How To Convert A VHD File To VMDK

Here we’re going to show you how to convert a VHD file to a VMDK file using VBoxManage, which is part of VirtualBox and is freely available.

Converting the VHD file to VMDK

As mentioned we will be using the VBoxManage.exe tool which comes with VirtualBox. We will make use of the ‘clonehd’ option followed by the --format option to specify the format that we want to output to. We then specify our source VHD file followed by the location to the new VMDK file that we want to create.

Now we run C:\Program Files\Oracle\VirtualBox\VBoxManage.exe as below, the location of which may vary depending on where you have VirtualBox installed and the location of your existing VHD file.

C:\Program Files\Oracle\VirtualBox>VBoxManage.exe clonehd --format vmdk j:\disk1.vhd j:\disk1.vmdk
Clone hard disk created in format 'vmdk'. UUID: 960033d8-5afb-45c6-b1d4-6fc13ce891eb

This may take a while to complete depending on the size of your virtual disk file. For my 5gb VHD file it only took a few minutes to convert, you should see output returned with a status update after every 10%.

For further information on working with VBoxManage, see the VirtualBox documentation.


That’s all there is to it, a simple command from VirtualBox can be used to convert a VHD file to VMDK. This VMDK was then successfully imported into VMWare Workstation and I was able to boot the virtual machine with no issues.

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