examine and structure/fix bad sectors on the disk.
Step 3: Preview and Recover Your Data
Once the scan is complete, the deleted files will be marked with a red asterisk – search carefully and find the VHD file you were looking to recover.
DiskInternals VMFS Recovery lets you preview recovered files for free, which means you can preview the files you just recovered to figure out the ones that are more important to re-save to your computer.
Part 2: What Actually is a Virtual Hard Disk?
Put simply, a virtual hard disk (abbreviated as VHD) is a computer storage drive you cannot touch physically (if it is not a physical drive where the VHD is saved). A VHD functions like a typical hard disk drive (HDD) or solid-state drive (SSD), but you can’t just remove it or tamper with it physically. Notwithstanding, VHDs can be tampered with – the features and properties can be changed.
Virtual hard disks are used with a virtual machine; so to say, every virtual machine is linked to a virtual hard drive where the virtual machine’s files and important configuration data are stored. VHDs can be formatted with any file system, depending on the purpose. Also, you can install and run operating systems through virtual disks – this shows that a VHD is the same as a physical drive.
A virtual hard disk may be set up to have a flexible or fixed storage capacity; actually, the storage size is controlled by the parent OS or virtualization manager software.
Part 3: Reasons for Data Loss in Virtual Systems
Everything that could cause data loss to a physical HDD or SSD can also cause data loss on virtual hard drives. However, hereunder are some of the most common reasons for data loss on virtual hard drives or disks – whichever you choose to call them.
- Reformatting: If you reformat the VHD (or the physical drive where the VHD is saved), it could lead to data loss.
- Corruption: If the virtual machine files or the VMFS datastore volumes are corrupted, it could lead to data loss.
- Hardware Failures: Hardware failure can occur due to power surges or OS crashes. If the physical hard drive fails, the VHD stored inside will most likely fail too.
- RAID Problems: If the VHD is saved on a RAID array, any problem with the array will lead to the loss of the VHD file.
- Accidental Deletion: The system user may accidentally delete the VHD file.
Conclusively, this article explains how to perform data recovery on virtual hard disk drives (VHDs). The process is all about installing a powerful data recovery solution and launching a Full Recovery on the physical drive where the VHD is stored.
How do I recover data from a virtual disk?
To recover data from a virtual disk, you can try the following steps:
1. Check the virtual disk: Ensure that the virtual disk is not damaged or corrupted. You can try to mount the virtual disk and see if it is accessible.
2. Use data recovery software: If the virtual disk is recognized but inaccessible, you can try using data recovery software to recover the data. There are several data recovery software options available online that can help recover data from a virtual disk.
3. Create a new virtual disk: If the virtual disk is damaged or corrupted, you may need to create a new virtual disk and try to recover the data from the old virtual disk. You can use disk cloning software to create a copy of the old virtual disk and then attempt data recovery on the cloned disk.
4. Seek professional data recovery services: If the above steps do not work, you may need to seek the help of a professional data recovery service. They have specialized tools and techniques to retrieve data from virtual disks that are severely damaged or corrupted.
What is virtual drive recovery?
Virtual drive recovery is the process of retrieving lost, damaged, or deleted data from a virtual drive. A virtual drive is a type of software-based storage device that emulates a physical drive, such as a hard drive, CD/DVD, or USB drive. Virtual drives are often used in virtualization environments, where multiple virtual machines share the same physical resources.
How do I reset my virtual hard drive?
To reset a virtual hard drive, you can try the following steps:
1. Shut down the virtual machine: Ensure that the virtual machine that uses the virtual hard drive is turned off.
2. Backup your virtual hard drive: It's always a good idea to backup your virtual hard drive before resetting it. You can create a copy of the virtual hard drive file and store it in a safe location.
3. Delete the virtual hard drive: Open your virtualization software, navigate to the virtual hard drive settings, and delete the virtual hard drive. This will remove the virtual hard drive from the virtual machine configuration.
4. Create a new virtual hard drive: Once the old virtual hard drive is deleted, you can create a new virtual hard drive with the same specifications as the old one.
5. Configure the new virtual hard drive: Attach the new virtual hard drive to the virtual machine and configure it according to your needs.
6. Restore data: If you have a backup of the old virtual hard drive, you can restore the data to the new virtual hard drive. Alternatively, you can install a new operating system and software and start using the new virtual hard drive from scratch.
How do I recover data from a crashed virtual machine?
To recover data from a crashed virtual machine, you can try the following steps:
1. Determine the cause of the crash: Identify the reason why the virtual machine crashed. It could be due to a software or hardware failure, corrupted files, or other issues.
2. Restore the virtual machine: Try to restore the virtual machine to a previous state or configuration, using the backup or recovery tools provided by your virtualization software.
3. Mount the virtual disk: If you can't restore the virtual machine, you can try to mount the virtual disk to another virtual machine or physical computer. This will allow you to access the files and folders stored on the virtual disk.
4. Use data recovery software: If the virtual disk is corrupt or damaged, you can use data recovery software to recover the data. There are several data recovery tools available online that are designed to recover data from virtual disks.
5. Seek professional data recovery services: If the above steps do not work, you may need to seek the help of a professional data recovery service. They have specialized tools and techniques to retrieve data from virtual machines that are severely damaged or corrupted.