[GRLUG] VirtualBox question

Bill Littlejohn billl at mtd-inc.com
Fri Feb 27 10:06:27 EST 2009

On Fri, Feb 27, 2009 at 8:58 AM, John-Thomas Richards <jtr at jrichards.org>wrote:

> On Thu, Feb 26, 2009 at 02:43:11PM -0500, Bill Littlejohn wrote:
> > On Thu, Feb 26, 2009 at 2:30 PM, John-Thomas Richards <jtr at jrichards.org
> >wrote:
> >
> > > My laptop came with a restore partition for another OS.  I would like
> to
> > > install this operating system in a virtual machine with VirtualBox.  My
> > > Google-fu is failing me because all I can find is references to
> > > installing a virtual machine *into* a physical partition, not
> installing
> > > a virtual machine *from* a physical partition.  Anyone here have a clue
> > > if this is possible?
> >
> > Sure - just copy the partition to a different drive.
> > There are a couple of ways I can think of.
> > What I would do requires an external USB hard drive of equivalent (or
> > larger) capacity to your laptop hard drive.
> > Boot from a live-cd, then dd your laptop drive to the USB drive. This
> will
> > overwrite anything on the USB drive with the copy.
> > Setup your VM and connect the USB drive to it. You should be able to boot
> > the restore partition from there.
> > I assume the drivers would be somewhat borked since it's likely preloaded
> > with your laptop hardware drivers. You'll want to install the virtual
> > hardware drivers as soon as possible to straighten things out.
> > Bill
> My drive is partitioned thusly:
> /dev/sda1       /media/restore_partition
> /dev/sda2       swap
> /dev/sda3       /
> /dev/sda4       /home
> Is booting from a live CD necessary?
> --
> john-thomas
> ------
> Why should I fear death? If I am, death is not. If death is, I am not.
> Why should I fear that which cannot exist when I do?
> Epicurus, philosopher (c.341-270 BCE)
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No, booting from a live cd isn't necessary. That's just a simple way to get
the bootloader and the restore partition onto the second drive without
worrying too much about partition tables and boot loaders.
When I did this, I setup the disk more or less how I thought the restore
expected the disk to look like.
I copied the bootloader and the restore partition to the target drive, and
had a a second partition there just so the number of partitions was right.
The restore isn't likely to ask anything and will put everything on the
second partition. That worked out fine in my case.
Can you tell me how big those partitions are, how much space is available,
and where you want to put your new VM?
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