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I have a dual-boot environment of windows 7. I have two partitions on my hard-drive, each have a separate windows 7 installed on them.

I was wondering if it was possible to boot one of them inside the other. I know you can use virtualisation tools like VirtualBox, but they require you to create an image.

So I'm asking, is there a way to boot my other windows partition inside VirtualBox for example, or is there any way to boot it from inside the other one?

Thank You.

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up vote 3 down vote accepted

In your favourite virtualisation tool, you should be able to add your physical disk as a drive in your VM. Once you do this, you then should be able to change the boot order in the VM BIOS to boot from the existing Windows install.

However, Windows may not like if that much seeing you are changing the hardware of the operating system. Virtualisation programs create their own set of 'hardware', so it would appear as if you took the hard drive out of one computer, and put it into another. You may have to activate the installation of Windows again.

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Is there a way to configure windows to accept 2 different hardware configurations? Or a way for the VM to simulate your exact hardware? – Didier A. Feb 11 '10 at 4:02
Windows used to have Hardware Profiles, but it seems ( ) they have been removed... – Josh Hunt Feb 11 '10 at 5:09

VMware has the option to use a Physical drive as the main harddisk. If that disk has a windows installed, it should work..

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