Home Linux Community Forums Linux System Administration System Management Boot Windows 7 Virtually && Physically (dual boot)

Boot Windows 7 Virtually && Physically (dual boot)

Link to this post 29 May 11

Okay, I have an existing Windows 7 installation on a hard disk, which I dual boot to for when I feel like gaming...

I was hoping I could setup a booting arrangement where I can boot into Windows 7 and my existing Fedora installation, yet from within the Fedora installation, use a virtual machine application to use /dev/sda (in this case).

This way if I ever want to change something, or update, install, etc. I can simply do so without leaving *nix.

So far, the solutions I have come across only cover Windows XP or so. I have tried getting it to work under KVM, but I just receive the lovely bsods. Is anybody aware of how to get this to work, with either KVM, VirtualBox, or (at the very worst) VMWare?

This really seems like a difficult topic of which I have been googling and asking around about for a week or so :/

(p.s. I hope this is the proper forum section, but sorry if it isn't)

Link to this post 29 May 11

I have not heard of a method of booting into a windows system from your current linux system without leaving your linux system. If you want to make changes to your windows 7 system, either boot to it manually or install it on virtualbox and use windows 7 via virtualbox. Make sure you have enough memory for virtualbox.

Link to this post 29 May 11

When you install an OS into a virtual environment it creates an image file of that OS. It's not the same as directing the virtual machine to an existing install on your hard drive.. You can copy files between the virtual OS and the one on the hard disk, but you can't run programs. As Tim mentioned, if you install Windows into the virtual machine, then you can easily switch back and forth. Since I don't use windows, or, have tried installing it to KVM I can't help you with your BSOD's. Windows locks itself to the hardware during an install, so, that may be part of the problem, although, I have heard of success stories running windows virtually.
In a nutshell, you can't really accomplish what you are trying to do. The closest you can come, is installing a Linux distro within the Windows environment using wubi, but, that really minimizes the advantages of Linux.

Link to this post 29 May 11

Well, for instance kvm allows to easily boot(virtualize) from an existing hard disk, by simply typing in e.g. qemu-kvm --hda /dev/sda. I can install Windows regularly, to the hard disk, but then the VM blue screens. I also tried to install it through the VM, to that hard disk, which resulted in a blue screen when trying to boot normally. So it lets me have one or the other, but not both :)

BTW, the BSODs are SATA/disk controller related -- I wish I could find a way around that...perhaps someone with more experience w/ VM's can chime in. The thing is, apparently what I want to achieve is documented quite well for < Win7 -- but there's nothing going for in terms of ==.

But yeah, the only reason I want to use the VM is just more of convenience so I don't have to step out of my regular linux installation. And I couldn't stand to run a linux vm *inside* of windows ;-) (especially given how much of my system's resources I already use, between compiling and stuff).

Link to this post 29 May 11

I'm wondering if the BSOD is related to the virtual video driver that KVM uses. I know I've seen problems like this discussed on the fedora-virt mailing list. I've also heard of advancements made to some of the new KVM video driver code that works around the video problem. They really had a hard time making Gnome3 work under KVM, so, they had to come up with solutions before F15 was released.
A lot of this stuff is way over my head, so, I'm just mentioning it in passing. Maybe looking over the fedora-virt mailing list archives might help you solve the problem. You can access the archives from this link:

Or, you can join the list and ask to see if anyone has the answer. (Or you can wait and see if one of the guru's here actually recognizes the problem, I'm amazed at some of the answers they come up with.)

Edit: I just realized that you said they were sata disk related, I first read it as you were wondering if they were related. Sorry, but, I'll leave the post just in case it may be useful. I guess it's time to get some sleep.

Link to this post 29 May 11

I'm sorry but you cannot do what you are thinking.

You could if it was another linux system by chrooting....

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