I'm trying to run a virtualized Ubuntu environment on a physical partition on top of Windows 7, using VMware Player's physical partitions feature, which creates a .vmdk file that points to a physical disk. Windows 7 and Ubuntu are on different partitions of the same physical drive. When I set VMware Player to allow the VM access to the entire physical disk, everything works, though this is rather dangerous since a partition could be accidentally mounted in the host and guest concurrently.
When I set VMware Player to only allow access to my Ubuntu partition, the VM crashes before the initial Grub screen with an error message of "A virtual CPU has entered the shutdown state...". When I create a virtual disk using individual partitions but manually select all available partitions the result is the same (still crashes).
What does VMware Player do differently when creating a .vmdk using the entire disk vs. individual partitions that would account for this behaviour? Is there any easy workaround?