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I need to get a password from my Chrome install on my Windows 7 partition. The Windows version of Chrome, however, uses Windows' own crypto API to protect this data (I doubt Wine has a compatible implementation). This means I'd have to reboot, get in, get the password and get out, wasting ten minutes in the process.

It'd be faster if I could just virtualize what's on my Windows partition!

sudo kvm /dev/sda
  • Is this a good idea?
  • Would this work?
  • Would this work well?
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Is your other OS also on /dev/sda? If you go into the GRUB menu and accidentally select the same OS that you're physically booted into you could get disk corruption from having it mounted twice. –  teeks99 Jan 17 '11 at 15:51
    
Hi. Way late into the game (says the question was asked a year ago). You've chosen your answer but did not write if doing this worked and how it went. I'm interested in how it turned out, though in my case it's for creating a new virtual system with an entire partition for it's hard disk. –  Oxwivi Oct 19 '12 at 14:13
    
@Oxwivi No, I didn't actually try for fear of having my (legit) copy of Windows deactivated. :) –  badp Oct 19 '12 at 14:40
    
Ah. Too bad (for me), but thanks for the fish. –  Oxwivi Oct 19 '12 at 18:00
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2 Answers

up vote 2 down vote accepted

Theoretically is should be possible, but windows might not like it since all the hardware have changed.

Other things to mind: partitions that windows uses cannot be mounted, there have to be a bootloader to kickstart windows (if grub is used the partition containing your /boot should be unmounted first.), Hell may break loose and you have properly violated your windows license.

But if you are ventures go for it! Windows 7 have come a long way in the include drivers department.

Note: I have not tried this with windows my self, but a few times with linux and that works quite well.

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I've not used kvm, but there's a guide to converting a physical installation of Windows into a Virtualbox VM here: http://www.virtualbox.org/wiki/Migrate_Windows

This works quite well for Windows XP once it's installed drivers, but with Windows 7 I suspect the Windows Activation process will throw a fit because of the hardware change, and you will need to reactivate. That may involve a phone call to Microsoft. I've done this a few times with XP.

Using the existing partition directly as the disk in a VM (you can do this with VMWare Server) could also work but with the same caveats. And then you'd go through the driver and activation cycle again if you tried to boot from the partition directly. I wouldn't recommend this.

It's worth nothing that Chrome is going to be adding password sync into its own sync mechanism soon, and it is in the development channel. (I haven't test this). http://lifehacker.com/5543459/password-sync-coming-soon-to-google-chrome

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