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I currently have a laptop with linux in it. I'd like to install Windows 7 on dual boot with it but instead of doing it with a usb drive I was wondering if it was possible to create a raw disk image in virtualbox, install Windows in it (from my linux guest) and then use it in dual boot with linux (after updating grub accordingly).

Is it safe to do so? Has anyone ever done it?

  • Whether it's safe depends on what you deem safe. It's probably possible, but you may have too fix Windows bootloader manually. I did it the other way around: Windows as main OS, Ubuntu installed in VM and bootable on bare metal. – gronostaj Apr 21 '16 at 23:05
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It depends on how your VirtualBox boot up. If your boot up through other bootable method not grub, you might fail. I am not sure, I considered.

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Even better, you can use you raw disk in virtualbox (see: http://www.serverwatch.com/server-tutorials/using-a-physical-hard-drive-with-a-virtualbox-vm.html )

For Linux: VBoxManage internalcommands createrawvmdk -filename ".vmdk" -rawdisk /dev/sda

That should work.

But be careful on not not deleting linux partition in the windows installer.

And of course, have a backup ;-)

  • Actually the windows 10 iso hangs on a black screen after the windows 10 logo and swirling circle, when I have an SSD connected as a rawdisk to the VM using that same command. However my host is windows if it makes a difference. Seems the windows 10 cd is horrible at working in virtualbox. It also won't allow you to fix disks connected via usb. – CausingUnderflowsEverywhere Nov 20 '16 at 3:57

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