I am currently duel booting both windows 7(home premium) and ubuntu.I want to know if there is any way to access and boot the existing ubuntu installation from within windows with vmware or another free client. Is there any way to do this? Any help is appreciated.

ps.
I have only ever used vmware player to visualize ubuntu since it was simple but have found it leaves many footprints on windows even when it is not running. Any suggestions for better clients would also be useful.

Thank you in advance