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I have a windows 7 computer that I would like to connect a second hard drive to that contains ubuntu. I plan on running that copy of ubuntu inside virtualbox while using windows.

However, I can't seem to load windows if I connect the second hard drive with ubuntu. It starts to load windows and then swiches to a loading bar that says "Windows is loading files" once the bar completes, it does it a second time and then the page empties with just a small dash cursor like you might have on a terminal.


I was able to load both by booting with only the windows 7 drive attached, and then attaching the ubuntu drive via USB after windows loaded.

What would prevent windows from loading when a drive with ubuntu was attached?

  • They both are setup as primary drives with a MBR.
  • They both showup in the bios.
  • They are both using SATA 2 ports and both boot when only they are attached.

I'm using a core i7 system with a gigabyte h61ma-d3v motherboard.

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I'm wondering if this might be related. – Xeoncross Apr 14 '12 at 17:50
I'm confused.. First, you want to run Ubuntu as a VM, correct? By booting both, you mean that you want to boot the Ubuntu VM in virtual box? And this Windows partition is an external hard drive, or an internal? – cutrightjm Apr 14 '12 at 18:06
@ekaj, I only want to boot windows, and once windows is loaded I want to start up virtualbox with the second harddrive running the ubuntu install. However, I can't load anything if both hard drives are attached at the same time. – Xeoncross Apr 14 '12 at 18:25
In the BIOS, set the Win7 HDD to the master, and the Ubuntu HDD as the slave. Also, in the 'boot order' section, you can turn off the Ubuntu HDD and the BIOS won't even know it's there. Have you tried either of these? – cutrightjm Apr 14 '12 at 18:28
@ekaj yes, I've tried setting them to Primary/Secondary SATA on the same, and on different channels. Windows seems to be the problem though as it won't load when the second drive with ubuntu is attached. – Xeoncross Apr 14 '12 at 18:35

Disable booting from the second drive altogether. This should be possible on most motherboards. You can often remove extra devices from the boot list with the 'x' key.

It's also worth noting that, to my knowledge, you won't be able to run an EXISTING Ubuntu installation as a VM within Windows. You'd have to create a new one from scratch.

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While I haven't done it with VirtualBox, I have been able to boot existing Ubuntu installs (partitions) on a physical hard disk using VMware Player. You have some initial fun getting the drivers straight in the VM, but it can work if the VM allows you direct access to a physical hard drive. – irrational John Apr 15 '12 at 0:42
FWIW, I took a quick glance at the VirtualBox documentation. Section 9.8.1 Using a raw host hard disk from a guest et seq. covers using VMware's VMDK VHDD format with a VirtualBox VM to allow the VM to directly access a physical hard disk attached to the host system. Obviously not something for the casual user, but it looks like it can be done. – irrational John Apr 15 '12 at 2:39

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