Saturday, September 28, 2013

A Disappointing First Try At Using VirtualBox To Install Windows 7 Pro Under Ubuntu Linux

Windows 7 Pro install started just fine from the DVD-ROM.  But part-way through, it said that the device driver for the DVD-ROM was not present, and it would need me to put in a CD or DVD with a device driver.  So how did it successfully read the Windows 7 Pro install disk? 

The good news is that it appears that Windows 7 install at least does some sanity tests before it starts erasing your hard disk.


John Cunningham said...

would it not be possible to partition the hard disk, install both OS's, and a dual boot option?

Clayton Cramer said...

I don't know if it is possible to have a dual boot Windows PC. You have a dual boot Linux and Windows PC. I will investigate. It would be a way to see if Windows 7 Pro works on the newer PC or not. I could certainly make the PC dual boot Linux and Windows XP, install Windows 7 Pro in VirtualBox under Linux, and see if it works.

John Cunningham said...

my laptop runs Windows 7 Home, and I added a version of Ubuntu in a folder within Win7. it offers dual boot at startup.,

SJ said...

re:Dual Boot.

I think there are ways to DualBoot, and then have Linux run the DualBooted partition as a VM. But I'm not sure...

However, I know of two ways to DualBoot a Windows/Linux machine.

Both ways are usually done after the HDD is repartitioned, with Windows installed on one partition. Usually, this is done during part of the Linux install on the other partition.

(a) copy the Windows Bootloader/NTLDR into a separate file, and then install Lilo/Grub so that it overwrites the bootloader. You must also edit the config file for Lilo/Grub to load Windows using that bootloader.

(b) install Lilo/Grub into the Linux partition (so that it writes its bootloader at the beginning of the partition, rather than at the standard bootloader location at the beginning of the HDD), and copy that bootloader into a file in C:-drive on Windows/NTFS partition.
Then (from inside the Linux install, as long as it can write NTFS) edit the boot.ini in the C:-drive, and add a reference to the file which contains the Lilo/Grub bootloader.

Option B may require using Windows to create an empty file of the appropriate size (512 bytes, I think) in the C:-drive, so that the Linux NTFS writer can overwrite that file without having to mess with creating a new file in NTFS. I've had to do that once, but I can't remember if I had to do it last time I installed a bootloader...

One useful tool which I've found for doing this is a Ubuntu Repair LiveCD. Even if I'm not installing Ubuntu on the Linux partition, the Ubuntu LiveCD often comes with the tools necessary to fix any goofs during copying/editing files on the C:-drive, and gives easy access to the bootloader image (if I stashed it in the Linux partition, but forgot to copy it to the C:-drive).