[kwlug-disc] Unique VM Installation

unsolicited unsolicited at swiz.ca
Fri Apr 8 15:28:52 EDT 2011

John Van Ostrand wrote, On 04/08/2011 1:41 PM:
> ----- Original Message -----
>> Not sure what you mean by "installing from the system partition
>> into a VM". But, if it's copying a partition to another partition
>> (be it real or inside VM), then you might try copying over net,
>> assuming of course the host and VM can talk over the net. I've
>> never done that.
> Lenovo desktops arrive with a small partition that holds a Windows
> PE install, diagnostic tools, recovery tools and the actual image
> of Windows including drivers that is installed on the system. This
> is a bootable O/S entirely separate from the proper install.
> There is a boot option to boot from the system partition where the
> user can access these tools and if needed perform a fresh install
> of the O/S.
> My computer never ran Windows, although it came pre-installed. Now
> I have to run windows for some banking software and I want to
> install a virtual Windows system using KVM on my Linux box. I'd
> like to use the license that came with my PC rather than send any
> more money to Redmond. I may be able to get another copy of Windows
> and use the same activation code, but there has always been so many
> different "versions" of the same release of windows and codes seem
> to only work with the version they were intended to. For example:
> an OEM key won't work with a corporate disc.

Will it run a LiveCD? Or a (persistent?) LiveCD on a usb stick? 
(Coming to mind is clonezilla, here.)

Can you get the disk out, into another machine, temporarily?

Groping here, short of time, but vmware's P2V (now called converter) 
may be useful here. http://www.vmware.com/products/converter/. It's 
all free, for the purposes to which you're putting it. I think vb has 
an equivalent, but can't recall it off the top of my head.

VirtualBox will use vmware config files, so once you've got the 
machine captured and copied over to the original machine, you'd use 
virtual box not vmware.

I've taken disks out in such instances, put into another machine, 
loaded linux, then put back into the original machine. You might be 
able to do sort of the reverse here - put the disk in another machine, 
install the PE onto a second disk, remove the original disk, P2V that 
2nd disk in the other machine, then copy the files and put the 
original disk back into the first machine. Sounds goofy I know, but 
remember, the vm is working within an artificial cpu, disk, screen, 
keyboard, mouse environment, and that artificial environment is the 
same within a vm no matter what physical hardware the vm is running 
within. So, various bits of hardware will be detected and temporarily 
used along the way, and all shed, ultimately, when it gets to, and 
within, its final home.

If it's XP, you may be just fine, as I sense ms is just approving all 
such activation keys these days. Not so for win 7, but seems so for xp.

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