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Virtualizing a running system

I would like to be able to take an OEM version of Windows installed on a =

computer, back it up, install Linux with some virtualization manager,=20
such as Virtualbox, KVM/QEMU, Xen ...  (ignoring Microsoft's OEM license =

issue).  Let's say we have a person running Windows with plenty of=20
installed applications. What I would like to be able to do would be to=20
somehow encapsulate that version into a VDI. The end result is that the=20
system would be running Linux and the target Windows system would be=20
running in a virtual machine under that version of Linux. It is=20
certainly possible to do it the other way around, but that is not the=20
objective. Additionally, we don't want to have to reinstall the=20
applications. I'm not concerned about how to stage it, such as install a =

second HD, install Linux (Fedora, Ubuntu, SuSE) and set up an initial=20
dual boot. The issue comes down to taking an installed, running Windows=20
(XP or Vista) and importing it into a VM. At one point Win4Lin had a way =

of being able to use the existing installed version of Windows, but that =

Windows remained in its own partition.

There are a number of reasons to do this. One reason is backup. You can=20
make copies of the VDI (and snapshots) on your backup media. Another=20
might be that you want to use the stability of the Linux file systems.=20
Another reason is that you need to move to another hardware platform,=20
but you need to preserve your copy of Windows to run some legacy=20
applications that may no longer exist or you lost the install media, or=20
those apps only run on say Windows NT, but not XP. For whatever reason=20
the goal is to have Windows running in a virtual machine in the same=20
state as it was when it was native.=20

Jerry Feldman <gaf-mNDKBlG2WHs at>
Boston Linux and Unix
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