1.    29 Jan 2016 #1
    Join Date : Dec 2014
    Posts : 28
    Windows 10 Insider Preview (IP)

    Is it possible to run a separate Windows OS as a Virtual Machine?


    Sup pals! I've been googling a bit, but haven't pin pointed to a solution. I'm trying to achieve something a la parallels, in which I'd have a separate Windows installation and I can either boot directly to it, or run it as a virtual machine.

    I've seen that you can convert an existing installation into a VHD drive, something which I DO NOT WANT. I want to do it as it is possible to do it in Mac with Parallels.

    Is there any software available to do so? Thanks
      My ComputerSystem Spec
  2.    29 Jan 2016 #2
    Join Date : Sep 2014
    Nashville, TN
    Posts : 3,142
    Windows 10 Pro

    You don't mention which virtual machine software you are using. However, in general, no. Windows does not support running a virtual machine in anything other than a VHD. Physical partitions for virtual machines are not supported anymore (they used to be, back in the XP days, but I think since at least Vista, direct hardware access to the partition is no longer possible.)

    I could be wrong though, I haven't seen a way to do this.
      My ComputerSystem Spec
  3.    03 Feb 2016 #3

    Quote Originally Posted by superjose View Post
    Sup pals! I've been googling a bit, but haven't pin pointed to a solution. I'm trying to achieve something a la parallels, in which I'd have a separate Windows installation and I can either boot directly to it, or run it as a virtual machine.

    I've seen that you can convert an existing installation into a VHD drive, something which I DO NOT WANT. I want to do it as it is possible to do it in Mac with Parallels.

    Is there any software available to do so? Thanks
    Hi there
    your question is a bit vague but there are a few ways of running multiple instances of Windows on a single machine (You'll have to ensure your licensing arrangements are OK of course though.

    1) multiple HDD's -- choose boot HDD at boot up or use Boot program --- disadvantage only one Windows will run at a time

    2) Create a Windows to go which boots off external device - disadvantage - if you don't have Enterprise then you'll have to use a VHD like Windows PE and you can only run one instance at a time.

    3) Use Virtual machine software - advantage - you can run as many VM's concurrently as your RAM / CPU and disk space allow.
    VMware workstation (paid for) VMware player (free) vbox (free) or HYPER-V (also Free within Windows --you need at least PRO though).

    You can CLONE your existing running machine with VMware converter tool -- download from VMware site --free and the format also works on HYPER-V.

    Other OS'es need to be installed just as you would do on a physical machine. Mount the installer iso / usb and run the setup / install.

    As Mystere says you can't (at least AFAIK) use Real HDD's to boot as a VM - although somewhere I'm sure someone has come up with "Raw Disks" for Virtual machines.

    Way way back (8 releases of VMware ago !!!) you could do it : Read the bit about Raw Disks.

    Configuring a Windows Host


    Now whether this still works today I have no idea -- and in any case HDD storage is so ridiculously cheap these days why bother - creating a few VM's won't use a lot of HDD space on a large drive.

    Cheers
    jimbo
      My ComputerSystem Spec
  4.    04 Feb 2016 #4
    Join Date : Dec 2014
    Posts : 28
    Windows 10 Insider Preview (IP)
    Thread Starter

    Thanks a lot people for your answers! It seems that things could get a little complicated. What I am intending to do is to run Visual Studio.

    The problem is that recent builds of Windows 10 (Insider Preview, Including 14,257) have broken several aspects of app development in Visual Studio. I know it is not recommended to use Windows Insider Preview as a mainly driver (in my SSD), but in the past these problems wouldn't arose.

    So, I'll just end up installing Virtualbox and install visual Studio in it! Thanks a lot pals! Hopefully these problems will be solved soon!
      My ComputerSystem Spec
  5.    08 Feb 2016 #5
    Join Date : Dec 2015
    Posts : 5,342
    Windows10

    Quote Originally Posted by superjose View Post
    Thanks a lot people for your answers! It seems that things could get a little complicated. What I am intending to do is to run Visual Studio.

    The problem is that recent builds of Windows 10 (Insider Preview, Including 14,257) have broken several aspects of app development in Visual Studio. I know it is not recommended to use Windows Insider Preview as a mainly driver (in my SSD), but in the past these problems wouldn't arose.

    So, I'll just end up installing Virtualbox and install visual Studio in it! Thanks a lot pals! Hopefully these problems will be solved soon!
    Be aware you need a separate licence for Windows (any version) in a VM.
      My ComputerSystem Spec
  6.    08 Feb 2016 #6
    Join Date : Dec 2014
    Posts : 28
    Windows 10 Insider Preview (IP)
    Thread Starter

    Quote Originally Posted by cereberus View Post
    Be aware you need a separate licence for Windows (any version) in a VM.
    Thanks
      My ComputerSystem Spec
  7.    08 Feb 2016 #7
    Join Date : Jul 2015
    Posts : 3,652
    10 Pro

    Quote Originally Posted by superjose View Post
    I've seen that you can convert an existing installation into a VHD drive, something which I DO NOT WANT. I want to do it as it is possible to do it in Mac with Parallels.
    I know that you said you don't want to do this but if you create your virtual disk in VHD or VHDX format it is easy to boot it natively - all you need to do is add a boot manager entry (See here) . You can then choose to run it as a VM or natively and swap when you want to.

    If you might want to do it in future make sure when you create your VM that the maximum size of your VHD(X) will fit on your disk as it is expanded to full size when you native boot it. VirtualBox supports VHD disks although it isn't the default.
      My ComputerSystem Spec
  8.    08 Feb 2016 #8
    Join Date : Dec 2014
    Posts : 28
    Windows 10 Insider Preview (IP)
    Thread Starter

    Quote Originally Posted by lx07 View Post
    I know that you said you don't want to do this but if you create your virtual disk in VHD or VHDX format it is easy to boot it natively - all you need to do is add a boot manager entry (See here) . You can then choose to run it as a VM or natively and swap when you want to.

    If you might want to do it in future make sure when you create your VM that the maximum size of your VHD(X) will fit on your disk as it is expanded to full size when you native boot it. VirtualBox supports VHD disks although it isn't the default.
    Awesome! Thanks a lot for the info!
      My ComputerSystem Spec

 


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