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Re: [vox-tech] dual-boot machine / vmware / SATA drives...
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Re: [vox-tech] dual-boot machine / vmware / SATA drives...

short: You can run a virtual machine via VMWare using a raw drive on SATA.

long: I have a laptop with a SATA drive. The first partition is NTFS running corporate windows xp. Later partitions are for gentoo Linux. I have a dual-boot setup using grub. Inside Linux I run a VMWare virtual machine which accesses the NTFS raw partition. When I boot the virtual machine, I see my entire grub menu as if I were booting the computer itself. I just make sure I choose windows then, although if I accidentally choose Linux, I simply get an error. In windows I have two "device profiles" one called "real" and one called "virtual". I choose virtual when I am running the virtual machine, of course. When I set this all up, I remember I had to manually hack one of the vmware config files to make the SATA work. You can find the info in the vmware forums, I think. The other problem that came up was the windows xp authorization: it may think you have installed it twice due to the greatly different device profiles. Once I managed to get around that, it hasn't bothered me since. Now everything works seamlessly except for some occasional networking issues.

Hope some of this helps.


Dylan Beaudette wrote:
Hi everyone,

recently purchased a new machine for the lab, and have plan on using it for the following :

two SATA drives, one with WinXP the other with Debian Linux.
Right now it boots into Linux by default, and will provide remote-login services among other things to our lab members. The Windows XP install was going to be accessed via VMware, with linux as the host operating system of course, for people who actually sit down at the machine. I was planning on accessing the first SATA disk in raw mode as opposed to creating a virtual disk for windows to live in. however, according to the vmware docs, raw access mode will not work with SCSI disks. with kernel 2.6 SATA devices appears as SCSI devices- so it seems that this approach will not work.

one possible work-around would be to dump windows on the first disk, format with ext3, and create a large VMware virtual disk in its place. This option should work fine.

one small problem (?) -- my bootloader (grub) is stored in the MBR of the first SATA disk, will re-partitioning this disk destroy the MBR ? and if so, how can i safely restore it ?
any comments / thoughts -- I am pretty sure that the above is reasonable, but I would sure appreciate any other options!


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