How to move Windows to VirtualBox

So you finally got fed up with M$ and decided to try Linux. You set up a dual boot so you could run Windows and Linux and are finding that you like Linux better, and now after discovering VirtualBox you find that Windows runs great under Linux and want to convert you existing Windoze partition to a VDI. Note: If you want to create a VDI from a drive that only has windows on it you can pop the drive into a linux machine as a second hard drive. You can also simply boot a Live Linux CD, but I haven't tried creating a disk image of a drive to the same drive. For obvious reasons this might not work, so you will want to have an external usb drive or multiple partitions/drives so you can save the image to a different drive than the drive you are copying. In linux type:
sudo fdisk -l
This will give you a list of installed hard drives and partitions:
/dev/sda1   *           1         486     3903763+  82  Linux swap / Solaris
/dev/sda4             487       14593   113314477+   f  W95 Ext'd (LBA)
/dev/sda5            7414       14593    57667648+  83  Linux
/dev/sda6             487        7413    55641064+  83  Linux
Now we need to make a disk image of the windows drive to your home dir in linux Note: If you are running of a live cd, mount the drive you want to copy to and substitute the mount point for ~/
sudo dd if=/dev/sdb4 of=~/xp.dd
Now convert that to a VDI image. Note: You will need to have virtualbox installed for this to work
VBoxManage convertdd ~/xp.dd ~/xp.vdi
Now create your new system in VirtualBox using the vdi you just created. Note, you probably want to move the .vdi to your VirtualBox VDI directory first. Enjoy!
(Thanks to everyone who comments)

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Thank you for your useful information. After reading your article I have a clear explanation and I will try to move my windows into Virtual Box. I came to know about this article through paper help. Well, I will recommend my friends to try it.


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Are you using windows and have plan to change into Linux, but you are afraid from and formats of files etc. but you no need to be worry, here you can change your windows drive into Linux, along number of solution of your problem.

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Your post is very helpful or me. I also want to move the window to VirtualBox because my all computer discs are full. I have no backup. So that's why I move my computer window with secure data.
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Is it so easy to move

Is it so easy to move Windows to VirtualBox? Great! Thanks for elaborating and giving the code here but I was comfortable up-to 3-4 links but after that I could not understand the code. Actually I never have done it before or never tried doing it so lack of idea. I assume to take the help from support center as the best solution because I don't want to take any risk with my OS. IT Outsourcing Culver City. It may be easy but little risky. I can't lose my files and other documents. I appreciate your guidance and hope to have more updates in coming days.

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The only problem is that

The only problem is that these tools are all Windows only.

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I am really enjoying creating my new system in VirtualBox. I could easily switch from Windows to VirtualBox. villa for rent thailand Thanks :)

A simpler way to migrate windows to Virtual Box or VM Ware

A simpler way is to backup your windows drive and then restore onto your virtual machine.


I think this is not working, because you MUST dd whole disk (not just partition). According to official VirtualBox web.

Fixing Licensing and Drivers

This didn't work for me. (Some kind of driver difference between VirtualBox and my laptop.)

I opted to use a tool, because it was getting too complicated. The two best ones seem to be SmartMigrate and disk2vhd. Both of them seem to work well. VMWare Converter is also supposed to be good, but I didn't try it. I kept the SmartMigrate one because it creates a VDI disk and seemed to get the licensing right. The only problem is that these tools are all Windows only. But fortunately you just can run them from the physical XP install before you nuke it! :)

Checking now

I am still in the process of trying this. Nothing else I have seen online has worked so I am hoping this will. I had roughly a 200Gb drive and created the .dd to a USB device. Took roughly 38 hours to create. Took about 90 minutes to copy over FireWire to my new system and I am creating the .vdi now. Keeping my fingers crossed....will update once I know...


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