Running your dual boot windows inside Vmware Server within Ubuntu

I guess I’m a linux evangelist… Ubuntu is my main operating system, yet (for work interoperatibility) windows is sometimes needed. At that time, I mostly have multiple workspaces open, along with a lot of processes running. Doing a reboot to windows would mean a loss of time & productivity. Or just too much work, as everyone is kinda lazy by nature…

So my research began… First I used VmWare convertor to run my windows inside my linux. Yet having two windows machines, meant twice the space/maintenance. After browsing thru the options, I saw the option to boot straight from a physical disk/partition. After some experiments, I got it working. Below you can find a small guide on how to get it done.

– install vmware server
– if you’re using a sata or scsi drive, install the vmware scsi
(if you get a bluescreen when starting windows within vmware, then you know you needed it… boot into windows, and install the drivers)
– create the “virtual machine”

  • Create a new virtual machine
  • Custom
  • Select Windows
  • Enter a name & location
  • Private or not, your choice
  • Select the memory you want to give the VM
  • Bridged network
  • Buslogic
  • Use a physical disk
  • Select disk, and Use entire disk
  • Finish

– Startup, and select your windows when grub asks for your boot options

IMPORTANT: DO NOT, I repeat, DO NOT startup your linux thru vmware within your linux… trust me on this one, been there, done that… you’ll be fscking all night, so not the best thing to do, as you might have already guessed, but the mistake easily made as it’s probably your default selection within grub

11 thoughts on “Running your dual boot windows inside Vmware Server within Ubuntu

  1. Bookmarked this – will give it a crack on Monday. Thanks for the tip 🙂


  2. Hi,
    I have a dual boot laptop with XP and Suse 10.2. I have VMware Server in my XP and tried out the above steps to have my Suse as a guest server.
    However, i noticed some thing during the boot.
    ACPI Exception (processor_core-0787): AE_NOT_FOUND, Processor device is not present

    Trying manual resume from /dev/sda8
    resume device /dev/sda8 not found (ignoring)
    waiting for device /dev/disk/by-id/scsi-SATA_ST9808211A_3LF2DK6V-part9 to appear………could not find
    not found………..exiting to /bin/sh

    and nothing happens. All i do is poweroff the vmware guest.
    Any help to make this work would be greatly appreciated.

  3. Please note that this post was written for the previous version of vmware server. I don’t think it’s possible anymore in the new one…

  4. If you don’t want to choose XP in grub all the time, then you can do the following:

    1. create a boot-floppy in XP
    2. dd’ this floppy under Linux to create a virtual floopy (image)
    3. use this image in VMware to startup your XP
    4. in VMware you can now make your Linux partition invisible for XP

  5. I just did by mistake what you noted not to do ever: my dualboot timedout with default boot to ubuntu (itself).

    Now it won’t boot any more.

    Do you have a suggestion on how to fix that?

  6. Depends on how experienced you are in terms of Linux… Yet if you’re asking this, then I would suggest a reinstall. Try to boot with a live cd first to transfer your data before reinstalling.

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