VMWare running native XP on SATA disk

There have been a few attempts at documenting the process of running a windows install directly from the hard disk via VMWare running on a GNU/Linux host. The most publicized attempt was made "digg famous" here: Running a Windows Partition in VWware -- they all fall flat in various ways. The previous example could only run on systems with IDE, and not SATA drives, which are becoming ubiquitous, and on top of that it was unnecessarily complicated.

This is part One, part Two is here: VMWare running native XP on SATA disk, part 2.

The trick is to use install VMwares SCSI disk drivers under a windows hardware profile. I assume you already have your GNU/Linux environment setup already as you'll need it to unpack the SCSI driver. Here are the exact steps:

1) Download the VMware SCSI drivers (On your Linux box)

2) mount -o loop vmscsi- /mnt/tmp (Do this as root via sudo or su)

3) cp /mnt/tmp /where/ever (This is the equivalent of unpacking a zip file). Ideally /where is the location where you mounted your windows partition read-write via something like ntfs3g, so you can just boot into windows and see your files. Otherwise see the next step.

4) Get the files from the floopy image onto Windows, copy them onto a CD, or over a network share. I'll leave this up to you.

5) Create a Windows Hardware Profile by right clicking on "My Computer" -> Properties -> Hardware -> Hardware Profiles. You should see something like: "Profile 1 (Current)". Copy that, and name the copy "Virtualized". Rename the original "Physical" (or whatever you think you'll remember). Also, on that same screen enable "Wait Until I select a hardware profile".

6) Reboot your computer. When you start booting Windows you should be presented with a DOS-Like menu. Select the "Virtualized" profile. Start -> Settings -> Control Panel -> Add Hardware -> Yes, I have already connected the hardware -> You'll then be presented with a list, scroll to the bottom "Add a new hardware device" -> Install the hardware that I manually select from a list -> SCSI and RAID Controllers -> Have Disk -> Browse to where ever you copied the files we unpacked from the floppy image under Linux. Select the driver. After the driver is installed, you might get a warning message about the device not functioning properly -- Ignore it, obviously the VMWare SCSI device will only be present when running the OS under VMWare.

7) You are Done!

Tomorrow I'll cover the Linux portion of things, how to configure VMWare to use the installed Windows XP partition.

Hope this helps, and see you tomorrow. Resources:







http://www.vmware.com/support/ws4/doc/disks_dualboot_ws.html#1046312 "Caution: Running a Windows XP guest from a raw disk is not supported. You should not test a Windows XP raw disk configuration in a production environment."