Running windows on a mac from a windows hard drive

Discussion in 'Windows, Linux & Others on the Mac' started by michaelpronald, Oct 4, 2010.

  1. michaelpronald macrumors newbie

    Oct 4, 2010
    So, I want to run windows on my mac, but I don't have a spare copy of windows. However, I do have a copy of windows on a Dell I don't use anymore.

    Unfortunately, Dell never gave me a windows XP disc. Instead, they gave me a "Recovery disk," which I believe reinstalls the windows partition on the HDD. Is there any way for me to take this hard drive out of the Dell, hook it up to my mac using a Sata-to-usb cable, and run the windows from this hard drive on my mac?

    I guess you could say it would be the equivilent of running windows installed to an external hard drive. Could a mac recognize windows already installed, or does boot camp have to do a completely new install for it to work?

    Also worth considering: Maybe one could install the mac drivers to the pre-existing Dell's windows install before plugging it into the mac, so the mac's hardware can be recognized?

    All and any thoughts/solutions are welcome.
  2. balamw Moderator


    Staff Member

    Aug 16, 2005
    New England
    Assuming the Dell will no longer be used, your best bet is to "import" the Dell's HDD as a Virtual Machine. If it still runs, I'd suggest running VMWare Converter on it to generate the VM, otherwise look around for instructions on doing a P2V migration (Physical to Virtual) from a partition or raw disk image.

    Converting it to Boot Camp is much more difficult and (IMHO) not worth it.


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