I'm trying, under Windows 7, to run a virtual machine with VMWare Player from an OS installed on a physical partition. However, when I boot the virtual machine, VMWare Player says that it couldn't access the physical drive for writing.
This seems to be a generally acknowledged problem in the VMWare community, as Windows Vista introduced a compelling new security feature that makes it impossible to write to a raw drive without obtaining exclusive access to it first.
So I would be left with the dirty solution. In short, it meddles with the MBR to erase any trace of the partitions to use, makes Windows forget about them, then restores the MBR so we can launch the VM.
I'm not sure I want to do that. Is there a way to let VMWare acquire exclusive access to the partition without requiring me to nuke it away? What I'd be looking for, I suppose, is a way to put just partitions offline instead of whole physical drives.
More infos related to the bounty.
I have a dual-boot setup: Mac OS is my primary operating system, and I have Windows installed too. As much as I can run Windows in a virtual machine if I don't want to reboot, I'd like to be able to run Mac OS in a virtual machine when I'm under Windows.
My goal is to run my main Mac OS partition from VMWare under Windows, just like I run Windows from VMWare Fusion. (Since this is my main OS, I don't plan on patching the kernel or whatever to get it working in a virtual machine.) I created the virtual machine from VMWare Fusion (as it has the "Mac OS X Server" VM type) then moved it to Windows and modified it from VMWare Player. Seems to almost-work, as the OS gets to the loading screen and then the VM dies because it can't access
Virtual Box fails even harder, as it starts Mac OS in verbose mode and crashes very quickly (but seems to be able to access the partition), so I think it would be easier to get VMWare access my partition than to get Virtual Box to run it.
On the legal side, I'd be running one copy of Mac OS X on one Apple-labelled machine, so I'm okay.