I'm trying to dual boot a macbook pro, but it is too old to support a usb as a means of install and I don't have the full install disk, only the upgrade. I have an iso of Windows 7, can I somehow run a virtual box of a partition I put on my hard drive, and run the iso to install Windows? I'd like to be able to do that and then stop the virtual box, and be able to boot to the partition. Is this possible?

  • You may need to burn your Windows 7 iso to disk, and run from that. – zeel Dec 11 '13 at 6:35
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    Why would you want to do that? Running an OS from a VM is so much more convenient: you have two OSes simultaneously, you can easily share folders, you can resize the VM's disk in a few seconds, you can boot the VM system with a script, you can hybernate the VM when you turn off the host so that when you boot the VM again it will pick up exactly where it had left... – MariusMatutiae Dec 11 '13 at 8:03

What you describe is not possible.

Virtualbox runs inside your operating system (in its own window) and cannot boot partitions, and does not have its own 'boot menu' like GRUB that installs on your machine. It CAN boot an CD/DVD/ISO Windows install disc that you have. Virtualbox also makes a virtual partition so you don't have to worry breaking your current system. However, running two operating systems at once may be too heavy for your system to handle, and there is really hardly anything you can do about that besides overclock or upgrade.

Hope I have helped you.

PS I do not condone piracy. I hope you got that ISO legitimately.

  • I wouldn't say its "not possible" considering Windows 8 has this very ability to boot to a virtual machine. Its also possible with the Windows 7 bootloader. – Ramhound Dec 11 '13 at 12:51
  • I got the iso from the Windows forum. – Tim P. Dec 11 '13 at 13:01

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