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xCaptainAmazing
Contributor
Contributor

VMware Fusion and existing Boot Camp partition

I myself currently run a Boot Camp partition for games, but I was also

interested in possibly using VMware to run Windows applications without

having to restart all the time. I know it is possible to run a Boot Camp

partition through VMware, but all the instances of this that I have seen

are of IMPORTED partitions.

I specifically do not want to do this, because I would still prefer to

be able to boot into Windows for gaming purposes, and not simply convert

it strictly into a virtual machine. My question is about what kind of

functionality VMware will be able to give me without completely

importing the partition. All I would really like to do is be able to

drag and drop files. It is also my understanding that neither snapshot

or suspend functions are enabled when doing this to prevent you from

mucking up your partition in between sessions (Doesn't matter to me,

just looking for confirmation). Without this it means I can't use a

quick resume, and every time I close the application I'd have to boot

windows every time I wanted to bring it back up, right?

When using VMware this way, what kind of things should I be careful of, if any? For

example, do I have to shut down windows in the virtual machine before

exiting the application, or shutting down OSX (to prevent damage to the partition)?.

Thanks.

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asatoran
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Immortal

Besides not having snapshots, there is Windows reactivation if you want to continue using the Boot Camp partion non-virtual. Only 32bit XP & Vista are supported for Fusion to be able to handle the reactivation when you switch between modes. Also, some applications require reactivation when it detects new hardware. MSOffice 2007 is one example.

greg409
Contributor
Contributor

If you reactivate using the Boot Camp partition you have then activated Windows (XP in my case) twice. Once for Boot Camp and once for a VM running the Boot Camp partition. What happens if you then IMPORT the Boot Camp partition into a completely new VM? Does it inherit the same authorization used for a VM running the Boot Camp partition (i.e. does the virtual hardware look the same and no new authorization is required?), or does it have to be reactivated a 3rd time? I can't seem to get anyone to answer this.

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asatoran
Immortal
Immortal

If you reactivate using the Boot Camp partition you have then activated Windows (XP in my case) twice. Once for Boot Camp and once for a VM running the Boot Camp partition. What happens if you then IMPORT the Boot Camp partition into a completely new VM? Does it inherit the same authorization used for a VM running the Boot Camp partition (i.e. does the virtual hardware look the same and no new authorization is required?), or does it have to be reactivated a 3rd time? I can't seem to get anyone to answer this.

VMWare Tools takes care of the reactivation of Windows. The virtual hardware is significatly different from the physical hardware, thus the Windows reactivation. There is a specific order to the steps when reactivating, but basically it involves installing Tools, then activating twice more, once when you've started up in Boot Camp and once when you start the Boot Camp partition as a virtual machine.

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greg409
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I'm so thankful someone tried to answer my question, but I understand the situation when going from Boot Camp to a VM running the Boot Camp partition. What I'm asking is what happens if I then IMPORT the Boot Camp partition to create a new virtual machine (i.e. no longer running in the Boot Camp partition). When I start up this new virtual machine will it need to be reauthorized again (as a 3rd hardware configuration for this copy of XP) or will it inherit the same virtual hardware as the VM that was running the Boot Camp partition, and therefore not need to be reauthorized again. I'm worried about what happens if Microsoft gets a 3rd request (3rd hardware configuration) for the same copy of XP.

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xCaptainAmazing
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"Besides not having

snapshots, there is Windows reactivation if you want to continue using

the Boot Camp partion non-virtual. Only 32bit XP & Vista are

supported for Fusion to be able to handle the reactivation when you

switch between modes. Also, some applications require reactivation when

it detects new hardware. MSOffice 2007 is one example."

My Windows is 64 bit.... So I pretty much should just forget about VMware altogether then? And there's no other way to do this? I can't just power on the boot camp partition in VMware whenever I need to, power off, then completely reboot into the windows partition natively (for games say)?

If this is the case then it kind of blows. I'll have to stick to MacDrive to read-write with NTFS 3G or whatever.

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asatoran
Immortal
Immortal

If by "import" you mean use something like VMWare Converter to copy the Boot Camp installation of Windows to a standalone virtual machine, then yes, the virtual hardware will stay the same EXCEPT for the hard drive. There was never a virtual hard drive when you used the Boot Camp partition as a virtual machine, so the conversion to a standalone virtual machine will create a virtual hard drive. That may or may not trigger reactivation. (If someone knows specifically, please chime in.) In any case, legally, you would have to remove the Boot Camp installation of Windows, or have another license for this new copy of Windows (as a virtual machine.)

If you are correctly licensed for the amount of installations of Windows you use, then there is no need to worry about how many times you need to contact MS regarding activation. (IOW, if you are in compliance, then a third call is not a big deal.)

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WoodyZ
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I can't answer this with absolute certainty because I use VLK version of Windows however I'd suspect that it will need to be reactivated because of certain things that will be uniquely different that can trigger having to activate again although there are ways around it but I don't have time at the moment to get into all of the details.

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xCaptainAmazing
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I'm assuming at least one of those replys was for me. I guess I just don't understand why (supposed) re-activation of my (supposed) impossible to activate 64 bit copy of windows is necessary if I'm only using VMware to power it on occasionally, and am NEVER going to be completely importing/converting it to strictly be a virtual machine and get rid of my pre-existing partition...

Forgive me if I seem retarded but it's hard to grasp for someone like me. Seems a little overcomplicated.

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asatoran
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My Windows is 64 bit.... So I pretty much should just forget about VMware altogether then?

No, it just means that VMWare Tools cannot handle the reactivation. AFAIK, Windows 64bit was not officially supported for Boot Camp, so the general feeling I'm getting from posts here on the forums is that VMWare concentrated on handling only the version of Windows that were officially supported in Boot Camp. (Correct me if I'm wrong.)

And there's no other way to do this? I can't just power on the boot camp partition in VMware whenever I need to, power off, then completely reboot into the windows partition natively (for games say)?

It's not about powering in a virtual or not. It's about Microsoft detecting new hardware and requiring reactivation. If you have a volume license version of Windows, reactivation is less of a problem. It's retail and OEM versions that reactivation is a PITA when it comes to dual-booting this way.

If this is the case then it kind of blows. I'll have to stick to MacDrive to read-write with NTFS 3G or whatever.

If all you need to do is write to a NTFS partition, then virtualization seems like overkill. Me personally, I use NTFS-3G because I need to move an external drive between my MacBook and some Windows PCs, but can't format the drive to FAT32 due to very large files. I use Windows in a virtual machine when I actually need to run some specific Windows application (e.g.: MSAccess.) Otherwise I use a Mac app as much as possible. (e.g.: Openoffice instead of MSOffice.)

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WoodyZ
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Neither of those replies were to you... Have a look at the attached image.

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asatoran
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I'm assuming at least one of those replys was for me. I guess I just don't understand why (supposed) re-activation of my (supposed) impossible to activate 64 bit copy of windows is necessary if I'm only using VMware to power it on occasionally, and am NEVER going to be completely importing/converting it to strictly be a virtual machine and get rid of my pre-existing partition...

Forgive me if I seem retarded but it's hard to grasp for someone like me. Seems a little overcomplicated.

My bad. The "Import" post is for Greg409. I responded to your reactivation question in another post.

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xCaptainAmazing
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Alright well, what the hell. My cousin has an extra copy of VMware so I'll just try it and see what the hell happens. Thanks guys.

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greg409
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If by "import" you mean use something like VMWare Converter to copy the Boot Camp installation of Windows to a standalone virtual machine, then yes, the virtual hardware will stay the same EXCEPT for the hard drive. There was never a virtual hard drive when you used the Boot Camp partition as a virtual machine, so the conversion to a standalone virtual machine will create a virtual hard drive. That may or may not trigger reactivation. (If someone knows specifically, please chime in.)

Thank you, that was what I was looking for.

In any case, legally, you would have to remove the Boot Camp installation of Windows, or have another license for this new copy of Windows (as a virtual machine.)

I have a legal OEM version in Boot Camp. My understanding is that you can use that XP version (and partition) also FROM a VM on the same computer. However, I don't know if that includes transferring it to a new VM on the same computer. You indicate that it doesn't so I will have to contact MS about that. Thanks.

WoodyZ indicated in another thread there was a problem with running the Boot Camp partition from a VM. Something to do with a VMWare bug + an Apple disk ID bug. Can someone elaborate about that?

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asatoran
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I have a legal OEM version in Boot Camp. My understanding is that you can use that XP version (and partition) also FROM a VM on the same computer. However, I don't know if that includes transferring it to a new VM on the same computer. You indicate that it doesn't so I will have to contact MS about that. Thanks.

You may or may not have problems reactivating because OEM software normally will only activate on the first set of hardware. (i.e.:Boot Camp.) When you restart Windows in the virtual environment, Windows sees new hardware. Prior to virtualization, the only time Windows "saw" new hardware this way is if it was moved / copied to a completely separate computer. So Windows assumes it's a new computer and thus you may have problems reactivating. (I don't use an OEM copy in my Boot Camp so I couldn't tell you definitely.) Retail copies definitely work correctly with VMWare Tools handling the switching between Boot Camp and virtual machine.

WoodyZ indicated in another thread there was a problem with running the Boot Camp partition from a VM. Something to do with a VMWare bug + an Apple disk ID bug. Can someone elaborate about that?

Normally, I do not run my Boot Camp partition as a virtual machine. This is by choice as all of my work can be done in virtual. My Boot Camp partition is primarily for demo purposes. I'm not fully familiar with the issue you're referring to so I'll let someone else answer that.

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WoodyZ
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WoodyZ indicated in another thread there was a problem with running the Boot Camp partition from a VM. Something to do with a VMWare bug + an Apple disk ID bug. Can someone elaborate about that?

It is not an Apple Bug...

Fact 1. Apple doesn't guarantee the BSD Name of a Disk between reboots.

Fact 2. VMware unfortunately and inexcusably was unaware of this when they designed Fusion and as such when OS X assigns a different BSD Name to a Disk then it previously had and when this Disk has a Boot Camp partition that has already been prepared to run as a Virtual Machine then two or more entries for the one Boot Camp partition can and will appear on the Virtual Machine Library in all versions of Fusion to date.

==========

This is more prevalent on with a Mac Pro however I've experienced it with a MacBook Pro and especially when having external drives attached that have a Boot Camp partition on them. On a Mac that has a single hard drive and only a partition for OS X and a partition for Windows it's less likely to happen compared to the Mac Pro which often have more then one internal drive however I have experienced it on a MacBook Pro in of by itself however it is more likely to occur when multiple hard drives are in play.

AFAIC Until VMware corrects this issue it is not worth using the Boot Camp partition as a Virtual Machine and I went so far as to, with Fusion closed, rename "/Library/Application Support/VMware Fusion/vmware-rawdiskCreator" so Fusion would stop enumerating the Boot Camp partition and placing an entry on the Virtual Machine Library. I then deleted the "/Users/$/Library/Application Support/VMware Fusion/Virtual Machines/Boot Camp/../Boot Camp partition.vmwarevm" Virtual Machine and opened Fusion and deleted the Boot Camp partition entry on the Virtual Machine Library and will not use it on the Boot Camp partition until VMware fixes it!

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greg409
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Fact 2. VMware unfortunately and inexcusably was unaware of this when they designed Fusion and as such when OS X assigns a different BSD Name to a Disk then it previously had and when this Disk has a Boot Camp partition that has already been prepared to run as a Virtual Machine then two or more entries for the one Boot Camp partition can and will appear on the Virtual Machine Library in all versions of Fusion to date.

What problem does this actually create? Are you then unable to open the VM, or does only one of the VM's listed in the VM Library work? IOW, how does this keep me from using a VM with the Boot Camp partion?

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fes616
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Been reading the posts on here and to say I'm thoroughly confused would be an understatement. I have been dual booting between Mac OS X and a 20 GB Windows XP Boot Camp partition for some time now on my Macbook pro. Like captain fantastic i use the native boot windows partition for games as it gives me full access to the graphics memory. I recently used vmware 2.0 to make a boot camp partition virtual machine to get a bit more flexibility and avoid a lot of rebooting when doing other stuff. The VM is up and running okay but I have lost the dual boot capabilty and can no longer boot natively into windows on restart. Should this happen? or have I done something wrong? According to Disk Utility my Boot Camp partition is now non-bootable. I feel a bit thick not being able to solve this but not had any experience with virtual machines before. Anybody out there who can give me my native boot back and also keep my boot camp partition vm?

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