Here’s a simple guide to using your existing Windows install inside Ubuntu – and still being able to start it from your hard disk if you need. Unlike previous guides, it takes around 15 minutes and doesn’t require any terminal use.
Updated: For some reason System ? Administration ? Users and Groups seems to be buggy on some installs. Alternative instructions are now included below.
First make a hardware profile for VMware:
- Click Start ? Control Panel ? System
- On the Hardware tab, select Hardware Profiles
- Click Copy, and call your new hardware profile VMware.
Now install the SCSI drivers Windows needs to start inside VMware:
- Download the VMware SCSI drivers and WinImage
- Install and start Winimage. Inside Winimage, open the VMware SCSI driver file, and Extract it somewhere.
- Click Start ? Control Panel ? Add Hardware and step through the wizard.
- Tell Windows you’ve already connected the hardware.
- On the next screen, there’s a list of installed hardware. Go all the way down to the bottom and choose Add a new hardware device.
- Choose to Install the hardware that I manually select from a list.
- Next choose SCSI and RAID controllers. After, that, click Have Disk… and navigate to the drivers you extracted with WinImage.Windows will install the VMware SCSI driver.
Reboot to Ubuntu
If you’re currently mounting your Windows partition under Linux, unmount it.
- Press Alt-F2 and type sudo gedit /etc/group
Add your user name to the end of the line that starts with disk, then save and exit. This will add you to the disk group and give you the ability to access your hard disk inside VMware
- Click Applications ? Add/Remove… . Install the vmware-server package.
- Click Applications ? System Tools ? VMware Server Console. Connect to the local host. When you’re aslked for a registration code, visit http://register.vmware.com/content/registration.html to get one (it’s free). Select Create a new virtual machine and, in the wizard…
- Create a Custom virtual machine.
- Pick the version of Windows you’re using, let VMware pick a name, and click past the defaults until you get to networking. Choose NAT networking. Leave Buslogic as the SCSI controller.
- On the Select a Disk screen, choose Use a physical disk. That’s right, you’re now an advanced user – give yourself a high five. After that, pick Use individual partitions and pick both your Window NTFS and Linux Ext3 partition (since part of Grub is on your Linux partition). Don’t bother about the swap partition.
- If, like most people, you don’t have a floppy drive, click Edit virtual machiune settings. Select Floppy 1 and untick Connect at power on.
- But before we go further, a note: don’t start Linux inside the VM. If you do accidentally start Linux, turn the VM off immediately – otherwise your files may be eaten as Linux checks a running disk. Consider yourself warned.
- Now start the VM. When grub comes up, select Windows. When you’re asked to pick a profile, pick VMware.
Your Windows install should start inside the VM. Congratulations!
The first time it boots, you’ll get a few messages about new hardware. Cancel them and, in the VMware Server Console, click VM ? Install VMware tools instead. Then let the VM restart when asked.
That’s it. Your existing Windows install and all its apps now can be started inside Ubuntu, and on its own.
If you’d like your Windows apps to appear directly your existing Ubuntu desktop (without the separate Windows desktop), check out last week’s article.
As usual, post any suggestions, feedback or questions below.
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