I'm using Windows 10 and I have an extra hard drive. This isn't essential, but is there a way to install Ubuntu onto that hard drive without shutting down the PC?

While we're on that train: after Ubuntu's installed on the hard disk, is it possible to run it in a virtual machine from Windows as well as boot my PC into it?

Thanks for any offerings to my chronic curiosity


Yes it is possible. I use this method for Windows host on HDD and Ubuntu guest on SSD.

All you need is to attach physical disk to the virtual machine with createrawvmdk internal command.

You need to determine disk number with diskmgmt.msc and then run cmd as administrator and execute (but be careful with last argument - it is harddrive path, in my example it is \\.\PHYSICALDRIVE1):

"C:\Program Files\Oracle\VirtualBox\VBoxManage.exe" internalcommands createrawvmdk -filename C:\ubuntu-drive.vmdk -rawdisk \\.\PHYSICALDRIVE1

Then you need to run VirtualBox as administrator and attach hard disk file C:\ubuntu-drive.vmdk to the VM, then install Ubuntu as usual. When it is installed, you can eject ISO and run this VM inside Windows.


Since you are using windows 10, the easiest way to go is to use Hyper-V. Here is a tutorial from microsoft on how to create Ubuntu Vm's https://docs.microsoft.com/en-us/virtualization/hyper-v-on-windows/quick-start/quick-create-virtual-machine Just use a virtual hard disk (.vhd) in your extra hard drive enjoy!


I'm not quite sure what you mean by install Ubuntu without shutting down the PC. If you mean to install the two operating systems side-by-side then yes, that's no problem. Try Googling dual boot Ubuntu.

If you want access to your actual Ubuntu installation via a Virtual Machine in Windows, you need to create a pointer. I've done the opposite on Ubuntu where I boot into my Windows while logged in to Ubuntu. There's a good tutorial on it here: Boot into Windows on Ubuntu - I'm sure with SOME Googling you can figure out how to do it from Windows to Ubuntu as well.

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