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So I have a MacBook, it also has a Boot Camp partition with Windows 7 64 Bit. Marvelously, with VMWare Fusion I can simultaneously run the Boot Camp partition as a guest while OS X is booted up.

So I can do virtualization OR dual booting.

This is great, however is there a way to do this if I am booted natively to the Windows partition? While I am in Windows, can I run an instance of VMWare that can load the OSX partition?

One of the developers I work with has OS X running virtualized on his Windows computer (he got Xcode on it), but I was wondering if it can boot it virtualized from a partition instead of a disk image.

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Note that as per EULA (and as Buggabill said), you are only allowed to virtualize OS X Server (and 10.7 Lion). I'm not too sure if that also holds for virtualizing the actual partition on your Mac. I would be surprised if it was possible though, because OS X does some checks to know that it runs on real Apple hardware and not on a VM host. So if it were possible and not against the terms, VMWare Fusion (or any other VM software) would already allow you to do so more easily. –  slhck Jul 30 '11 at 16:47
Since I know that OSX can run in VM, this isn't the issue. One of the people I work with does it from a disk image on a nonApple laptop where the host is Windows. I just need to know how to do it from a partition on the HDD. –  cqm Jul 31 '11 at 19:34

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up vote 2 down vote accepted

This isn't likely to just work.

If you boot into your Windows partition, you no longer have Fusion. You would need to install VMware Workstation or VMware Player for Windows. In Workstation/Player, it is possible to run a virtual machine directly from a partition, but it isn't trivial. You would create a new VM in Workstation, the when you're creating a virtual disk, choose "Physical Disk" rather than creating a new vmdk file. You probably won't have much success unless you're very familiar with virtual machine configuration, you will absolutely have to install the VMware Tools for Darwin in order to get things working well as OSX won't have drivers for the virtual hardware presented by Workstation.

Finally, I wouldn't test this out with my real OS X partition, when you're experimenting, it wouldn't be that hard to bork some setting in your real OSX install and make it not boot natively.

With all that said, this is an interesting idea just for fun, maybe I'll actually try it.

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