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I need to create a new installation of Windows, but at the same time I need this computer. So I decided to create a new physical disk from within VMWare, install windows/drivers/software and then just replace the HDD in the computer. I've bought a new HDD, split it into two partions and installed Windows 7 using the VMWare's ability to use physical disks. I can see the windows files and directories that have been created on this partition, but when I'm replacing the HDD in the host machine it cannot boot from it.

Why is that?

Is it at all possible to create a bootable physical disk with VMWare or I should create a virtual disk and then use some HDD imaging tool to copy the HDD image to a physical disk? Maybe there's a better way of installing a new system and working on the computer at the same time?

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up vote 1 down vote accepted

The boot problem is probably because the driver Windows needs for the storage controller your physical boot disk is attached to is different from the driver Windows needs when it is virtualized.

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Thanks for the answer. I didn't realize that this could be a problem. I thought that there's somekind of standard HDD driver – Max Apr 7 '10 at 21:37
@Max: I just cleaned up the answer. It's not a driver for the hard drive so much as the driver for the storage controller. In a VMware virtual machine, it's likely to be emulating either an LSI Logic or BusLogic SCSI controller. Unless your physical happened to have that same hardware, Windows won't have the right driver. – kbyrd Apr 7 '10 at 23:32

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