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I've got a Mac with VirtualBox installed and also a PC with Windows XP SP2. I want to make an image of the Win XP box and then mount that as a VM using VirtualBox on the Mac.

Can anyone suggest how to go about this?

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And vice-versa. That would be /way/ useful. +1 –  JRobert Jul 16 '10 at 14:38
    
The problem is this is, Windows is known to be picky about what hardware it's running on versus what hardware it was installed on. Not just because of licensing issues, but because Windows installs specific files (for example different types of hal.dll) based on the system it was installed on. –  Hello71 Jul 18 '10 at 19:36
    
Wouldn't I be able to recreate the installed environment as near as possible as a VM before mounting it? Would that be an acceptable work around for the hal.dll issue? –  sfrost2004 Jul 19 '10 at 11:17

2 Answers 2

If you are using NTFS on XP, the only way I've been able to successfully accomplish this is with Acronis True Image. Take an image of the physical disk with Acronis, then use an Acronis BootCD to boot a new VM in VirtualBox with a disk image of appropriate size. You will have to "re-activate" XP unless you have a corp license. I've done this on both Linux and Mac OS versions of VBox.

I tried CloneZilla but was not able to make it work with NTFS. My co-workers have been able to use the VBox migration tool, but I was not aware of it at the time.

One thing to note: I have not be able to get an XP VM working with the SATA driver in VBox (works fine with IDE/PATA) even if my "physical" hardware that was imaged was SATA.

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These are the two ways I'd probably attack it.

Firstly, you could try the instructions here: http://www.virtualbox.org/wiki/Migrate_Windows

Secondly, you could make a backup image (using, say, Clonezilla), make a new VM with a large virtual hard drive, boot the VM to Clonezilla, and pull the image down onto the virtual drive. I have no idea if this will work; it's just something I'd try if that first set of instructions didn't work.

Good luck!

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