Virtualization software that can use existing vista installation

Freddie Cash fjwcash at
Fri Jun 12 16:21:29 UTC 2009

On Fri, Jun 12, 2009 at 8:50 AM, Ralf Folkerts <ralf.folkerts at> wrote:

> Mel Flynn wrote:
>> Hi,
>> is there any good working virtualization software on FreeBSD that can work
>> with an existing Vista installation? I have a slice on my disk with ~20G of
>> vista, for taxes and some games. As far as skimming through virtualbox user
>> manual told me, it will need to install vista itself on the FreeBSD box.
>> The data for partition 1 is:
>> sysid 7 (0x07),(NTFS, OS/2 HPFS, QNX-2 (16 bit) or Advanced UNIX)
>>    start 63, size 50473061 (24645 Meg), flag 0
>>        beg: cyl 0/ head 1/ sector 1;
>>        end: cyl 1023/ head 8/ sector 44
>> Also, it would probably take me a few days to locate the original vista
>> DVD that came with the laptop, so I'd really like to avoid that. ;)
>> Of course, I'm also open to tricks that allow me to use that installation
>> even if it means going through the normal motions.
> Hi,
> well, not a real solution; ~1 Year ago I used the VMWare Converter to
> convert my physical Windows XP Installation into a VMDK, copy that to my
> Linux Machine, mount that disk into VirtualBox, run a Repair-Installation -
> and was done. The Image uses to run fine from within VirtualBox since then.
> As there is a Virtual Box Port in the works now for FreeBSD - though
> currently a bit limited re. Network, it might come somewhat close to what
> you want. Please note, that I did not yet check that mentioned Image with
> FBSD-VBox but only use a smaller "test" Image.
> For the Converter see
> As my Experience is a bit outdated and was with an older Version of both
> (VBox, Converter) there is a chance that it might no longer work at all...
> But it might be worth a try.

You can also use dd to create a raw disk image, if you have the space.  Then
use that disk image with your VM software of choice.
I'm pretty sure with later versions of VMWare Workstation (5 or 6) you can
point it at a raw disk partition and it will use the on-disk/already
installed OS.  But the latest version of VMWare Workstation for FreeBSD is
3.x, which doesn't support this.

You may be able to use the raw disk device with QEmu, but I've never tried
that or even looked into it.

Freddie Cash
fjwcash at

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