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Using linked disks

Using linked disks

Using a linked disk provides you with a way to convert an entire physical hard disk to a virtual hard disk. While you convert a physical hard disk, the host operating system cannot access the physical hard disk. Because linked disks are intended for converting a physical disk to a virtual hard disk, we do not recommend linking to a startup disk. A virtual machine will not start if it is linked to a physical disk. For more information about converting physical disks, see Copying a physical disk to a virtual hard disk. For more information about startup disks, see Configuring virtual machine startup.

Data corruption can occur on the physical disk if it is in use in the host operating system while the disk is being converted to a virtual hard disk. We recommend using Disk Manager in the host operating system to remove the drive letter associated with the physical disk before converting it.

Other points to consider about linked disks are as follows:

  • Any virtual hard disk attached to the virtual IDE adapter must not exceed 127 gigabytes (GB). If the converted virtual hard disk is larger than 127 GB, you can attach it to a virtual SCSI adapter, which supports virtual hard disks of up to 2 terabytes.
  • You cannot use undo and differencing disks with a linked disk.

For instructions on creating a linked disk, see Create a virtual hard disk linked to a physical disk in Virtual Server.

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