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.
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)
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?
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.