[kwlug-disc] vmware questions

Eric Gerlach eric+kwlug at gerlach.ca
Fri Jul 31 14:22:04 EDT 2009


On Fri, Jul 31, 2009 at 01:28:28PM -0400, Insurance Squared Inc. wrote:
> I'm installing vmware server on my linux box and am a bewildered by the  
> process.
>
> My machine has a native XP installed.  I then later installed Mandriva  
> on top of that as a dual boot system.  Now I installed vmware with the  
> intention of running my windows stuff without rebooting.  Can I run  
> windows through vmware by accessing the original xp install on the  
> machine?  Or do I need to start fresh, install just mandriva then  
> vmware, then install windows from my CD's using vmware?

As many have said, your best bet is to install Windows in the VM.
However, it *is* possible to get the same Windows system running both
inside and outside of a VM.  It's *very* tricky, however.

The first step is setting up the VM to do raw disk access, as others
have mentioned.  The next bit, and considerably more tricky one, is to
get Windows to load the right drivers in both cases.  The worst of those
are the HAL (hardware abstraction layer) and the boot driver, because
you need to load those before anything else will work.

I've been meaning to try this myself for a while, but haven't had the
chance to.  Here's a few links I re-found which may be of service.
Note, I haven't tried any of these yet.  I recommend backing up before
starting, you could bork the Windows install in the process.  Good luck!

http://lumeniki.referata.com/wiki/Boot_a_normal_Windows_installation_as_a_virtual_machine
http://mazimi.wordpress.com/2007/06/24/virtualization-of-an-existing-physical-partition-of-windows-within-linux/
http://www.macfh.co.uk/JavaJive/Windows/WindowsImageBuilding.html

Cheers,

Eric



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