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 Boot your USB Drive in VirtualBox, Easily test bootable USB drives in VirtualBox
post Jul 30 2009, 12:10 AM
Post #1
agni
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The GUI of VirtualBox does not have an option to boot a USB drive (Physical Drive) in a virtual machine.

However you can attach a physical drive to a virtual machine using a command line tool that is bundled with Virtual Box.You can then boot your virtual machine from the attached Physical drive.

You can check the complete tutorial with screenshots here.
http://agnipulse.com/2009/07/boot-your-usb...-in-virtualbox/

You can also check this
http://agnipulse.com/2009/07/test-bootable...-your-computer/

UPDATE:
http://agnipulse.com/2009/11/linux-live-usb-creator/
LiveLinux USB Creator (formerly uSbuntu) is a free software for Windows that allows you to create a bootable Live USB key with a Linux on it.It offers an exclusive option of automatic virtualization using portable virtual box to directly run Linux in Windows without any configuration nor installation.This tool automates the procedure given in my tutorial.


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post Jul 30 2009, 01:58 AM
Post #2
Nuno Brito
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Very interesting. It's a real pity that this option doesn't come by default in VirtualBox.

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post Jul 30 2009, 09:51 AM
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MedEvil
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The idea is pointless.
The USB-Stick appears to the VM like a internal HDD.
The fact that it boots says absolutely nothing about the fact, if the USB-Stck will be bootable later.

Besides all VM have the ability to create HDD images that link to a real drive.

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post Jul 30 2009, 10:33 AM
Post #4
was_jaclaz
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QUOTE (MedEvil @ Jul 30 2009, 11:51 AM) *
The idea is pointless.

Yes and no.

QUOTE (MedEvil @ Jul 30 2009, 11:51 AM) *
The USB-Stick appears to the VM like a internal HDD.

Sure. smile.gif

QUOTE (MedEvil @ Jul 30 2009, 11:51 AM) *
The fact that it boots says absolutely nothing about the fact, if the USB-Stck will be bootable later.

Well, NO. mad.gif
It says something, NOT the "whole" story.
It greatly depends on what you are looking for.
If you are trying to determine the validity of a certain partitioning scheme/CHS/LBA addressing and similar things, it is useful. thumbsup.gif
If you are trying to determine if the USB bus will be supported when booting it is completely unuseful. thumbdown.gif

QUOTE (MedEvil @ Jul 30 2009, 11:51 AM) *
Besides all VM have the ability to create HDD images that link to a real drive.

Really? dubbio.gif
Care to give some examples, one please for each VM. blink.gif

Or do you mean creating a HD image from a drive? unsure.gif
If the latter, this may not be a viable option in some cases. (not enough available space to store the image)


In other words:
  • is a hammer useful if you want to drive a philips screw in a piece of wood? NO. sad.gif
  • is a hammer useful if you want to drive a philips screw in a piece of wood and you don't have a philips screwdriver? YES. innocent.gif happy22.gif


cheers.gif

jaclaz


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post Jul 30 2009, 11:04 AM
Post #5
joakim
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Try the hitachi filter driver. Maybe you can use the gui for flashdrives then...

Joakim
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post Jul 30 2009, 11:09 AM
Post #6
MedEvil
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QUOTE (jaclaz @ Jul 30 2009, 12:33 PM) *
Really? dubbio.gif
Care to give some examples, one please for each VM. blink.gif

I have done so in VirtualPC and VMware myself. VirtualBox was said to work above. qEmu i don't know for sure, but think to remember that you said something like that.

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post Jul 30 2009, 11:19 AM
Post #7
was_jaclaz
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QUOTE (MedEvil @ Jul 30 2009, 01:09 PM) *
I have done so in VirtualPC and VMware myself. VirtualBox was said to work above. qEmu i don't know for sure, but think to remember that you said something like that.

cheers.gif


Those are NOT examples, are reports that you did something.

I was asking about the HOW you did WHAT, (expecially the WHAT) since it is not clear to me what you exactly mean by
QUOTE
HDD images that link to a real drive

unsure.gif

jaclaz



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post Jul 30 2009, 11:49 AM
Post #8
MedEvil
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Go to the Tool of your VM to create a new VirtualDisk, then create one that links directly to a real harddrive (partition).
Now you can use the real HDD in your VM. Just as discribed above for VB.
As for examples. rtfm wink.gif

cheers.gif


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post Jul 30 2009, 11:53 AM
Post #9
sanbarrow
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Hi Jaclaz

I am aware of three types of rawdisk-descriptors.
The names are given by the parameter "createType"

"fullDevice" used by VMware
"fullDevice' used by VirtualBox
"partitionedDevice" used by VMware

the examples all describe a 4 Gb kingston USB-stick

"fullDevice" used by VMware:

CODE
# Disk DescriptorFile
version=1
encoding="windows-1252"
CID=9e497682
parentCID=ffffffff
createType="fullDevice"

# Extent description
RW 7868416 FLAT "\\.\PhysicalDrive3" 0

# The Disk Data Base
#DDB

ddb.virtualHWVersion = "7"
ddb.uuid = "60 00 C2 91 f9 42 a4 72-10 10 ca bb ac d1 35 28"
ddb.geometry.cylinders = "489"
ddb.geometry.heads = "255"
ddb.geometry.sectors = "63"
ddb.geometry.biosCylinders = "489"
ddb.geometry.biosHeads = "255"
ddb.geometry.biosSectors = "63"
ddb.adapterType = "lsilogic"


"fullDevice' used by VirtualBox:

CODE
# Disk DescriptorFile
version=1
CID=7a174421
parentCID=ffffffff
createType="fullDevice"

# Extent description
RW 7868416 FLAT "\\.\PhysicalDrive3"

# The disk Data Base
#DDB

ddb.virtualHWVersion = "4"
ddb.adapterType="ide"
ddb.geometry.cylinders="7805"
ddb.geometry.heads="16"
ddb.geometry.sectors="63"
ddb.uuid.image="f005cd99-df1b-4c8d-8f75-1f71f37b4d75"
ddb.uuid.parent="00000000-0000-0000-0000-000000000000"
ddb.uuid.modification="00000000-0000-0000-0000-000000000000"
ddb.uuid.parentmodification="00000000-0000-0000-0000-000000000000"


"partitionedDevice" used by VMware:

CODE
# Disk DescriptorFile
version=1
encoding="windows-1252"
CID=bf09c8c4
parentCID=ffffffff
createType="partitionedDevice"

# Extent description
RW 63 FLAT "esx4-1-pt.vmdk" 0
RW 7855785 FLAT "\\.\PhysicalDrive3" 63
RW 12568 ZERO

# The Disk Data Base
#DDB

ddb.virtualHWVersion = "7"
ddb.uuid = "60 00 C2 9d 71 10 ee 3e-79 74 69 77 b1 97 70 df"
ddb.geometry.cylinders = "489"
ddb.geometry.heads = "255"
ddb.geometry.sectors = "63"
ddb.geometry.biosCylinders = "489"
ddb.geometry.biosHeads = "255"
ddb.geometry.biosSectors = "63"
ddb.adapterType = "lsilogic"


this type stores a copy of the first 63 sectors in an additional file named *-pt.vmdk"


In the case of the VMware - descriptors ... they can be easily redefined as IDE-disks.
Don't know if this works with virtualbox ? - never tested it.

The uuid-values can be skipped - they are not essential.

Expect problems when using rawdisks larger 950 Gb
1 user(s) said "Thank you!" to sanbarrow for this fantastic post:
rawral
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post Jul 30 2009, 12:03 PM
Post #10
was_jaclaz
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QUOTE (MedEvil @ Jul 30 2009, 01:49 PM) *
Go to the Tool of your VM to create a new VirtualDisk, then create one that links directly to a real harddrive (partition).
Now you can use the real HDD in your VM. Just as discribed above for VB.
As for examples. rtfm wink.gif

cheers.gif


You are confusing the HOW with the WHAT.

VMware, as you report, can create a "link" or "descriptor file", as sanbarrow properly explained, to an existing (mounted) "real" drive (redirecting to \\.\PHYSICALDRIVEn).
Qemu accesses a \\.\PHYSICALDRIVEn directly:
http://www.boot-land.net/forums/index.php?showtopic=7650
Virtualbox uses a similar method to VMware.

NO HD image is created (or harmed laugh.gif ) in the process. wink.gif

jaclaz


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