FreeBSD 9 and Windows XP

Warren Block wblock at
Mon Mar 11 18:25:45 UTC 2013

On Mon, 11 Mar 2013, Carl Johnson wrote:

> Eduardo Morras <emorrasg at> writes:
>> On Sat,  9 Mar 2013 12:07:41 -0800 (PST)
>> <leeoliveshackelford at> wrote:
>>> Good afternoon, FreeBSD enthusiasts.  Can FreeBSD 9.1 be installed on
>>> a computer on which Windows XP currently resides?  If so, how can
>>> this installation be >done?  In particular, is there a way to install
>>> 9.1 so that it can be booted from the traditional master boot record?
>>> It is important that, when I am done, I can >still boot to Windows
>>> XP, as I must run some applications not available on FreeBSD.  If the
>>> idea I am proposing is not feasible with version 9.1, will it work
>>> with >8.3?  Any comments are appreciated.  If this question has
>>> already been asked many times before, please just let me know where
>>> to look to find the answer.  Thanks.  >Newbie502
>> As an addon to other answers, you can install VirtualBox, create a
>> minimal hard disk with MBR boot menu that points to the WindowsXP
>> partition. This way you don't need to restart in WinXP. The same can
>> be done from WinXP side, a minimal hd with MBR boot menu to startup
>> the FreeBSD.
> It is my understanding that FreeBSD doesn't allow using part of a disk,
> but grabs the entire disk.  That means that VirtualBox can't use
> partitions on a disk that any other partitions are being used by
> anything else, including FreeBSD itself.  Am I wrong about this?  I use
> VirtualBox using vdmk for an entire disk, but I have never been able to
> share with anything else.

It's very hard to tell what situation is being described here.  If the 
VMDK is a pointer to a whole physical disk, that would probably make the 
disk only usable by one VM.  It should be possible to make the VMDK 
point to just one partition on the disk.  Then other VMs or a physical 
machine could use those other partitions while the FreeBSD VM was 

Booting the same Windows install alternately in a VM and then on real 
hardware may trigger the "Genuine Advantage" annoyance.

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