Virtual Hard Disk Image Format – A Forensic Overview

by Anil Kumar

The hard disk of a VM is implemented as the files, which live on their native file systems of the host machine. MS Virtual PC & MS Virtual Server support the below mentioned types of virtual hard disk formats:

Fixed – The fixed hard disk image is that particular file, which is allocated to the virtual disk size. Say for instance, if a user has created a particular virtual hard disk of 2GB, then his machine will be creating one host file, which would be around 2GB. This space that is allocated for the data is then tracked by the structure of the footer. The complete file size is actually the hard disk size in the guest OS, added to the footer size. Due to the limitation of the size in the host file system, this type of hard disk may be somewhat limited.

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