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Old 04-13-2012, 12:10 PM   #1
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Question Starting OS from a real partiotion

I have on my hard disk Linux Mint and Win7. I would like to start inside Linux virtual WIn7 from real partition, i.e. I don't like to create virtual disk etc. I could do this many years ago with VmWare, but recently I don't see this option in their products and even not in other VMs.

The question is:
Which virtualization environment offers use of a real partion of a hard disk instead of creating a virtual disk.

Regards, Renato

Last edited by renatol; 04-13-2012 at 12:13 PM. Reason: wrong title
Old 04-13-2012, 12:20 PM   #2
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did you try any of these:
- VirtualBox : Use Raw Disk to load Windows under Linux
- Access Physical Disk in VirtualBox- Desktop Virtualization Software

good luck
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Old 04-13-2012, 12:26 PM   #3
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Mostly people wanted to do that hoping to be able to run the OS from the real partition on either the real hardware or the virtualised hardware as convenient -- and to avoid having to install the OS on the virtual HDD.

The problem with that idea -- especially for Windows -- is that it is very unlikely that the virtual and real hardware would be identical. Windows licensing shenanigans "fingerprint" the hardware to ID what it's running on and require re-registration if it changes significantly. Then there's the device drivers to consider. On Windows they are matched to the actual hardware during installation so change the hardware and you no longer have the right drivers. Plug-and-Play is intended to deal with that issue and is more (or less) successful.
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Old 04-13-2012, 04:28 PM   #4
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Catkin is correct about the hardware change. The correct way is to create a virtual hard drive. Doing what you want is not recommended and can completely damage your data and render the entire system difficult to repair.
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