Clone a Win XP Partition under Bootcamp to upgrade into VirtualBox

Discussion in 'Windows, Linux & Others on the Mac' started by Cixi, Dec 21, 2009.

  1. Cixi macrumors member

    Oct 16, 2008
    Hello everybody.

    Since 2006 I used Apple Macbook Pro with both OSX and Win XP Pro under bootcamp.

    Now I have a MBP SantaRosa with 2.2Ghz and 2Gb of ram I'm going to expand RAM at 5Gb or 6Gb in the next few days (4Gb+1Gb or 4Gb+2Gb)

    I worked for a few days on a new MBP Unibody 2.53Mhz I bought for my brother with OSX Snow Leopard and I installed his Win XP Pro copy under VirtualBox!

    I was so surprised to see how Virtualbox worked flawlessly with XP Pro.

    So I decided to expand the RAM on my MBP and to install VirtualBox 3.x or Parallel 5 or VMvare 3. Whatever.

    Beside what virtualization software to choose, I'd like to know how to clone the XP partition and to restore under a virtualizated partition.

    By the time I used Bootcamp to backup and upgrade my partition i used this procedure:

    But now.. with this virtualization software how can I be sure to replicate the whole HDD into the virtual partition?

    I tried tu use (under windows) Acronis Disk Director Suite BUT... it show me the whole HDD I actually use and no the two partition and it say can't access to it.
    Acronis say "Usupported Hard Drive" - GUID Partition Table!!

    So how to clone or move my partition with all my important data into a virtual one avoid also to destroy my Windows Licence key?

    Hope you can help me to find the right solution.
    Thank You very much ;)
  2. balamw Moderator


    Staff Member

    Aug 16, 2005
    New England
    I don't know about VirtualBox, but Fusion and Parallels are perfectly capable of booting your Boot Camp partition while still letting you boot from Boot Camp as well.

    Paragon makes some tools that understand GPT as do some more recent versions/level of Acronis.

    You XP license is yet a third issue. If you move your Windows installation, the hardware will chance triggering activation again. If you are SURE that you want virtual only, check out VMWare Converter (free) which guides you through the process of a P2V (Physical to Virtual) conversion from a running Windows install to a new Virtual Machine.

  3. Cixi thread starter macrumors member

    Oct 16, 2008
    I already tried long time ago with Parallel 4! It was the 23rd November 2008!!

    Parallel messed up my whole XP partition! Luckly I did a Winclone backup before to install parallel.
    So I decide to not use anymore this way of booting.
    I'm quite scared! Maybe it is better now.. But I still feel not confortable in doing this.
    I have to format my HD since I have disk problems and Indexing errors so I need to low-level format is and start all from scratch apart Win XP Partition

    I'm not so SURE to want only Virtual partition but I'm afraid Parallel mess up my partition again.
    Will WMvare virtualize Bootcamp too?
  4. balamw Moderator


    Staff Member

    Aug 16, 2005
    New England
    Yes. Fusion will virtualize your BC partition. It also gives you an option to import the partition as a VM from the home screen.

    I managed to really mess up my XP BC partition in Parallels 3, by letting it install SP 3 within the VM. Otherwise I have had very good success with Fusion booting my Vista/7 partitions.

    Winclone is definitely your friend, even after you've got it working well.

  5. Cixi thread starter macrumors member

    Oct 16, 2008

    Thank You for your feedback.
    I'll back up everything today and I'll try first Paralle 5 and BC and then if it mess up I reformat again and I go with BC and VMware
  6. mongrol macrumors regular

    Jul 16, 2007
    Virtualbox can boot your Bootcamp partition as well. See the advanced section of the user manual.
  7. Cixi thread starter macrumors member

    Oct 16, 2008
  8. Cixi thread starter macrumors member

    Oct 16, 2008
    I did tried to install Virtualbox but no option to run the bootcamp partition as someone told before.

    Then I tried installing VMware 3 since I read it does have more stability as reported in many forums from many users.

    I was scared to test again Parallel since it messed up my old partition.
    Well... It worked like a charm.
    No XP reactivation required in any case.

    Just a bit slow.

    Do any of you think, if I'll improve my RAM memory to 5 or 6Gb will I have a big improvement in speed?

    I'll first buy a G.Skill 4Gb solo-sodimm Pc-5300 and try to use 5Gb then if it does not go as expected I'll buy another G.skill 2Gb (max allowed is 6Gb in my laptop) and give 2Gb to MAC OsX and 4 to VMware to use under Windows XP.

    What do you think? Will the Ram upgrade be worth?
  9. matterial macrumors newbie

    Jan 31, 2010
    Can you explain or point me to the instructions. I have seen multiple people claim this can be done, and they say see the advanced section...but I do not see where it says this can be done either.

    A step by step write up would be nice. Or at least a section number of the manual that will direct me.


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