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Thread: Boot an existing Vista/Windows 7 (Physical HD) install with VirtualBox

  1. #91
    Join Date
    Sep 2008

    Re: Boot an existing Vista/Windows 7 (Physical HD) install with VirtualBox

    anyone tried booting a Windows 7 partition from Maverick Merkaat?


  2. #92
    Join Date
    May 2007
    Ontario Canada
    Ubuntu Development Release

    Re: Boot an existing Vista/Windows 7 (Physical HD) install with VirtualBox

    Quote Originally Posted by parminides View Post
    There's a lot of chatter in this thread about it not being valid for grub2. However, I found some tutorials that seem to get around that problem.

    I'm trying the method of, which is more involved.

    In step 4, I was able to run FixMbr in recovery mode, which wiped out grub as expected.

    After that it says to

    dd if=/dev/sda of=location/file.mbr bs=512 count=1
    I don't see where the mbr that FixMbr created is indicated. The "if" part of the command is supposed to be the input file and "of" is supposed to be the output file. There's no input mbr "file" or location specified. The "input" file seems to be the entire disk. How does dd know to "Get the MBR to file" from the above command?

    Of course, all these questions would be academic and I'd gladly continue to live in ignorance if I had actually been able to get it to work. So I'd appreciate some education.
    It's copying the first 512 bytes of /dev/sda . The MBR is stored in the first 512 bytes of a drive.

    I find it surprising that pretty much no guides included udev rules to give ownership of the windows parition to the vboxusers group rather than the disk group, that's probably a safeish way to fix permissions issues. I have one that works but i'm not certain I've done it properly, so i'll post it here once I know for sure.

    Also, thing about always needing to "repair" Windows after alternating betwen virtual and native: I think the only way to fix it is to make a vmdk that gives access to the whole drive and adding users to the disk group, both of which are horrible ideas. It's a design flaw in Windows.
    Last edited by peepingtom; May 1st, 2011 at 04:38 PM.

  3. #93
    Join Date
    Aug 2009

    Re: Boot an existing Vista/Windows 7 (Physical HD) install with VirtualBox

    About the activation problem:
    I believe there is a solution and it shouldn't be too difficult to get working.
    It's not a question of some miraculous hacking, you just need to know which files are used for storing the activation information. With that knowledge you can perform two activations (on physical and vitrual machine) while keeping both versions of the generated files and then write a startup script to switch between them according to the environment.

    I haven't written any detailed "how to" since I'm not dealing with this problem myself, but there is already one for Win XP which could be certainly modified to work with Win Vista/7.

    Useful links:
    XP Guide:

    Info about activation files:

  4. #94
    Join Date
    May 2011

    Re: Boot an existing Vista/Windows 7 (Physical HD) install with VirtualBox

    So... Did anyone get this working properly with grub2?

    Edit: Works perfectly now. I suggest you this guide: Using Virtualbox with an Existing Windows Partition
    If you speak German or have no problem with Google Translator English, you should really read this:
    On the German wiki there's a very comprehensive article [translated] about it which includes many troubleshooting tips.
    Last edited by pcworld; November 18th, 2012 at 03:32 PM.

  5. #95
    Join Date
    Feb 2008
    Ubuntu Development Release

    Re: Boot an existing Vista (Physical HD) install with VirtualBox

    Thanks for sharing and please do not post in threads that have not had activity for a year or longer, since this is an old thread it has been closed.

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