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I downloaded and installed VMWare Player. I already have Windows XP installed on this drive. I would like to be able to run XP via VMWare Player off of the installation instead of creating an image and duplicating my existing installation.

  1. What is the easiest way to do this?
  2. Do I need VMWare Workstation instead of VMWare Player? If I do, how do I get and install this?
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I'm confused about what you're trying to do. You already have dual-boot, but you're trying to use a VM (virtual machine)?

I use VirtualBox on my Debian host to run 2 XP Pro virtual machines. That setup works great for me.

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Yes. So I run Ubuntu as the host OS and I would like to be able to run XP via virtualization without having to reboot into XP. VirtualBox does not allow you to run off of an already installed physical partition. – Avery Chan Aug 6 '10 at 14:44
What you are looking for is called physical-to-virtual, or P-TO-V. Google those phrases, and you should find help converting your physical partition into a VM (virtual machine.) Once you get the VM working, you can delete the physical partition. – Tom Aug 6 '10 at 19:41
This isn't the solution I am looking for. I don't want to convert my physical installation to a virtual one: I want to virtualize my pre-existing installation. The reason for this is that I suspect there are some cases where I will have to boot into WinXP, so I want to have that around in case I do have to. – Avery Chan Aug 7 '10 at 16:10
OK, now I understand. :) Why not just create a new XP virtual machine (which would be your 2nd copy of XP)? Since most Windows functions and software run in a VM, you would use the VM most of the time. But when something won't work in the VM, then use the dual-boot version. Wouldn't that give you the best of both worlds? – Tom Aug 7 '10 at 23:38
Not exactly. I don't want a XP VM and a "real" installed version of XP; I have some data already saved on my Windows installation, I don't want to have to duplicate data when I boot into Windows. Imagine that I used MS Word to write a document using the XP VM. I save it. For some reason I need to boot into XP (I can't use the VM in Ubuntu). I now have to copy the file to a third source and then access that from my booted XP. – Avery Chan Aug 31 '10 at 8:54

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