VirtualBox – add a hard disk to Windows XP

I encountered a problem during the extension of a pre defined virtual Windows XP environment. It was harder than expected to add second hard disk to a already defined system.

Initial situation

I want to test my old games with a virtual Windows XP machine and to experiment with some settings. As mentioned in other articles about VirtualBox, I start by cloning a base Windows XP machine. This machine only has a 10 GB disk. To install all my old games, this is far to small. So I thought it is a good idea to add a new hard disk. For this 50 GB are enough. What are the advantages for this:

  • all my games are stored on a single disk
  • I can change the operating system and the disk with the games can be used also with other versions of Windows
  • if something goes wrong, I can clone my base installation and do not need to install the games again


It is easy to add a new disk. Shut down the system, then got to “Change” and to the point mass storage. There you can create a new VDI hard disk with 50 GB fixed size and use it as primary slave. Now start the machine again.


After rebooting the machine I want to start installing the games but: where is the new hard disk? There is only C: with 10 GB.


The solution is quite simple. Windows has encountered the new hard disk (I checked it in system configuration). But it is not displayed, because it is not partitioned. To do that, do the following steps:

  • click start menu and “Run”. Print the following: “diskmgmt.msc”
    this starts you disk management program, where you can see now the new hard disk
  • right click the new hard disk and initialize
  • now we can change the partition for this disk (normally NTFS)
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