running windows boot partition in ubuntu

Chadley Wilson chadleyw at
Mon Feb 1 09:59:31 UTC 2010

There is one problem having attempted this myself. The virtual box(software), does not simulate your actual physical hardware. WindowsXP in this case is in a  dual boot, which means it is configured on the physical hardware.
The OP wants to know if he can boot this partition.

Answer1: NO
Especially if you want to keep you DUAL BOOT in working order. Booting the partition will reconfigure your hardware (device drivers) for the Virtual environment hardware. Meaning redetection/installation of device drivers and possible blues screens.

Answer2: YES
If you have hardware that supports Intel's Virtualization Technology. I am not sure if AMD has something similar.
That would typically include lots of ram and multicore processors with Intels VT support. Check the Intel site for virtualization technology.

Answer 3:
Although I have never tried it, there is a way to create hardware profiles in Windows XP. Meaning you could attempt answer 1: and maintain a bootable partition in the Dual Boot setup.

It is not simple but can be done. Google is your friend...

Chadley Wilson | Engineer
Research and Development | Pinnacle Africa
Direct: (011) 265 3020 | Mobile: 083 295 4995 | Fax: (011) 265 3277

-----Original Message-----
From: ubuntu-users-bounces at [mailto:ubuntu-users-bounces at] On Behalf Of J
Sent: 01 February 2010 11:44 AM
To: Ubuntu user technical support, not for general discussions
Subject: Re: running windows boot partition in ubuntu

On Mon, Feb 1, 2010 at 04:23, James Bensley <jwbensley at> wrote:
> No you can't run your already installed copy of Windows. Some apps you
> may be able to get running with Wine otherwise VirtualBox is for
> running a virtual machine. You need to read about what a virtual
> machine is and how they work. Also see Xen and Qemu.
> You can't use your existing Windows partition unless you can make an
> image out of it and convert it to say a virtual box VDisk (I believe)
> however how feasible this is, is a question beyond me.

According to this you can:

It's also listed in the Wikipedia entry:

>From what I was reading, it's not NOT NOT easy, but at least using physical media instead of disk images is supposed to be a supported action in VirtualBox.

And Xen can also use physical disks...

HOWEVER, that being said, to the OP:

You REALLY REALLY run the risk of destroying your Windows installation by doing this, so YMMV.

Let me repeat that.  YOU CAN DESTROY YOUR WINDOWS INSTALLATION.  Just throwing that out there because there is a risk of data loss.


Mike Ditka  - "If God had wanted man to play soccer, he wouldn't have given us arms." -

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