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Re: [vfio-users] Cloning qcwo2 image to native install and boot it with qemu?

On 04/17/2016 03:08 PM, thibaut noah wrote:
Hi guys, so i did some thinking and a bit of reading and it seems some
people are currently running native windows install with qemu.
Since it would be the best of both worlds, allowing me to dual boot
windows for native benchmarks and all i'm thinking about making the leap.
Though i could use some advice if people here have done that already.

First i will start with my current situation, since i have a qcwo2 image
on the disk i want to install windows on, i would first need to make a
snapshot or a copy of said image on another disk, that part seems easy

Then comes the tricky part, i would need to unmount my ssd, format it
with proper partitionning? and then cloning directly from my virtualize
windows my install to the ssd using most likely acronis.
Anyone attempted this before? The cloning part i mean, it seems logic to
me that it would work but i really have no idea.
I could just reinstall everything except i have a crappy connection
(250ko/s for 6 people) and it took me weeks to get every soft and games
i needed.
Also on the performance side with qemu i don't know what is the proper
way to partition the ssd before cloning windows, i'm not even sure i
actually need to partition anything, maybe the cloning software can do
it for me.

After that, and supposing everything works i assume i just have to pass
the disk to qemu without mounting it.
Dual boot might be tricky since i'll need to update mbr and since i use
grub that would require some digging.

Anyway, if any of you folks have some knowledge on that please feel free
to share it, that seems like a nice way to get people switching from
dual boot to vfio :)

I did something similar, but much simpler with FreeDOS. A second HDD has a MBR that boots the first FAT partition (when selected in BIOS). I installed FreeDOS by running it in a VM to which I passed the entire /dev/sdb HDD and installation ISO. FreeDOS just ignores all other (Linux) partitions and works the same whether I boot it bare-metal (for firmware updates of hardware) or within qemu VM.

Windows partitions might be more complex nowadays and it can be dangerous to pass entire /dev/sdb to a VM while other VMs use /dev/sdb2 etc. I also worry about Windows detecting different hardware and (re)installing drivers, which might require a reboot after switching between bare-metal and VM. Also the Windows license check might complain about the changing hardware.

kind regards, Arjen

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