I need to use Windows 7 VM to test my web application in Internet Explorer.

I have a bootable USB drive for Windows 7.

I have already installed VirtualBox.

However in the vbox when I press start, the first run wizard is looking for a DVD image, which I do not have.

What can I do?


Virtual Box does not allow booting from an USB stick.

The best way to install an OS to Virtual Box is to have an image of the installation medium as an .iso file that can be mounted as a virtual CD for booting. Alternatively you can also boot from the original boot CD/DVD using the host drive.

There are two rather complicated methods to still boot Virtual Box from an USB stick:

  • Boot from another OS's bootloader that then allows booting from USB (PLOP Linux method as explained in a thread on Virtual Box support forum)
  • define your USB-stick as a virtual box .vmdk hard drive (see this blog for details)

However both methods are not recommended for an installation of a virtual OS.

  • would you mind elaborating about getting my bootable USB into a iso image? I googled around, but they are all confusing me. Maybe I am using the wrong key words. – Kim Stacks Mar 13 '11 at 16:23
  • Sorry I don't know a way to convert a bootable USB to a bootable CD image. This is not an easy task as file systems and boot sectors are different. You could easily write an .iso containing all files of your stick but in your case you will also have to write a Windows CD boot sector in order to get the installation running: that's the tricky bit. – Takkat Mar 13 '11 at 18:29

Instead of using windows for testing your site you can use netrenderer to test your site in different ie versions (inc ie8)or you can install Playonlinux By clicking here and then run it from Applications(menu) -> Playonlinux(menu) -> Playonlinux(app) then click install

enter image description here

Then Select Internet and then ie6 or ie7 and follow the on-screen instructions.

enter image description here

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  • says here ubuntuforums.org/showthread.php?p=9003050 it will be slow. and it does not have IE8. but thanks for the screenshots. I really appreciate a good answer like that. hence i upvoted your answer. – Kim Stacks Mar 13 '11 at 15:58
  • i think you should try by yourself instead of relying on old forum posts. – Lincity Mar 14 '11 at 11:51

Create a empty disk for Windows7 and then F12 during post for bootmenu?

(I'm not able to test it for myself)

  • I am sorry. I am a newbie. So I do not understand. What you mean by create empty disk for windows 7? – Kim Stacks Mar 13 '11 at 15:50
  • What is during post for bootmenu? – Kim Stacks Mar 13 '11 at 15:51

You can convert your USB device to Virtualbox-compatible disk image like this:

VBoxManage convertfromraw /dev/sdxy ~/image.vhd --format VHD

you can use "imgburn" under windows (free app), open as admin, select create image from files / folders, then click on advanced tab, there you will see "make bootable" check-mark box, from there you can select boot image

when i tried to extract the boot image from my 32gb usb flash win 7 pro sp1 installer, it started to capture entire disk (it works normally from cd's/dvd's typically creating 2mb bootimage.bin file), you can try renaming entire image to either .iso or .img and see if it works that way (didn't have time to check), but normally you would select boot image and just so happens it should be on your usb stick located in /efi/microsoft/boot/ there 2 .bin files you can choose, if you'll have issues using those try the .bin file under /boot/

by imgburn you can create iso's from cd's/dvd's, then edit them to suit your needs, ie some cusom config, additional wallpapers, etc, then put it back together

also if you have original iso you used to create you usb installer you can extract boot image from it, but you might have to burn it to a dvd first (i don't remeber), so play around with it and post feedback


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