Boot physical OS as a guest on the same HDD

It seems easy, no?

You have a dualboot installation, and want to boot the 1 operating system into the other as a guest.

So, first you’ll have to install a hypervisor on the host, for example vmware  workstation .

Second, you want to access the phyiscal disk. So you configure vmware like that, but it appears nothing works…

I’ll save you some trouble: vmware won’t be able to boot your windows…
This because of 2 reasons:

  • the host operating systems locks the bootloader, so you can’t start that one (this can be overcome by using another bootloader)
  • vmware mounts disk with virtual scsi interfaces… Your windows is not expecting that…(Or you should find a way to use sata instead of scsi drives, I didn’t actually searched for it. I just used virtualbox, which passes trough the sata-interface)

I managed to get it working using vmware workstation to create the vmdk file, plop to boot the operating system, and oracle’s virtualbox to run it all as a guest operating system!

First of all, download & install the vmware workstation trial (you’ll need this just a couple of minutes)
I needed welltal’s patch to run vmware on the newest linux 3.3 kernel. I needed to edit the .sh-file it as well to remove some checks because I had a even newer version of the kernel, 3.3 instead of 3.2, and vmware 8.0.4 instead of 8.0.3 .
Apparently they have a never version of the patch as well: just have a look around on welltal’s blog and you’ll figure it out 😉

Next: create a new guest, add a new hard disk, and choose the option to use a physical disk.

Now you can throw vmware away  😛

Second part, download & install virtualbox.

Create a new guest, and use the disk you just created in vmware.
You can use this to access the physical partition on your disk.

Now you’ll probably get an error from grub because the running host operating system locks the bootloader.

This is where plop comes in.

Download the iso from the site and mount it in your virtualbox.
Reboot the guest, and watch how plop boots 🙂
(You’ll have to keep this iso mounted permanently, because this will boot your windows)

Now you can start guessing.

You’ll need to start the partition on which your windows is installed.
In my case, it’s partition 1…

Press enter and watch how windows boots 🙂


And that’s how you can enjoy Linux yet a little more 🙂

4 reacties
  1. Phillip zei:

    and this doesn’t fuck up your original windows installation ? Weird :p

    • mendel129 zei:

      It does overwrite your bootloader with the w8-version.
      But it absolutely does not interfere with your current windows installation…


      no, it leaves your windows installation 100% intact.
      only when you run virtual you are running the activation of your windows fails…
      (but it’s workable)

  2. marc zei:

    Hi, kan je soms meer details over dit deel geven ?
    “This is where plop comes in.
    Download the iso from the site and mount it in your virtualbox.
    Reboot the guest, and watch how plop boots”
    Gewoon door plop te mounten ??

    • mendel129 zei:

      Wel, wanneer je de iso van plop in virtualbox mount voordat die boot, zal virtualbox dus starten van die iso en de bootloader van plop starten.
      Eigenlijk gewoon hetzelfde alsof je die iso op cd brandt en in je cd-lade van je computer steekt. Dan zal die ook starten.
      (Uiteraard wel zien dat je bootvolgorde in virtualbox eerst je virtuele cdrom aanspreekt, en dan pas je harde schijf. Default staat die instelling juist hoor…)
      Beetje duidelijk? 🙂

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