15 minutes to using your existing Windows install & apps in Ubuntu



Using a Windows install in Ubuntu

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.

In Windows

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.

  • Contribute something
  • Justify your opinion
  • Be courteous to others

105 Responses to “15 minutes to using your existing Windows install & apps in Ubuntu

  • 1

    Donnie Pennington
    July 9th, 2007 05:39Do you have any suggestions on how to proceed if your already-installed Windows is Vista – which no longer has user-configurable hardware profiles?

    Sorry – I don’t use Vista, as the Windows apps I need don’t work in it. Perhaps another reader can help?

  • 2

    Matt Farley
    July 9th, 2007 13:04I’ve been running this setup for a few months, but I’ve always been annoyed by the fact that each time I switch between booting in the VM versus booting natively, Windows needs to phone home to Microsoft to reactivate itself.

    I’m worried I’ll eventually run out of activations.

    Ed:Check meb’s suggestion below.

  • 3

    Matt Farley
    July 9th, 2007 13:05Whoops, I meant to say “few months” above, not minutes.

  • 4

    July 9th, 2007 13:43Thank you!

    Ive been looking for this guide since i first installed Ubuntu because i unfortunately still need some windows apps, im assuming this works with vista too. Anyway thanks for the post!


  • 5

    July 9th, 2007 13:56If you are worried about activation, you can try adding this to the vmx file:

    SMBIOS.reflectHost = TRUE

  • 6

    Sam Liddicott
    July 9th, 2007 16:36I only had to re-register windows once.
    I re-installed XP before I started, got all the windows updates and then filled the hard disk with files of zeroes, which I then deleted.

    I then booted linux and did a compressed dd backup of my ntfs partition, now I can easily restore my XP.

    I also don’t boot my linux grub, because once it booted linux (in vmware) under the same linux which caused some serious filesystem corruption.

    So I made a grub floppy that only boots XP and have vmware boot from that floppy image.

    Final tip, after installing vmwaretools under windows, have it sync your clock regularly or you will lose ticks and you clock will run slowly.


  • 7

    David Thomas
    July 9th, 2007 17:21Thank you.

    This is an excellent guide on how to integrate Windows into the Linux desktop.

    It shows how to use advanced modern techniques in a clear way and provides readers with even more reasons to switch to linux.

    I like the idea of a virtualized XP machine running inside my Kubuntu desktop :-)

  • 8

    July 9th, 2007 18:00Is it possible to do this in reverse? That is, if I have windows xp installed in a virtual machine, can I somehow copy it to a native windows partition and boot from it?

  • 9

    July 9th, 2007 20:27When I tried this, Windows bluescreened when it tried to start.

    Ed:What was the error? If the VMware SCSI drivers are missing, you’ll get INACCESSIBLE_BOOT_DEVICE. Also tell us your Physical CPU type (assuming you’re using Ubuntu 7.04).

  • 10

    the jackol’s den » 15 minutes to using your existing Windows install & apps in Ubuntu – Mikhail Esteves
    July 9th, 2007 23:02[…] Link […]

  • 11

    July 9th, 2007 23:21I have no ‘disk’ group and creating it doesn’t work?

    We’ve had a couple of reports about this – it may be a bug in the Users and Groups tool. While we investigate, this workaround should suffice. Clock Applications -> Accessories -> Terminal and run:

    sudo gpasswd -a username disk

  • 12

    July 9th, 2007 23:22Also it won’t let me unmount sda1
    It says that umount disagrees with fstab.

  • 13

    July 9th, 2007 23:32So what happens if the applications you need to use require dx9, dx10, or opengl support? last i checked vmware still doesn’t do anything about 3d acceleration… until then, i’m still stuck using windows for autocad, 3d studio max, and video games unless I use some kind of crappy (difficult to use and not up-to-par with running things right on windows) third-party compatibility layer like wine…

    if i can virtualize the gpu as well, i’d be in business, but for now i’m stuck.

  • 14

    July 9th, 2007 23:40OK so I finally got it to make the VM, and it says that the partition table has changed since I made the disk. It says this immediately after recreating it. WTF?

  • 15

    July 10th, 2007 00:02@cpgeek:
    (And anybody interested)

    How to enable 3D support in VMWare:

    This tutorial uses Vmware server, though. I don’t know if it applies. I think it may work for the free vmware player, though.

    Actually, that uses VMware Workstation. The question is, does it work with VMware server? (which is the free product we used above)

  • 16

    July 10th, 2007 01:07The “disk” group is not accessible from the default “Users and Groups” in Ubuntu Feisty. You will have to edit the group from the command line.

    sudo gedit /etc/group

    At the line that says “disk”, addend your user name to the end, save and exit the file.

    VMware server requires a serial number to work, before you try to install it, register for free at:


    VMware server is no longer in the default repositories for Ubuntu Feisty, you’ll have to add the canonical commercial repository to install it easily

    sudo gedit /etc/apt/sources.list

    add the following line to the end of the file save and exit

    deb http://archive.canonical.com/ubuntu feisty-commercial main

    Then update the local repository lists with:

    sudo apt-get update

    Then you’ll be able to finish the walk-through without “anymore” command line adjustments.

    Also of IMPORTANT note in regards to Windows Vista:

    If you use Windows Vista through a virtual machine, even if it is on the same hardware, you are breaking the EULA and Microsoft reserves the right to collect additional licensing fees and even (at their discretion) withdraw your original license.

    Thanks for your post! Add addition: although you could add it manually, the necessary repositories for VMware-Server will be added as soon as you search for VMware-Server via the Add/Remove app.

  • 17

    July 10th, 2007 02:06Does this require ntfs-3g to be installed?

  • 18

    July 10th, 2007 02:08at first I couldn’t unmount because I didn’t have the neccesary privillages, so then I used Gparted and it did the trick. Afterwards I didn’t have the group “disk” so I created it and added my user and it worked.

  • 19

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    July 10th, 2007 02:48[…] disk if you need. It takes around 15 minutes and doesn’t require any terminal use. nude batmanread more | digg […]

  • 20

    July 10th, 2007 03:30I had to add
    deb http://archive.canonical.com/ubuntu feisty-commercial main
    to my repository list to get acces to the vmware-server package. maybe that should be included in the howto. ;)

  • 21

    July 10th, 2007 04:08It doesn’t work for me. Firstly, I don’t have ‘disk’ group in Ubuntu, secondly, when I do that as a root I receive this: “Unable to change virtual machine power state: The process exited with an error:
    End of error message.”

    Any ideas how can I make it run?

  • 22

    July 10th, 2007 07:47will this work with wubi?

  • 23

    July 10th, 2007 08:51[…] line, Virtualization, Ubuntu, Desktop Linux. You can follow any responses to this entry through the RSS 2.0 feed. You can leave a response, or trackback from your own […]

  • 24

    July 10th, 2007 10:19Hey
    Pretty interesting post. I am not sure if you came across this..
    for people who dont want to install VMware server ..here is the solution using VMware player.

    I am neither the author nor affiliated with the website. i just found it googleing

    i am going to give it a try myself


  • 25

    links for 2007-07-10 | Patrick Kempf
    July 10th, 2007 10:24[…] VentureCake » Blog Archive » 15 minutes to using your existing Windows install & apps in Ubun… (tags: linux ubuntu vmware howto windows virtualization software computer) […]

  • 26

    July 10th, 2007 10:45Same problem as Krazen… I get the same error. Everything else is working fine.

  • 27

    Cartoons Fans Lounge
    July 10th, 2007 11:38[…] you need. It takes around 15 minutes and doesn’t require any terminal use. storyline X Men 3read more | digg story RSS feed for comments on this post. TrackBack URI Cartoons Fans Lounge […]

  • 28

    July 10th, 2007 14:47I followed the directions exactly (windows 2k professional) and it wouldn’t boot, in the grub menu when I select windows 2000, it says “Error 13: Invalid or unsupported executable format”

    Also at the bottom of the window is a little message saying I don’t have VMware tools installed. Does this mean my installation of the VMware SCSI driver was unsuccessful?

  • 29

    July 10th, 2007 15:43What should I do if I have installed Linux (uBuntu) in one harddisk (hdb1) and Windows XP Pro SP2 in another (hda1)?
    I can only select partition from one harddisk….?
    Any tips…?

  • 30

    July 10th, 2007 16:10I noticed under Windows XP the VMware SCSI driver will have a ‘failed (code 10) state. Is this correct?
    When I try to start Windows within Ubuntu, I can get it to go past GRUB, but then it’ll stall out on ‘Starting up’. It does not reach the ‘chose profile’ screen.

  • 31

    Web 2.0 Announcer
    July 11th, 2007 02:3315 minutes to using your existing Windows install & apps in Ubuntu…

    […]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. It takes around 15 minutes and doesn?t require any terminal use.[…]…

  • 32

    Web 2.0 Announcer
    July 11th, 2007 02:37VentureCake » Blog Archive » 15 minutes to using your existing Windows install & apps in Ubuntu…


  • 33

    July 11th, 2007 03:51Worked great with Windows 2003 Standard server though vmware server said not to use the buslogic scsci controller (because its not in 2k3 by default) but as long as you installed it earlier you’d be fine. Not sure if the other scsi controller would work (vmware server recommended it as its already in 2k3).

    thanks again!

  • 34

    July 11th, 2007 06:46Thanks very much. Your instructions were clear and easy to follow. One question I have though and it’s minor- when I click on the “Iconify” button, nothing happens. This happens at home and at work. So I’m thinking it’s a bug but wondered if anyone knows of a workaround.

  • 35

    July 11th, 2007 11:00So this is not working for me; here are the problems:
    -installed scsi drivers in windows, but got the same message as FLP, device will not start, code 10, etc.
    -when setting up in VMServer, two partitions are listed, one is NTFS, the other says it cannot determine filesystem, but it looks too small to be my linux partition, I think it’s the swap. Tried setting it up two ways, checking both, and only checking the NTFS, and either way, when I try to start up the windows virtual machine, I get
    -NTLDR is missing, ctrl+alt+delete to restart, and a message at the bottom of the VMServer window saying that VMwaretools is not installed.
    Any thoughts? Much appreciated…

  • 36

    July 11th, 2007 12:20The first time I try to boot my windows vm, I get the activation screen but the keyboard and the mouse won’t work. Any suggestions?

  • 37

    July 11th, 2007 12:36OK, got it to finally load… sorta. It crashes/bluescreens at the loading windows xp portion of bootup. I have installed the SCSI drivers, but got an error 10 when i loaded. It says it’s successfully installed but couldnt start. Help???

  • 38

    July 12th, 2007 00:4715 minutes to using your existing Windows install & apps in Ubuntu…

    A good guide to running Windows XP running as a virtual computer under Ubuntu. Totally step-by-step, and lots of other tips in the comments. Read first then try if you are brave enough…

  • 39

    July 12th, 2007 02:52I get this error message everytime I try to start the VM. I even removed and added my partitions ((sda1)Boot, (sda5)Backup, Linux and (sda6)Recover), but didn’t work… Any suggestions?

    Cannot open the disk ‘/var/lib/vmware-server/Virtual Machines/Windows XP Home Edition/Windows XP Home Edition-3.vmdk’ or one of the snapshot disks it depends on.
    Reason: The partition table on the physical disk has changed since the disk was created. Remove the physical disk from the virtual machine, then add it again.

  • 40

    July 12th, 2007 07:29When starting Windows 2000 from VMware Server always get blue screen with INACCESSIBLE_BOOT_DEVICE. The only difference from the above instruction was that I selected Entire Disk instead of Use individual partitions:
    “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.”
    as my Ubuntu was installed on a separate SATA drive with Grub on it as well.
    CPU: AMD Athlon XP
    Disks: hda – 3 NTFS partitions, all Windows 2000 Prof
    sda – ext3 and swap partitions, Ubuntu 7.04, GRUB on sda

    Memory: 1GB, 256 MB allocated for Windows under VMware server.
    Windows can boot from hda (without GRUB), if it is a first bootable drive in BIOS. Windows is also bootable from GRUB.

    What can I do to make it working?

  • 41

    July 12th, 2007 14:26I select “physical disk” and then “use individual partitions”. When I click nest I get the error message:

    “Failed to load partitions for device /dev/sda: Permission denied

    Any suggestions would be appreciated.

    Thank you for your time.

    You’re not a member of the disk group. Add yourself and you’ll be fine.

  • 42

    July 12th, 2007 20:59i get same bsod as vince. the error i get says “*** STOP: 0X0000007B (0XFAF76528,0XC0000034,0X00000000,0X00000000)” which i guess is an inaccessible boot device but im sure my scsi driver is installed. by physical cpu type do u mean amd athlon xp 1600+?

  • 43

    July 13th, 2007 08:47OK, I went through the INACCESSIBLE_BOOT_DEVICE error, see one possible solution here:

    The source suggests replacing NTOSKRNL.EXE and HAL.DLL by other ones without Advanced Power Management support, which is not implemented in VMware. They use installation CD, but if you have Service Packs installed it can be another source of troubles.

    I did it and got another Blue Screen Of Death and immediate reboot. I cannot say what was written on it as it appears for less than a second.
    It happens when the screen should change low-resolution Windows Logo to normal display settings.

    Any ideas?

  • 44

    July 13th, 2007 12:22QUOTED BY MEB
    July 9th, 2007 13:56

    “If you are worried about activation, you can try adding this to the vmx file:

    SMBIOS.reflectHost = TRUE”

    Where is this file that we add this line to? Is it within the VM-Server options or do we need to open a file with Gedit?

  • 45

    July 13th, 2007 19:34Just a correction about my error. I’m getting the blue screen stop error because my driver isn’t correctly installed. I have a screenshot of the blue screen if more info is needed. I get the same “code 10? error as FLP and billyd when trying to install it. If I can get past this, it may work out. I’m using WinXP.

  • 46

    July 13th, 2007 23:57evolvin_monkey:
    Did you remember to unmount your Windows partitions?

  • 47

    July 14th, 2007 06:50Followed all the steps and got this error message:

    Unable to change virtual machine power state: The process exited with an error:
    End of error message.

    Any ideas on how to solve it?


  • 48

    July 16th, 2007 02:58Any word on a fix for the Error 10/Bluescreen problem???

  • 49

    July 16th, 2007 08:59This is working great, but I have a slight problem…
    I currently have both my XP and Linux installations on one HDD, and all my other applications on a set of other HDD’s. I can detect those just fine in Linux, but in XP when being run in VMware server console, they are not detected by Windows.

    Any way of fixing this? Kinda needed to access those applications. ^.^


  • 50

    Karl L. Gechlik
    July 16th, 2007 13:57Mark we have a user who is having the same problem over @ http://www.asktheadmin.com. Come on by we should have some information to help you in the next few days.


  • 51

    July 16th, 2007 18:09When i run the VM, get the error ” NTLDR is missing. Press any key.”
    How do i fix this to run windows ?

  • 52

    July 16th, 2007 18:37refer to my prev reply. I am running XP-Home. Is this an issue ?

  • 53

    July 17th, 2007 15:19When I Power On it says GRUB Loading please wait…

    Then I get an Error 21?

    Anyone know what the issue may be?

  • 54

    July 18th, 2007 01:08Not working on my A64 x2 rig under ubuntu 7.04:
    *** VMware Server internal monitor error ***
    vcpu-0:FPU Safety: Error: FPU instruction executed in monitor context[#NM]: cs:eip 0×4020:0×6ac28 %cr0: 0×8001003b CR[0]: 0×10
    There is a problem in this version of VMware Server.

  • 55

    July 18th, 2007 04:31I followed the steps and then when windows was about to start for the first time I got this error “A problem has been detected and windows has been shut down to prevent damage to your computer. If this is….etc etc etc…..Technical information : Stop: 0×0000007B ( 0xF8980528, 0xC0000034, 0×00000000, 0×00000000).” I guess the driver installation failed in Win, but not sure. Any idea how to fix this? I was so excited I was getting rid of dual booting. I am using WinXP Home.

  • 56

    July 18th, 2007 08:51when I press full screen it looks really bad like it has scanlines and it’s all stretched looking … any idea how to fix this?

  • 57

    July 18th, 2007 14:12I’ve unmounted the Windows drive, but when I power on, the black screen says “PXE-E53: No boot filename received” and “PXE-M0F: Exiting Intel PXE-ROM. Operating System not found.” I then get a pop-up saying no bootable hard disk was detected. What is wrong?

  • 58

    July 19th, 2007 00:19I think my problem is that I misconfigured the virtual machine (I selected hda disks instead of sda disks). The problem is that my NTFS and Linux partitions are in hda. Do I need an IDE driver instead of the SCSI provided here? Where can I find it?

  • 59

    July 19th, 2007 06:27I fixed my booting issue (Code 10 and Code 7b “INACCESSIBLE_BOOT_DEVICE”).

    I checked vmware website and found I needed another driver configuration because my physical disk is IDE, not SCSI (that is why my NTFS and ext3 partitions appeared in hda instead of sda when configuring the host). So I did the following:

    In Windows:
    1) Removed the device added following above steps (the SCSI driver).
    2) Deleted new hardware profile created following above steps (for VMware).
    3) Followed the steps outlined in “IDE Controller Driver Issue” (http://kb.vmware.com/KanisaPlatform/Publishing/635/36_f.SAL_Public.html) to create a new hardware profile and update IDE drivers.

    In Ubuntu:
    4) Rebooted to Linux and run VMware Console.
    5) Followed the steps on “Configuring the Host” (pages 5 and 6 of http://www.vmware.com/pdf/dualboot_tech_note.pdf)

    Everything is working fine for me now! You may add these steps to the tutorial If you want.


  • 60

    July 19th, 2007 11:21Neat guide. Thanks.

  • 61

    July 20th, 2007 02:08Well, I found out the answer on my own. I needed to set the boot disk (hda1) as SCSI 0:0 so it would boot Windows. I’ve installed VMware Tools, but I can’t get the sound to work. Any suggestions?

  • 62

    Daily Cup of Tech Tumblog » 15 Minutes to Running Windows Under Ubuntu
    July 21st, 2007 01:09[…] VentureCake » Blog Archive » 15 minutes to using your existing Windows install & apps in Ubunt…: 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. […]

  • 63

    July 21st, 2007 08:25Is anyone having networking trouble when booting into XP Home? I can’t activate windows because I can’t get a network connection. Do I have to use NAT networking, or can I use bridge?

  • 64

    July 24th, 2007 14:41vmware-server is not that simple to install, it’s on another repo on 7.04 instructions to install here http://www.ubuntugeek.com/how-to-install-vmware-server-from-canonical-commercial-repository-in-ubuntu-feisty.html

    Ed: Yes it is. Try it. Your method just uses the command line.

  • 65

    July 25th, 2007 18:47I read only one other post that had this error:

    The partition table on the physical disk has changed since the disk was created. Remove the physical disk from the virtual machine, then add it again.

    Nobody responded to it. I have the same problem and would like some help on this. Thanks!

  • 66

    July 29th, 2007 19:12Can anyone help me out?

  • 67

    July 29th, 2007 23:04i just keep getting same error…”The partition table on the physical disk has changed since the disk was created. Remove the physical disk from the virtual machine, then add it again”

    please guide further…have been stuck for a long time now!
    thank you!

  • 68

    July 30th, 2007 14:18Finally made it working. My problem seems was in the graphics. I recently changed my built-in S3 video card to NVidia GeForce, and tried to run Windows 2000 on virtual machine once more. Surprisingly it works.

    Thank you for this How To.

  • 69

    July 31st, 2007 18:10Well, at least i’m not the only one with that problem.

  • 70

    15 min lektion; Använda Windows i Ubuntu at Bloggliv
    August 1st, 2007 04:35[…] Här är en väldigt intressant post som jag verkligen ska testa så fort jag får tid. Den handlar om hur man använder VMware för att köra sin Windows-installation under Ubuntu och kommer igång på 15 minuter. Precis som i förra inlägget är det VentureCake som står för underhållningen: 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. […]

  • 71

    August 1st, 2007 05:00This is exactly what I expected to find out after reading the title in Ubuntu. Thanks for informative article

  • 72

    August 1st, 2007 15:45There is a process called vmware-wmx, which starts at system startup and consumes 100% of CPU load. It appeared after first restart of Ubuntu when I managed to make virtual Windows working.

    Does anybody know what this process is intended for? It starts with Ubuntu, not VMWare Server, and makes something, I have a bad feeling about.

  • 73

    August 2nd, 2007 11:46So was there an answer to sammy “does it work if Ubuntu is Wubi installed? I have XP Home with Ubuntu installed through WUBI and I’d love to give it a try (after I image my drive).

  • 74

    August 2nd, 2007 18:34I’m having the same problems as FLP – the scsi driver doesn’t install in windows properly, the VMWare server gets to Grub, then all it gives is a “Starting up …” message and nothing else.

    Also, vmware-vmx is running 99.9% CPU

    Any ideas?

  • 75

    August 2nd, 2007 20:37This guy has the information I needed in his website:

    “At this point you will either be given a choice of which hardware profile you want to boot into (choose VMware) or your screen will hang at “Starting up…”. In my case it hangs at starting up. This had to do with the location that the windows boot files are located on your hard drive and the fact that GRUB did not point to the correct location.

    Don’t worry there is a solution that I recommend, even for users who can successfully boot into Windows. Reboot your computer into Windows and use your Windows install CD to make a boot CD image. If you don’t know how to do this, google it, there are many guides explaining it. However, if you are using Windows XP Pro (may work for home), I have a boot disk image that you can download. Save this file to disk and note where you saved it.”

    NB – You still need the scsi driver installed even if it gives you the error 10 or you will get a bsod. I also replaced the IDE driver in the VMWare hardware profile as Hector said, but I don’t know if that’s really neccesary.

  • 76

    August 5th, 2007 04:35I was getting the same “Partition Table has changed” error. Instead of using specific partitions, I used the whole disk. Windows booted without a problem.
    Hope that helps somone.

  • 77

    August 9th, 2007 16:29Ran into the same problem than the one described earlier by Arthur: “GRUB Loading please wait… Error 21…”
    I know that the article specify to grab both windows and the linux partitions but linux is not install on the same disk as windows… is there a way to get around this problem without changing my setup ???



  • 78

    August 11th, 2007 13:50I as well am having the blue screen problem. In the virtual machine, i get to choose windows, then choose the hardware profile vm and them it looks like windows is loading I get the blue screen:

    A problem has been detected and Windows has been shut down to prevent damage to your computer.

    *** Stop 0X0000007B (0XFA2C2528,0XC0000034,0X0000000000,0X0000000000)

    Please help :-)

  • 79

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  • 80

    August 14th, 2007 08:45@Polyhedroid

    Think of GRUB as having two parts to it .. one bit of the GRUB bootloader is on the first sector of your windows disk … The other bit is on the linux parition/disk. Thats why you need to include both disks .. so that GRUB can read the second half of itself from the linux drive and then boot windows.

    You can do it without including the linux partition/disk though … To fix it all you need to do is boot off a windows xp cd (or iso) and choose repair. Choose the command line option and then at the command line type fixboot /mbr. For vista it’s bootrec.exe instead of fixboot tho i don’t know if vista would work for this as hardware profiles have been removed. I’d try but i’m hesitant in case i end up screwing my vista installation as each time it boots it’ll detect new hardware.

  • 81

    August 22nd, 2007 08:14I think partition selection in grub loader caused this error:

    “The partition table on the physical disk has changed since the disk was created. Remove the physical disk from the virtual machine, then add it again.”

    To get around this issue delete and recreate your virtual machine but this time select “use entire disk” instead of “use individual partitions”

  • 82

    August 25th, 2007 23:48I am having an issue when stating up the windows VM wherein I get the hang at “Starting up” after going through GRUB. I have made an floppy image from which has basic grub which I manually use (I imagine this is the same as the above mentioned windows made BOOT cd, although correct me if I am wrong) but it still will not boot into windows. I have the vmware SCSI drivers installed into a VMWare profile on the windows side, and when i boot into windows the driver there (although it gives an error that it cannot start which makes sense given that the device is not present). I have tried using the full drive or individual partitions as well as the standard grub boot config (instead of the above mentioned image). Many thanks!

  • 83

    September 1st, 2007 04:29HI
    My windows xp comes to the starting screen then a bluescreen appears. I had to use the whole disk and not only my ubuntu and windows xp partition because i got the fstab error. XP shows Error Code 10 of the scsi driver. What do I have to do change settings in xp or what can i do? I also deactivated the graphic driver. Do I have to use a clean installation?


  • 84

    September 4th, 2007 08:07Thanks,
    the guide works perfectly on my machine (Ubuntu 7.04), booting Windows XP is fast, the performance for applications is good enough, but … shuting done Windows inside the VM takes 10 minutes! The VM seems to hang at the screen “Windows is going done”. Nothing happens, no CPU load, and “suddenly” Windows is off. Are there any ideas to that?

  • 85

    September 5th, 2007 09:07I’m stuck at the “Starting up” point as well. I have it working great on my desktop at home, but the same thing is not working on my HP nc8430 at the office. I can get into grub and choose XP, but then it hangs at “Starting up.” I’ve disabled native SATA and that didn’t help either. Any ideas?

  • 86

    September 12th, 2007 18:12Hi.
    I also have a problem. I installed and configured everything properly. unmounted all my windows partitions, launched the VMware and started the VM.

    I got the grub menu, scrolled down to the windows partition and chose it.

    Now I get a “starting up” message (text screen) and it just
    hangs there.

    I did not get to the point where I need to choose my hw profile yet as you can understand.

    any ideas?


  • 87

    September 14th, 2007 05:16Hi
    I followed the instructions and set up the virtual machine and I am able to boot the physical win xp as virtual machine in VMware. However when I rebooted my system to run my win xp regularly (physical) rather than as virtual machine under ubuntu I get a blue screen for 2s and my system restarts. I am selecting my original hardware profile when I do this. As it stands now I am unable to use my win xp install unless I use it as a virtual machine from ubuntu. Please help. I want to be able to use my win xp as physical as well rather than just as virtual machine in ubuntu.

  • 88

    Scott Gifford
    September 15th, 2007 08:13Has anybody had luck using this with Vista? I tried it, and Vista starts to boot then hangs pretty early on.



  • 89

    September 26th, 2007 21:45Hi.

    If you followed the advice about the stop 7b problem it involves replacing hal.dll and other such complexities. An easier solution is to boot into the windows os, then go Device Manager -> Computer –> ACPI computer (or something) –> Update driver –> Install from a list or specific location –> Don’t search, I will choose driver to install –> choose anything without ACPI, (mpu for multiprocessor though and standard pc for single processor.)

    Now reboot into linux and start the vmware and hopefully you should be able to load windows fully.

    Good luck.

  • 90

    October 12th, 2007 04:18Has anyone found a solution to the hang at “starting up” issue? I have followed the link to Mohammad Azimi’s site and tried his idea of booting from ISO, but it is not working for me. I am on a Thinkpad z61m and I can boot from a CD made from a Windows Boot CD into WinXP Pro, but trying the same thing from within the VM has no effect. My system still goes into GRUB and hangs on “starting up…”. This is the case with multiple ISO’s, including the Ubuntu LiveCD. Any ideas on what my next step should be?

  • 91

    October 14th, 2007 14:58I’ve followed the directions and can get to the login screen for my windows xp os, but my keyboard and mouse do not work, so I can’t login. Any suggestions? Thanks in advance for any help!

  • 92

    October 19th, 2007 21:53Helo,

    i tried to install this feature following steps, but it produces an error:
    Error 13: Invalid or unsupported executable format

    selecting Windows XP from virtualled-Grub

    In Windows, VMWare SCSI Controller produces a Code:10 (cannot initialize driver).

    Any idea?

  • 93

    October 20th, 2007 23:50I haven’t tried anything in this tutorial but I think I may have an answer for those experiencing blue screens in XP. Somebody can try this and if anything, nothing will change.

    Once you install the VMware SCSI drivers, do NOT reboot. Instead, reinstall your original hard drive drivers. Try having Windows find them for you. Windows should put the hard drive drivers back to what they were before and you’ll have the VMware SCSI drivers readily available if something needs them.

    Once you have reinstalled your original drivers, try rebooting and try the VM. Post back if it helps.

  • 94

    ubuntu aloittelija
    November 5th, 2007 04:03I have 2 harddisk where in first (sda or in grub hdo) I have Windows xp and in second (sdb grub hd1) I had also the Grub error 21 I resolved it by
    selecting sdb in wizard and adding sda after the vm was created. At this point grub didnt boot my windows so I pressed :)
    Hope this help.
    Ubuntu and love

  • 95

    ubuntu aloittelija
    November 5th, 2007 04:05so I pressed F2 and enabled the second harddisk inside the bios.

  • 96

    Martin Lentink
    November 11th, 2007 05:09Much as I would like to do this, following the how-to to the letter consistently results in a disk read error. The VM gets to GRUB, chooses windows and there it gets stuck, because somehow it can’t read the disk. Windows natively boots up fine, so I’m sure there’s nothing wrong with that disk physically. I unmount the relevant partitions prior to trying to boot up, and my user is in the ‘disk’ group.

    I’m stuck…

  • 97

    November 24th, 2007 14:49ok..am i so newb or did i did somethiung wrong…

    i cant do this”Click Applications ? Add/Remove… . Install the vmware-server package.”

    where do i get the package from?

  • 98

    November 27th, 2007 12:02ah, nice ty

    now.. have you tried running your ubuntu install from your vmware in your windows install? :]

  • 99

    December 5th, 2007 23:31I found this regarding product activation in VMware site:

    Known Issues
    Product Activation
    The Microsoft Windows XP product activation feature creates a numerical key based on the virtual hardware in the virtual machine where it is installed. Changes in the configuration of the virtual machine might require you to reactivate the operating system. There are some steps you can take to minimize the number of significant changes.

    – Set the final memory size for your virtual machine before you activate Windows XP. When you cross certain thresholds—approximately 32MB, 64MB, 128MB, 256MB, 512MB and 1GB—the product activation feature sees the changes as significant.

    Note: The size reported to the Windows product activation feature is slightly less than the actual amount configured for the virtual machine. For example, 128MB is interpreted as falling in the 64MB–127MB range.

    – Install VMware Tools before you activate Windows XP. When the SVGA driver in the VMware Tools package is installed, it activates features in the virtual graphics adapter that make it appear to Windows XP as a new graphics adapter.

    – If you want to experiment with any other aspects of the virtual machine configuration, do so before activating Windows XP. Keep in mind that you have 30 days for experimentation before you have to activate the operating system.

    For more details on Windows XP product activation, see the Microsoft Web site.

  • 100

    No One
    December 8th, 2007 11:11I found a solution to the issue that several have posted about having Windows on one disk and Linux on the other. Follow the directions above, but only choose the Windows disk. Later, in the server console, go to the “VM” menu, then “Settings”. From here you can add the Linux disk device. Now all I’ve got to figure out is how to replace the Grub menu with some other option that boots directly into Windows.

  • 101

    December 10th, 2007 16:39@CrowdOfOne from August 14th
    Does your suggestion mean reboot with repair XP CD inside VMware? I do not want to screw up my physical dual boot grub, just the virtual boot. With this guide here I was able to get it run, though I cannot detect my PCI card (as indicated on the VMware webpage). I would still use Windows most of the time in linux and am sure at some point I miss the grub choice and will boot into linux and screw everything up, so the virtual boot should only be into windows if possible.

  • 102

    December 14th, 2007 23:59Hi, same happens than to Martin Lentink, I can choose windows xp from
    grub menu, but it says “read disk error”, and tells to press Ctl+Alt+Supr
    to restart …. native windows boots up correctly … HELPPP!!!

  • 103

    December 22nd, 2007 17:23Thank for a tips.
    i have boot to xp is ok but Mouse and Keyboard is not responed. Why?

  • 104

    January 1st, 2008 13:07I have the same issue as some of the posts. I can get to the login screen fine, but then my keyboard and mouse doesn’t work. Has anyone found a fix?

  • 105

    January 8th, 2008 00:24I don’t know why Windows won’t detect the keyboard and mouse for some people. It seems it isn’t doing device enumeration/detection.

    There is a solution here, by setting up autologin and forcing Windows to redetect hardware: