First question is is it possible? I don't see why not but maybe someone else has done this. Here's my situation.

I have a new HP laptop that came with Win7 x64 with the installation files possibly on a hidden partition or embedded in the recovery partition; there was no external recovery media included with the laptop. I rarely use Win7. Instead, I boot off eSata hdd with Linux and primarily run that. I'd like to take Win7, which I own, and create a VM from it (prefer not to use the physical disk that already contains win7 as that is dangerous according to VBox)

So, I am able to find the recovery partition for windows7. I created an image from it, mounted it, and verified it. It's supposedly already bootable:

/media/BigDisk2-0/win7BootPartition/win7RE.iso: x86 boot sector, code offset 0x52, OEM-ID "NTFS ", sectors/cluster 8, reserved sectors 0, Media descriptor 0xf8, heads 255, hidden sectors 1886881792, dos < 4.0 BootSector (0x80)

VBox won't mount it, though. It gives the following error:

FATAL: Could not read from the boot medium! System halted.

So, that's odd and I'll need to look into that more. At any rate, after more searching, it seems that this partition is probably NOT the actual partition with the win7 installation files (haven't 100% verified yet). However, I'm thinking that if I can still boot the recovery image with VBox, that it will allow me to "recover" Win7 by fooling it that it's part of a real machine. The WinRE image I'm using is mounted in vbox as a CD with the vmdk set as a SATA HDD.

The end state here is that I'd like to run my copy of Win7 in my VM instead of from the primary drive on the host machine so that I don't have to reboot into it in order to use it. I wouldn't technically be violating any EULAs because I can't run both copies of Win7 concurrently so only one copy would be running at a time.

I'm currently attempting to do this with VBox 4.1.4 (latest copy) on an HP dv7-4290us laptop x64. The parent OS is Fedora 15 x64.

asked 24 Oct '11, 04:54

cloaked1's gravatar image

accept rate: 0%

edited 25 Oct '11, 02:13

It seems that UEFI is already enabled on some Windows 7 systems and as such is already causing issues. Check out this link:

I realize some people want Windows (for gaming purposes) or in the corporate world (Blackberry / Exchange support, custom applications, etc), but my advice is that if you can live without Windows, do it. I really don't have any need for any Windows applications.


answered 24 Oct '11, 15:43

Ron's gravatar image

Ron ♦
accept rate: 13%

Ron, interesting read. In fact, information I had not yet known about, so thank you for the heads up. I did some poking around my system. Win7 is not EFI booting on this laptop, so I don't think that's the cause of the problem right now. Thanks though!

(24 Oct '11, 20:53) cloaked1
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Asked: 24 Oct '11, 04:54

Seen: 2,158 times

Last updated: 25 Oct '11, 02:13

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