Running a physical Windows (XP) partition in VMware from Linux

For the last month I have been able to boot and run my laptop's Windows partition from inside a vmware server that runs under my (dual boot) Mandriva Linux partition. This is very useful when I need to run something in windows but don't want to shut down Linux and reboot.

I found the instructions on Scott Bronson's blog  to be accurate and complete!

 Update: I have ran into one annoying thing about running my physical partition under VMWare. Because the VMware "fake" computer hardware doesn't look anything at all like my real laptop's hardware, Windows thinks that I have changed my computer, and asks me to re-activate Windows Genuine Advantage every time I switch back and forth from into windows directly, or booting it inside of VMWare.

At first I didn't think that this was much of a problem, as I would just click Yes (activate) and No (Don't register) and be done with it.

BUT THEN I FOUND OUT THE TRUE EVIL OF MICROSOFT! It turns out that you can only re-activate using the same product key 25 times on-line. After that, you are forced to call in to the Microsoft call Center (which is in India judging by the accent of the operator, and the hissing, popping, dropping and crackling VOIP call quality. They already save a lot of money by moving the call center to India, you think they would pay for a decent Internet connection so callers would have decent voice quality…), and even then they can't reset your count of number of times activated, so the next time I change how I boot my Operating System I'll have to call back. So far I have just decided to keep the "physical" copy registered, and not activate when booting in VMWARE. We will see how well that works as my 3 days activation period goes away… sigh…this is the type of restrictive DRM that makes me use Open Source (and Free!) software and media formats.

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