Add a second drive to a Windows XP virtual machine running in VirtualBox

Create a new virtual drive

Virtualization is king and rightly so. The benefits to using this technology are many and mighty: cost effectiveness, reliability, recoverability, the list of pros goes on and on. And anyone digging deep into the world of virtualization knows that managing those virtual machines can sometimes be a daunting task.

Virtual machines are set up to expand to a set size and once you reach that size you are out of luck - unless you know how to add virtual drives to that machine. In VirtualBox this is quite possible, albeit a bit circuitous. The end results, however, will give you plenty of room to expand the capabilities of a virtual machine.

Step 1: Shut down the virtual machine
Make sure you don't suspend the machine, because you won't be able to access the settings.

Step 2: Create a new virtual drive
A couple of steps are required to make this work. The first is to actually walk through the process of creating a new Virtual Machine. During this process you will define a new drive for that machine. Make sure you make the new drive the size you want it for the additional drive. By default you will create a 10GB drive - if that will serve as enough additional space for your second virtual drive, leave it as is. If you need more space, adjust it during the creation of the virtual machine.

Once the new virtual machine is created you can then go back and delete the new virtual machine. This process will leave behind the newly created drive that you can then use for your original virtual machine.

The next phase of this step is that you need to open up the settings of your virtual machine (the one you are adding the drive to) and then go to the Storage Section. Here you are going to add a new drive to this virtual machine. This new drive will be uninitialized and will have to be initialized later (from within the running Windows virtual machine - more on that in a bit).

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By Jack Wallen

Jack Wallen is an award-winning writer for TechRepublic, The New Stack, and Linux New Media. He's covered a variety of topics for over twenty years and is an avid promoter of open source. For more news about Jack Wallen, visit his website jackwallen....