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Old 04-06-2008, 01:50 AM
Tod
 
Default Virtualizing Existing XP Install

Warning, virtualization newbie...

I've got an install of XP pro, service pack 2 on a standalone machine.
Since I don't use it for more than a few apps I'd like to try out Linux
virtualization with Linux being the primary O/S and windows running on a
virtual machine.


I imagine I'll need to move the windows install maybe using parted,
create a new partition to install linux on, get it installed, along with
the virtualization software, and then get it to fire up windows without
it knowing its running virtually. I've searched around for instructions
on doing this and really haven't found anything useful.


Is my plan valid? I'd like to avoid re-installing XP but I will if I
need to. I plan on sticking with Fedora so I'd appreciate
recommendations on virtualization software. This is running on an old
AMD Athlon machine so no dual processing going on.


Any pointers, tutorials, or suggestions for doing this on an existing
Fedora machine would be appreciated too. I have a couple of other boxes
I might like to try virtualization on.


TIA - Tod

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Old 04-06-2008, 02:09 AM
"Richard Shaw"
 
Default Virtualizing Existing XP Install

On Sat, Apr 5, 2008 at 8:50 PM, Tod <tod@stthomasepc.org> wrote:
> Warning, virtualization newbie...
>
> I've got an install of XP pro, service pack 2 on a standalone machine.
> Since I don't use it for more than a few apps I'd like to try out Linux
> virtualization with Linux being the primary O/S and windows running on a
> virtual machine.
>
> I imagine I'll need to move the windows install maybe using parted, create
> a new partition to install linux on, get it installed, along with the
> virtualization software, and then get it to fire up windows without it
> knowing its running virtually. I've searched around for instructions on
> doing this and really haven't found anything useful.
>
> Is my plan valid? I'd like to avoid re-installing XP but I will if I need
> to. I plan on sticking with Fedora so I'd appreciate recommendations on
> virtualization software. This is running on an old AMD Athlon machine so no
> dual processing going on.
>
> Any pointers, tutorials, or suggestions for doing this on an existing
> Fedora machine would be appreciated too. I have a couple of other boxes I
> might like to try virtualization on.
>
> TIA - Tod

I've done this successfully with VirtualBox. It isn't for the faint of
heart though. You have to use some command line utilities to create a
.vmdk file (which is actually a vmware file) which points to the
partition.

The link to the user manual is

http://www.virtualbox.org/download/UserManual.pdf

Look for section 9.9 page 106. Read it a few times and then when
you'll still confused read it again

Pay particular attention to section 9.9.2 and note you will probably
need to use a XP MBR (Master Boot Record). At least I did, some others
on the list may have alternatives.

Also a couple of notes:
-You'll need to re-compile the VirtualBox kernel modules every time
you update for kernel which is pretty easy, just run 'service vboxdrv
setup' as root.
-You'll have to run VirtualBox as root or add your user to the 'disk' group.

Hope you find this helpful!

Richard

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Old 04-06-2008, 02:21 AM
"Richard Shaw"
 
Default Virtualizing Existing XP Install

On Sat, Apr 5, 2008 at 8:50 PM, Tod <tod@stthomasepc.org> wrote:
[SNIP]
> Is my plan valid? I'd like to avoid re-installing XP but I will if I need
> to. I plan on sticking with Fedora so I'd appreciate recommendations on
> virtualization software. This is running on an old AMD Athlon machine so no
> dual processing going on.

Forgot to add my hardware specs for compairson.

I have run XP on top of Fedora 7 & 8 (Also tried vmware under 7). I
have found VirtualBox to be more light weight and seems to consume
less resources overall.

I have a Athlon 64 3000+ w/ 1GB of memory. XP is usable and most of
the less demanding actions could even be considered "snappy". Just be
careful of how much memory you allocate to the virtual machine and
don't try to use to many programs.

Richard

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Old 04-06-2008, 03:21 AM
Les Mikesell
 
Default Virtualizing Existing XP Install

Tod wrote:

Warning, virtualization newbie...

I've got an install of XP pro, service pack 2 on a standalone machine.
Since I don't use it for more than a few apps I'd like to try out Linux
virtualization with Linux being the primary O/S and windows running on a
virtual machine.


I imagine I'll need to move the windows install maybe using parted,
create a new partition to install linux on, get it installed, along with
the virtualization software, and then get it to fire up windows without
it knowing its running virtually. I've searched around for instructions
on doing this and really haven't found anything useful.


Is my plan valid? I'd like to avoid re-installing XP but I will if I
need to. I plan on sticking with Fedora so I'd appreciate
recommendations on virtualization software. This is running on an old
AMD Athlon machine so no dual processing going on.


Any pointers, tutorials, or suggestions for doing this on an existing
Fedora machine would be appreciated too. I have a couple of other boxes
I might like to try virtualization on.


With VMware you can run from a raw existing partition, but XP will
insist that you re-register it every time you switch from native booting
to virtual access. You can use the vmware converter
http://www.vmware.com/products/converter/features.html to turn it into
an image file. If you have the disk space you could have both until you
are sure you don't need the real partition. If you need the disk space
but want to have an easy way back, you could use 'clonezilla-live' to
save an image copy of your windows disk that you could restore later:
http://www.clonezilla.org/clonezilla-live.


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