So essentially I would like to be able to physically boot from either W7 or Linux on start-up, but I would rather remove the hassle of having to shut down everything I'm doing in Linux and wait for Windows to boot up in order to use Windows-only applications.

I googled the topic extensively (I think...) and couldn't really find an informative and knowledgeable answer... I would very much appreciate anyone's input on this.

Someone on a forum mentioned something about the registry and drivers having issues as the VM runs on abstracted hardware, but I'm not sure if there are ways to get around or patch that.

Before anyone asks, the reason I wish to do this is so that I could primarily use Linux and just run a Windows 7 VM seamlessly over it, but I also want to be able to boot directly into the Windows partition for more hardware-intensive applications like gaming and graphic design.

I really appreciate anyone's advice on the matter!

  • Microsoft made this rather difficult with product activation. Change enough of the hardware, and you need to reactivate. – Matthew Lundberg Jan 23 '13 at 2:52

You may want to possibly look into using VHD files. You theoretically should be able to boot to a virtual hard drive file from both a VM and a physical machine.


You can do this, however in reverse of what you want. Windows 7 and newer, support booting from VHDs. I haven never played with this feature, so I dont know how well it work with a Linux VHD. See this article, if you wish to pursue.

Your Answer

By clicking “Post Your Answer”, you agree to our terms of service, privacy policy and cookie policy

Not the answer you're looking for? Browse other questions tagged or ask your own question.