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I already have windows he installed on my computer in a separate partition. I would like to be able to use this with VirtualBox, but I'm unsure how to do this. Since my computer came with windows installed, I do not have a windows instillation disc. Is there a way to create an .iso file that contains my windows installation? There are a few programs under windows but I really would like to use, but they do not have a linux equivalent.

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3 Answers 3

Yes its possible, to run windows (at real partition in your hd) in native and at virtualbox, but (we always have "but") its more problems than honey.

  • we have chance to catastrophic errors (boot active host linux as guest)
  • windows detect a new hardware (now its virtualbox hardware)
  • maybe you need re-register windows
  • and for sure need reinstall lot of drivers

I try it. Sure you have solution for each above points, but you get more problems than solutions. Its a lot easy install a new windows and re-install windows app you need.

(my 5 cents)

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I am not sure if it is possible to virtualize a real partition using vbox or vmware but I am pretty sure there is a program installed in your windows partition that will make recovery discs for your notebook. Every notebook, that has windows preinstalled, also has an application to create recovery discs. This usually needs two DVDs and should be found under start menu > programs

You could use that to create a vbox image to run when in ubuntu.. Btw did you try to run those windows apps using wine?

Let us know what notebook do you have? manufacturer, model etc. also what programs do you want to run that you can't find equivalent in ubuntu?

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I'm running an Acer Aspire One AOA-150. I have a digital pen (goo.gl/a3mP) that I can't get to run under linux. I can see in the logs that ubuntu registers that it is plugged in, but it doesn't recognize it. It seems that the software is Windows only. I have tried running it with Wine, mono, and crossover but so far no luck. –  RunningUtes Oct 13 '10 at 20:19

There's a guide on VirtualBox site for this topic.

I'd stick with dual boot option in your case - most likely the pre-installed Windows system you've got has lots of hardware specific programs which will be a real headache in virtualized environment. Besides that you might get issues with performance and/or USB device support.

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Does answer partially, because the guide refer to a new virtual hard drive creation, not the direct use of the real windows partition. –  enzotib Oct 14 '10 at 0:14
    
For that specific case there's another piece of information[1]. Please note, that it is better to create a second hardware profile (as author suggests) to avoid problems when booting natively (not into VirtualBox) later again. [1] blarts.wordpress.com/2007/12/06/… –  Serge Broslavsky Oct 14 '10 at 5:45

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