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I have a Windows 7 installation that I've been using for long time now and I'm also experimenting with Ubuntu nowadays. I recently installed 13.04 alongside my Win7 installation. Now my question is, is there any way to run one of those inside the other one at the same time?

I'd especially interested in running my Win7 installation from Ubuntu, since the Ubuntu is a fresh install and I don't want the hassle of redoing all the customization work in my current Windows7 installation by doing a fresh install of Win7

So does anyone have got an answer for that? Would this be possible and/or feasible from a performance point of view?

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4 Answers 4

You can virtualize your windows box with whatever virtualization system you know, I use VMware Workstation. I believe its the vmware converter program you need to convert physical to virtual.

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Adding some information to the (very good I mean) answer of Clint Priest: take a look at this page please https://www.virtualbox.org/

VirtualBox is a powerful x86 and AMD64/Intel64 virtualization product for enterprise as well as home use. Not only is VirtualBox an extremely feature rich, high performance product for enterprise customers, it is also the only professional solution that is freely available as Open Source Software under the terms of the GNU General Public License (GPL) version 2. See "About VirtualBox" for an introduction.

Presently, VirtualBox runs on Windows, Linux, Macintosh, and Solaris hosts and supports a large number of guest operating systems including but not limited to Windows (NT 4.0, 2000, XP, Server 2003, Vista, Windows 7), DOS/Windows 3.x, Linux (2.4 and 2.6), Solaris and OpenSolaris, OS/2, and OpenBSD.

VirtualBox is being actively developed with frequent releases and has an ever growing list of features, supported guest operating systems and platforms it runs on. VirtualBox is a community effort backed by a dedicated company: everyone is encouraged to contribute while Oracle ensures the product always meets professional quality criteria.

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Yes, Virtualbox [a free and cross platform virtualization software] supports this:

How to Use Physical Disk to load Windows Under Linux

Here I explain how to use a Physical disk partition for a guest OS under VirtualBox. This is also called Raw Disk partition use for VirtualBox. My use case was to run WindowsXP as guest OS from a physical installation under Linux and still be able to boot up the system in same Windows installation when needed.

And, the official Virtualbox Documentation on the topic.

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It is possible to configure VMWare Player to use a partition of the host machine: http://imrannazar.com/Running-a-Windows-Partition-in-VMware. Couple of pitfalls you will need to watch out for:

  1. You will be changing the hard drive controller the OS sees, so make sure you've updated hardware profiles/generated the appropriate initrd
  2. This can (and frequently will) trigger Windows Activation, so make sure you've backed that up
  3. Generate a separate MBR for VMWare to prevent yourself from booting the host OS from VMWare. Booting an OS over itself is guaranteed to break your system.
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