Rough guide to getting an existing Windows XP partition to boot as a VMWare guest under Linux

Because I might have to do this again someday…

  1. Install VMWare Server. Use the advanced config to create an image that uses your existing hard disk.
  2. Boot Windows (physically). Back up the current hardware profile.
  3. Boot Linux. Download the SCSI drivers from http://www.vmware.com/download/ws/index.html#drivers ..
  4. Change your GRUB config so that it doesn’t time out. You do _not_ want to accidentally boot your Linux partition while inside Linux.
  5. Start VMWare with your Windows image. Use the recovery console. Mount the SCSI drivers FLP as a floppy and copy the files to c:\windows\system32\drivers .
  6. Boot Windows physically. Use the Control Panel – Add New Hardware dialog to add the VMWare SCSI driver. It might also be a good idea to disable ACPI for the computer
  7. Boot to Linux. Use VMWare to load the Windows image.

The SATA drive complicated things a bit, but I eventually got stuff sorted out. Yay! Next step: Wonder if seamless is worth the trouble…

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  • Eric TF Bat

    Holy cow! So that’s what you were doing!

    Sacha, you really are the uber-geekchick. No doubt about it. That is boggleworthy!

    • http://sachachua.com Sacha Chua

      No, I’m just following in the footsteps of people who have posted instructions to the Internet. (Hooray Internet!)

      I’ve given up on seamless integration with my Linux desktop, primarily because Dragon NaturallySpeaking doesn’t work with Remote Desktop, and also because the fingerprint reader messes everything up. Still, it is a pretty sweet set up, although I’m mortified to realize how much I’ve come to like certain tools. (I’m looking at you, Windows Live Writer and Dragon NaturallySpeaking!). Memory permitting, I can have the best of both worlds. =)

  • http://rygh.no Nicolai Rygh

    I bookmarked this page back when you wrote it, and now I’ll test it (just ordered a new disk to my IBM issued T60)!