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Is it possible from MacOSX (running on a unibody MacBook Pro, if that matters) run the Windows 7 that was installed on another partition using Bootcamp in a virtual machine? Any particular virtual machine that it's good at it? VMWare? Virtual Box?

Have you tried any of these solutions? What's your experience?

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up vote 7 down vote accepted

Parallels Desktop 4 supports this as well as VMWare Fusion. VirtualBox does not support Bootcamp partitions but I have seen some code submissions that suggest they are working on it.

Windows 7 works happily this way. I have tested during Beta and RC with no issues, since it is still treated as Vista and the base still is. The same rule applies to Windows Server 2008 and Windows Server 2008 R2.

Performance is dependant on the settings you specify. If you can't allocate at least a 1GB to the virtual environment do not expect good performance. I really like VMWare because they have better multiple display support, however Parallels since the last update to Version 4.0 has been fairly stable. It is however not as good as 3.0 IMHO.

I have however removed Bootcamp completely as the only reason I need a Windows environment is for Visual Studio, but I now use my Mac exclusively for Mono development.

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Have you tried any of those? Do they actually work? work well? – Pablo Aug 1 '09 at 15:58
See my edits. Windows 7 and Vista is the same base, however Windows 7 does perform much better then Vista – BinaryMisfit Aug 1 '09 at 15:59
Diago, thanks for the info on your experience. – Pablo Aug 1 '09 at 16:04
I had Vista running in a BootCamp partition, and I could run it from VMWare Fusion right off that partition. However, the performance wasn't great, and it annoyed me that I couldn't suspend the OS like I could with regular VMs. After I converted it to a regular virtual machine using VMWare Converter, it performed much better in the VM. – Chris W. Rea Aug 2 '09 at 0:35
One note on this. I am running Windows 7 this way, and I keep getting activation issues because the hardware in the VM is different to when I actually boot the OS directly. Does anyone know if there is a workaround for this? – Chris Mayer Aug 3 '09 at 3:42

I am using the windows 7 Beta on a Virtual Box virtual machine, with 1 Gb (the real machine has 2 Gbs) and it's performing quite well. On windows I do some browing and coding on a Visual Studio Express and I had no problems at all.

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But is that installation a partition on the hard disk you also boot from? – Pablo Aug 3 '09 at 12:55
It's a virtual machine on the same boot partition. – user4292 Aug 28 '09 at 18:23

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