Yes, I believe you can use VBox to run a Live CD to install Linux to a partition. The key is a command like this:
sudo VBoxManage internalcommands createrawvmdk -filename ~/.VirtualBox/sda_HDD.vmdk -rawdisk /dev/sda -register
That creates a VBox HDD called "sda_HDD.vmdk" that will give you full access to the sda HDD. When you access sda_HDD within VBox, make sure not to mess with the partition that has the host OS that is running VBox, or you will be in for a lot of grief. Good luck and let us know how it goes.