Jul 16, 2013

What’s the difference between ISO and VHD file formats?

Windows 8 supports both ISO and VHD file formats, but what is the difference between the two?

VHD (file format)

"VHD (Virtual Hard Disk) is a file format which represents a virtual hard disk drive (HDD). It may contain what is found on a physical HDD, such as disk partitions and a file system, which in turn can contain files and folders. It is typically used as the hard disk of a virtual machine.
The format was created by Connectix for Connectix Virtual PC product, which was later acquired by Microsoft in 2003, for what is now known as Microsoft Virtual PC.

Since June 2005, Microsoft has made the VHD Image Format Specification available to third parties under the Microsoft Open Specification Promise.[1]"

They are similar and both can be treated as if they are seperate drives connected to your machine, but VHD (virtual hard disk) files are specifically designed for MS virtualization solutions like Windows Virtual PC or Hyper-V. ISO takes the content of an optical disc and places it in a single file, functionally similar to a zip file. ISO is treated as a removable disc by Windows 8, whereas VHD is treated as a fixed hard disk, and VHD allows you to use the built in disk utilities of Windows 8.

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