Run Your Windows Partition Without Rebooting


Dual booting is a necessary evil and very inconvenient. What if you could run your windows partition in a virtual machine, so you wouldn't have to worry about rebooting anymore? With VMWare Workstation, you can.


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Why do you need to select the entire HD when creating the VM

BrisVegasMan's picture

How come you selected the entire hard drive when you created the new VM? Why not just select the Windows partition, that way you don't have to boot through GRUB (and therefore, presumably, wouldn't have to worry about disabling the grub timer)? Just wondering?

small issue

Mr. Joshua's picture

when i get to the grub menu to select an operating system, I can't arrow down to select windows xp pro, I ca hit c for a command line, but its like vm ware isn't recognizing the arrow keys, any ideas?

Insufficient permission to access file

Glenn A's picture

I am running Ubuntu 8.04 and can't finish creating the VM. I get up to the last step in creating the VM but when i click finish if gives me this message "Insufficient permission to access file". i am creating the file in the default folder. I can create files and folders in that directory. any help or direction toward help would be appreciated.

Insufficient permission to access file

mmccullo's picture

If you are using sudo to install the VM, you could try creating a bash shell as root and then running the installer

malcolm@toshiba:~$ sudo bash
root@toshiba:~# ./VMware-Workstation6.5.1-126130.i386.bundle


Great video and great idea I have used VMware but never thought of this

Hi Glenn I have the exact

mwl's picture

Hi Glenn

I have the exact same problem. Have you found a solution?



GiNuX's picture

The instructions shown here do not work for Windows Vista as this OS does not include an obvious way to manage hardware profiles. Any comment Elliot? I mean apart from: why do you use Vista?, since this wasn't my choice.

I would like to know how to

Anonymous's picture

I would like to know how to do this with vista

Not a necessary evil

Harris's picture

Nice article however I do not agree that dual booting is required at all. I, personally, no longer find the need to dual boot. Used to do it a long time ago but only for games. But now, with a considerable number of games available on *nux and wine stabilizing as the days go by, having a windows partition is just a waste of space.

I had no idea this was even

AndreiPaul's picture

I had no idea this was even possible until I saw the video.
Now I have something to do on my boring Sunday

Dual-booting is a necessary evil

derChef's picture

"Dual booting is a necessary evil"... Why? I thought Linux was so amazing, and offered so much freeeeedom, that you'd never need to use M$$$$ again, lest you be construed as hypocrites.

Other NTFS partitions

Kyle's picture

I have other NTFS partitions that I use on both systems... Do you believe I'll have to unmount those too in order to avoid corruption of data?


Meião's picture

Recently I moved to my new apartment.
I couldn't get cable on my computer room, so I bought a wireless router and used my old wireless cards.

One of them (an Encore PCI) wouldn't run on Linux (no drivers). The other was kinda broken (but worked sometimes on Windows).

So I had to do the other way around, run Linux on VMWare that was running on win XP.

VMware had 2 troubles. X was only running at 800x600. I tried a workaround that didn't work (svga.maxWidth = 1280 ...).
And worse, the Ctrl + Alt is a VMware shortcut, so I would have to change my workspace shortcuts.

I gave up and tried VirtualBox. Worked great. It creates the partitions and configures the VM with a wizard and worked better on console (Debian installation was sluggy on VMWare).


Ian's picture

You can do all this with VMWare Server and it's free.

One scary moment when I tried this - Windows XP under VMWare needed to reactivate itself. This took a couple of attempts for me but now seems happy in the VMWare and booting live.

Or not...

Tim's picture

Great video, but why not use something that's open-source? Virtualbox, Xen, and kvm-qemu come to mind...

Speaking of Xen or kvm-qemu

Joe Tole's picture

Speaking of Xen or kvm-qemu (kvm is my fav), they also tend to run faster / more natively because they are using a hypervisor instead of some application which will provide you with, as I mentioned a faster VM to work with, especially if your processor supports virtualization which is almost all recent processors (AMD/Intel).