Virtualize physically separate Windows XP installation ... read on...

Posted on 2009-02-11
Last Modified: 2012-05-06

I have no idea if this is possible but here goes...

I have 2 separate bootable hard disks both with Windows XP Professional installed.

What I would like to know is: Is it possible to boot the Windows installation on the second hard disk while in Windows on the first one?

I don't really understand Virtualization Software or how it works so I may be shooting thin air here...

Thanks in advance for any advice...

Question by:mausy
    LVL 13

    Accepted Solution

    I suggest looking at firing your PC up with one of the disks (disk1) and run disk2 as a slave. Clone the disk1 only using some cloning software. plenty of info on here regarding software to clone, do a search. Save the cloned image onto disk2. Then fire up the Disk2 and install , insstall Virtual PC, and then use your image inside virtual  as a separate OS.
    Hope that makes sense.
    LVL 32

    Assisted Solution

    Yes you would have to use VMware Server 1.x and also you would have to convert one of your two machines to be virtual.

    See these links:
    LVL 1

    Author Comment

    Hi leegclystvale,

    Thanks for the reply!

    Yes, that makes sense. However, I would, ideally, like to be able to boot disk 1 natively for the majority of the time. Booting it virtually would only be a convenience move on my part in the case that I occasionally want to access that operating system.

    Now, to echo your signoff... hope that makes sense! ;-)
    LVL 3

    Assisted Solution

    Yes that is right you will use disk 1 as your primary disk with the vmware OS on.
    You can add the other drive (disk2) as a separate datastore within Vmware. Therefore you would be able to boot the secondary HDD separately to the primary (Disk1). Hope it helps. But Yes you would have to convert one of the drives
    LVL 4

    Assisted Solution

    This is possible, here's the roadmap for vmware (other software solutions exist):

    On the system you intet to keep as is (I'll call it host system) you need to install one of virtualisation protucts:
    -vmware workstation ($$)
    - vmware server (free)
    - vmware player (free)

    On the system you want to run "in a wondow" i.e. as virtual machine(i'll call it guest system) under the host system, you need to install and run vmware converter ( It will produce a vmware image ( configuration files + virtual disk image) that will containt the copy of the guest system (the original system is not modified) you'll need enough space to store this copy.

    The last step is simply to start the guest vm from the host system
    LVL 1

    Author Closing Comment

    Thank you all guys...

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