Resize VHD/VHDX without Hyper-V

Published on: December 17, 2019

This article introduces how to resize VHD/VHDX partition without Hyper-V Manager, resize virtual partition from physical computer.

Applies to: Windows 10, Windows 8, Windows 7, Windows Server 2019, Windows Server 2016, Windows Server 2012 (R2), Windows Server 2008 (R2), Windows Server 2003 (R2).

The same with physical hard disk drive, you can resize virtual partitions for Hyper-V virtual machine without losing data. It is very easy to resize partition by installing NIUBI Partition Editor to Hyper-V vm, but is it possible to resize vhd/vhdx partition without Hyper-V? The answer is yes, this article introduces detailed steps to resize vhd/vhdx virtual partition and disk without Hyper-V.

Preparation before resizing vhd/vhdx virtual partition

Before starting to resize virtual partitions, there are two things you must do:

1. Delete all Checkpoints associate with the VHD or VHDX that you want to resize. Otherwise, you'll receive below error and cannot boot in Hyper-V Manager after resizing virtual partitions.

Hyper-V error

As the error message shows "There is a mismatch in the identified of the parent virtual hard disk and differencing disk."

It is easy to understand, the size of the partitions after resizing is different with the size in Checkpoint.

2. Shut down the guest virtual machine and close Hyper-V Manager or other applications that using this VHD or VHDX. Otherwise, you'll receive error "The process cannot access the file because it is being used by another process."

Virtual Manager error

How to resize vhd/vhdx virtual drive without Hyper-V Manager

Step 1: Open Disk Management in physical computer. (Right click Windows flag on bottom left, or press Windows and R keys together, type diskmgmt.msc and press Enter.)

Step 2: Click Action menu > Attach VHD

Attach VHD

Step 3: Click Browse to select the VHD/VHDX file and then click OK to continue.

Select VHD

Then this virtual disk is attached. As you see in the screenshot, the icon of Disk 2 is different with other 2 physical hard disks.

VHD attached

Step 4: Download and install NIUBI Partition Editor to the physical server or personal computer. The same with Disk Management, you'll see all physical and virtual disk partitions in NIUBI Partition Editor. In virtual Disk 2, drive K is the system partition in VHD/VHDX.

NIUBI Partition Editor

Step 5: Right click drive M: and select "Resize/Move Volume", drag left border towards right in the pop-up window, or enter an amount in the box of "Unallocated space before" directly. Then drive D will be shrunk and some Unallocated space will be made on the left side of it.

Shrink M

Partition shrunk

Step 6: Right click drive K: and select "Resize/Move Volume" again, in the pop-up window drag right border towards right to combine this Unallocated space. Then drive K is extended in virtual mode.

Extend K

Partition extended

Step 7: Click Apply on top left to take effect. (Partitions won't be resized until click Apply to confirm.)

As long as there's free unused space in any partition, you can shrink it to expand another one on the same virtual disk. After resizing virtual partitions, remember to detach VHD, otherwise, when you power on this virtual machine in Hyper-V, you'll receive error "The process cannot access the file because it is being used by another process."

Detach VHD

Hyper-V error

How to resize vhd/vhdx virtual hard disk without Hyper-V Manager

Better than physical hard disk whose size is fixed, VHD/VHDX virtual disk can be resized fast and easily. To accomplish this task, you may either use Hyper-V Manager or via PowerShell without Hyper-V.

Note: before expanding virtual disk with PowerShell, you should also shut down guest virtual machine and delete all associated Checkpoints.

How to resize/expand VHD/VHDX disk without Hyper-V:

  1. Open PowerShell with Administrator privilege from Quick Launch bar, Start menu or other place in your physical computer.
  2. Type Resize-VHD -Path 'E:\hyperv.vhdx' -SizeBytes 500gb


  1. 'E:\hyperv.vhdx' means absolute path and name of the .vhd/.vhdx file with quotes.
  2. 500gb means expanding this virtual hard disk to 500GB, not adding 500GB.

After expanding virtual disk, additional space will be shown as Unallocated on the end, then run NIUBI Partition Editor and merge Unallocated space to other partition(s). Follow the steps in the video:

Video guide

Besides resizing physical and virtual disk partition, NIUBI Partition Editor helps do many other operations.