VMware Workstation 5.5

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Installing an Operating System on a Physical Partition from a Virtual Machine

In some situations, you may want to install a guest operating system directly on a physical disk or partition even if you do not need to boot that disk on the host, outside of the virtual machine.

It is possible to use either an unused partition or a completely unused disk on the host as a disk in the virtual machine. However, it is important to be aware that an operating system installed in this setting probably cannot boot outside of the virtual machine, even though the data is available to the host.

If you have a dual-boot system and want to configure a virtual machine to boot from an existing partition, see Configuring a Dual-Boot Computer for Use with a Virtual Machine. The instructions in this section do not apply to a disk with a previously installed operating system.

Caution: Physical disks are an advanced feature and should be configured only by expert users.

VMware Workstation uses description files to control access to each physical disk on the system. These description files contain access privilege information that controls a virtual machine's access to certain partitions on the disks. This mechanism prevents users from accidentally running the host operating system again as a guest or running a guest operating system that the virtual machine is not configured to use. The description file also prevents accidental writes to physical disk partitions from badly behaved operating systems or applications.

Use the New Virtual Machine Wizard to configure VMware Workstation to use existing physical disk partitions. The wizard guides you though creating a new virtual machine including configuring the physical disk description files. Rerun the wizard to create a separate configuration for each guest operating system installed on a physical partition.

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