Virtualize Windows 7 – How to Virtualize a Pre-Installed Windows 7


I am considering buying a new computer with Windows 7 (64-bit) pre-installed. Would it be possible to install Ubuntu (preferably 64-bit) dual-boot on such a machine, and then, using VirtualBox / VMWare, etc. under Ubuntu, make a virtual machine that "points to" the existing Windows 7 OS (without making a copy of it)?

Just to be clear… at the end of this process:

  • I would have a machine that dual-booted both Windows 7 (64-bit) and Ubuntu (64-bit).

  • If I choose to boot Ubuntu, I would then have the possibility of running a visualization of Windows 7 within Ubuntu.

  • There would only be 1 copy of Windows 7 on the hard disk.

Best Answer

There is a section in the VirtualBox User Manual explaining how to use a real disk or partition in a virtual machine.

I tried once, and it works. The only problem I had was the video card driver: when switching from the real installation to the virtual one and back, I have to disable/enable the GuestAdditions video card driver, if i recall well (it was long time ago).