Port Windows Partition to VMware Fusion

Discussion in 'Windows, Linux & Others on the Mac' started by Planner Dude, May 13, 2008.

  1. Planner Dude macrumors 6502

    Joined:
    May 31, 2006
    #1
    I have installed windows on my Macbook Pro via bot camp. I was thinking about getting rid of the separate partition so I can have more HD space for mac. If I was to use Fusion could I port my windows partition to it, that way I don't have to reinstall everything?
     
  2. Fuzzbear macrumors regular

    Fuzzbear

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    #2
    your boot camp partition should show up in Fusion.. if its not theres a preference file or something you need to delete somewhere. restart fusion and it should show up.
     
  3. Planner Dude thread starter macrumors 6502

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    #3
    Sorry, but I am a newbie when it comes to Fusion.

    So if I understand you correctly, fusion uses it's own partion of the MBP HD, just like Windows in bootcamp, but with Fusion you can access this partion in MacOSX, unlike Windows under bootcamp which requires a reboot.

    Hence, there is still part of my HD that cannot be utilized by MacOSX.
     
  4. steveza macrumors 68000

    steveza

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    #4
    If you didn't need to use boot camp then you can get rid of that partition. In a Fusion only setup (i.e. without boot camp) the virtual machine disk files can reside on an OS X partition.
     
  5. JNB macrumors 604

    JNB

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    #5
    Looks like everyone missed the specific question. You have an existing BC partition. Fusion can use that for virtualizing a Windows environment without requiring a reinstallation of Windows, but still relies on the existence of Windows in the BC partition.

    Virtual machines do not require separate partitions, but rather a minimized portion of storage commonly called a "bottle" to store the Guest OS's environment.

    If you were to create a new VM for Windows without relying on the BC partition, a bottle would be created for it and allow you to install Windows. Whether there is a way to transfer the existing environment into that bottle, I don't know. You could try Ghost, or something similar, but I don't know of an easy, seamless way to accomplish what you're looking to do.

    If you install Fusion and point it to the existing BC partition, then delete the BC partition, Fusion will require a reinstallation of Windows (actually, a completely new VM), as it no longer has the original environment to refer to.
     
  6. BillG07 macrumors member

    Joined:
    Feb 28, 2008
    #6
    VMWare Converter

    This should be what you're looking for:

    http://www.vmware.com/products/converter/overview.html

    VMWare has their own tool that will convert windows from a physical hard drive (i.e. boot camp among many other ways) into a virtual machine. This will let you delete the physical partition from your hard drive. I believe this is the type of thing you're actually looking for?
     
  7. JNB macrumors 604

    JNB

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    #7
    That looks pretty interesting, but I note a specific absence of any mention of Boot Camp. Are we positive that it will convert that as well?
     
  8. Mr. Zarniwoop macrumors demi-god

    Mr. Zarniwoop

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    Jun 9, 2005
    #8
    VMware Converter can convert pretty much any Windows installation to a virtual machine, even Boot Camp, Virtual PC, or Parallels, although it's not going to do anything special in the process. It basically copies the partition sector-by-sector into a VMDK.

    The new VMware Fusion 2.0 Public Beta 1 has a specific feature to convert a Boot Camp partition to a "full" virtual machine.
     
  9. VideoFreek macrumors 6502

    VideoFreek

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    #9
    A quick search in VMWare's forums yields the answer.
     
  10. JNB macrumors 604

    JNB

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    #10
    Looking at the specs & FAQs didn't yield an answer, I didn't look at the forums, thanks for the info. Fusion 2 seems to be tailor-made for this. Think I'll wait until it goes GA, though.

    I'm not sure I'm in any particular need to ditch BC, drive space is cheap, and having the full hardware is pretty nice to have around for me.
     
  11. VideoFreek macrumors 6502

    VideoFreek

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    #11
    Overall, I agree with that--unless one is really hard up for disk space, running off the BC partition enables one to "have it both ways."

    However, there are other pros/cons for running a pure VM vs. running from the BC partition that one should consider--a good summary is here. I actually do both--I run Vista Ultimate from the Bootcamp partition, and I have WinXP and Win2K Server VMs. The one benefit of a pure VM that I really like is the ease of backing up the machine. For example, when I'm ready to make a major change to my virtual XP machine, I simply copy the machine package to an external drive, and then I proceed with full confidence that I can get back to exactly where I was if things go horribly wrong.
     
  12. RedTomato macrumors 68040

    RedTomato

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    #12
    Are you doing this with VMWare fusion? I've just started using it, and I'm shocked it only allows one snapshot, and I can't even name that snapshot, so I have no reference to remind me what state Windows was in in that snapshot.

    What files would I need to move to external storage to able to store several Fusion snapshots at a time? I've looked in google and on the vmware forums but my google fu is failing me on this one.
     
  13. VideoFreek macrumors 6502

    VideoFreek

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    #13
    I'm not really using snapshots, though one certainly could. To be clear, I'm talking about a pure virtual machine here, not a Bootcamp-based one. I just copy the entire machine, which by default on a Mac resides in the /Users/yourusername/Documents/Virtual Machines folder. The Beginner's Guide on the VMWare Fusion forum gives a good overview of the file structure (read the section entitled "Where to Find Things," as well as the next section "Working with Virtual Machines"). Of special note, Fusion places all the files, including any snapshots, into a "bundle" or "package" in the Virtual Machines folder. You can examine the contents of this package by right-clicking (or control-clicking) it and selecting "Show Package Contents."

    So, to backup the machine, in Finder you merely drag the package file representing your VM to wherever you wish to store the backup. Just make sure that the VM is powered down and that Fusion isn't running when you do this.
     
  14. RedTomato macrumors 68040

    RedTomato

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    #14
    Ah thanks, that answers exactly my question. An :apple: to you sir.
     

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