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Boot another Harddrive

post #1 of 14
Thread Starter 
I know you can use virtual box to setup a virtual machine to get Linux from Windows on the same hdd, but is there a way I can get a VM to boot from my backup HDD where it also has Windows?
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post #2 of 14
Thread Starter 
Any ideas?
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post #3 of 14
Thread Starter 
Anyone?
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post #4 of 14
Be more specific. You mean link the physical HDD to a virtual hard drive and boot it using VirtualBox? Then, yeah, I believe it's possible. Not very familiar with how to do it in VirtualBox but it should be an option when you're making virtual hard drives.
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post #5 of 14
You can run a Virtual OS from ANY drive connected to your system. You can NOT use a VM to BOOT the system to a different drive though.
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post #6 of 14
Thread Starter 
Ah, I see. I basically want to be able to use the OS on my backup HDD in a screen on my primary HDD so that I don't have to switch back and forth between them when I need both.
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post #7 of 14
Let me see if I understand this correctly (your choice of words is very confusing). You have one OS installed on your main drive and a second OS installed on your backup drive and you want to be able to open that second OS on your backup hard drive from within your first OS and have access to both at the same time. If that is correct then no, you cannot do that with a virtual machine like VirtualBox or VMWare. You will have to install the second OS from within the Virtual Machine running on the first OS to be able to access it.
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post #8 of 14
Thread Starter 
That's exactly what I'm trying to do. So basically it's not possible?
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post #9 of 14
Correct. You could probably convert the second OS on the backup hard drive into an VM Image that you could drop into the Virtual Machine in the first OS though. You would need to read the manual for the VM application program you are using to determine the best way to do that though or check the Forums and Help Files on that company's Support Site.
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post #10 of 14
Quote:
Originally Posted by PapaSmurf View Post
Let me see if I understand this correctly (your choice of words is very confusing). You have one OS installed on your main drive and a second OS installed on your backup drive and you want to be able to open that second OS on your backup hard drive from within your first OS and have access to both at the same time. If that is correct then no, you cannot do that with a virtual machine like VirtualBox or VMWare. You will have to install the second OS from within the Virtual Machine running on the first OS to be able to access it.
Well, that's interesting since VirtualPC supports this feature. Caveat, I think you need to unmount the drive from the host OS so VirtualPC has exclusive access to the HDD. I believe it's one of the options when making a VHD.

Addendum:
Found a reference in the VirtualBox documentation. It's possible but not recommended:
Using a raw host hard disk from a guest
Quote:
Starting with version 1.4, as an alternative to using virtual disk images (as described in detail in Chapter 5, Virtual storage), VirtualBox can also present either entire physical hard disks or selected partitions thereof as virtual disks to virtual machines.

With VirtualBox, this type of access is called "raw hard disk access"; it allows a guest operating system to access its virtual hard disk without going through the host OS file system. The actual performance difference for image files vs. raw disk varies greatly depending on the overhead of the host file system, whether dynamically growing images are used and on host OS caching strategies. The caching indirectly also affects other aspects such as failure behavior, i.e. whether the virtual disk contains all data written before a host OS crash. Consult your host OS documentation for details on this.

Warning

Raw hard disk access is for expert users only. Incorrect use or use of an outdated configuration can lead to total loss of data on the physical disk. Most importantly, do not attempt to boot the partition with the currently running host operating system in a guest. This will lead to severe data corruption.


Raw hard disk access -- both for entire disks and individual partitions -- is implemented as part of the VMDK image format support. As a result, you will need to create a special VMDK image file which defines where the data will be stored. After creating such a special VMDK image, you can use it like a regular virtual disk image. For example, you can use the Virtual Media Manager (the section called “The Virtual Media Managerâ€) or VBoxManage to assign the image to a virtual machine.

Edited by rui-no-onna - 3/24/11 at 4:52pm
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