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Can I access a real Mac hard drive in VirtualBox?

Discussion in 'General Hardware' started by MikeTyson, Dec 3, 2010.

  1. MikeTyson New Member

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    Basics, I've taken out my hard drive from a MacBook Pro with a legit copy of OSX 10.6 Snow Leopard and iLife 2009 etc... it worked perfectly in the MacBook pro so don't ask why I took it out, I just did okay?

    Can I use VirtualBox to boot from this Mac hard drive? and run a sort of "Virtual MacBook Pro"?
     
  2. freaksavior

    freaksavior To infinity ... and beyond!

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    No, it is hardware based that prevents the mac from running on regular pc.
     
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  3. digibucc

    digibucc

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    theoretically yes... but in practice things don't always work as they "should"

    the positive is it's osx, built on unix - not so dependent on specific first-install drivers like windows.

    edit: that used to be the case freak, with ppc - but you don't hear much of ppc macs lately and intel ones are not hardware restricted like they were in the past. sure they are still limited, but not by the ppc vs x86 architecture anymore.

    i'm gonna say intel mac - am quite sure 10.6 doesn't work with ppc, they stopped at 10.4. so hardware will not prevent it. unfortunately i still can't say yes for sure - am definitely interested though.
     
  4. Easy Rhino

    Easy Rhino Linux Advocate

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    no. virtualbox does not work that way.
     
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  5. digibucc

    digibucc

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    i assumed he meant after loading the base OS, not as in replacing it. does it(virtualbox) not boot OS images?
     
  6. Easy Rhino

    Easy Rhino Linux Advocate

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    he wants to use virtualbox to boot from a mac hdd. you cant boot from a hdd using virtualbox. you set virtualbox up on a host machine and then create virtual machines and then load up isos onto them. at least that is what i think he wanted.
     
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  7. digibucc

    digibucc

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    ahhh misunderstood.

    but now my question: could he image the hard drive and run it as a virtual machine?
    the format of the image would matter of course, but are Virtual OS images and actual OS installs much different?
     
  8. Easy Rhino

    Easy Rhino Linux Advocate

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    i dont know if it would work.
     
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  9. MikeTyson New Member

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    good discussion guys, i especially like the one about imaging the hard drive and then booting it

    i have a spare hard drive i can image it onto from my windows computer? if someone could explain how i could go about booting the image or what software to use i'd love to hear it, as this isn#'t just some random project... it's actually pretty important :)

    thanks fo rthe advice so far ^_^
     
  10. digibucc

    digibucc

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    well imaging a drive is creating a file, like a .zip, that holds everything the drive had on it. the thing is idk what image format to start with, and that alone could make or break the project.

    you should be searching google for p2v or physical-to-virtual
    http://canned-os.blogspot.com/2006/08/p2v-virtualizing-existing-os-install.html

    i don't actually know anything, just guessing and searching myself.
     
  11. timta2

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    This is going to be harder to get working than you realize. As someone who years ago built a Hackintosh, it takes a lot of work to get a Mac OS X installation working from scratch on generic X86 hardware. It's probably just as difficult getting it to work in a virtual X86 environment.

    Maybe you should think about getting a copy of one of the pre-built OSX86 installations and install that on your machine? Even though this route would be less difficult, I have a feeling that it's still probably more than you want to mess with.

    http://wiki.osx86project.org/wiki/index.php/Main_Page

    Leopard (10.5) is PPC and Intel compatible. It required a 867+ Mhz processor. Snow Leopard (10.6) is Intel compatible, it has no PPC compatibility.
     
    Last edited: Dec 3, 2010
  12. streetfighter 2

    streetfighter 2 New Member

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    I'm pretty sure it's illegal to run OS X on anything but a mac. That being said-
    http://lifehacker.com/5583650/run-mac-os-x-in-virtualbox-on-windows (OSx86... not exactly OSX)

    Currently I run OS X in VMware using Empire EFI and it runs pretty swell. Unfortunately there isn't really much support for audio or video so it runs slow but it's incredibly useful for testing software/websites/etc. (especially when you're programming in Qt or SDL).

    I'm currently running VirtualBox version 3.2.8 and in the manual's section 9.7.1.1 there are detailed instructions on using physical HDDs. You'd have to either image the drive (which I'd recommend) or use your physical drive then combine some of the instructions I posted and use Empire EFI to get it to boot (and I'm betting it still won't work)... Not worth the trouble IMO
     
    Last edited: Dec 3, 2010
  13. MikeTyson New Member

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    Sounds awesome, thanks :) I'll try to take a look ^_^

    Sooo if I do image the drive, how do I go about making it boot in VirtualBox? And what software do I use to image it in the first place? I took the drive to an Apple store the other day and they booted into it using a MacBook Pro with an external hard disk cradle and it worked flawlessly, so the drive itself is fine... I just need a way of booting it :)

    THanks again for the advice so far guys, thanks will be handed out when everything is cushty ^_^
     
  14. streetfighter 2

    streetfighter 2 New Member

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    Well you need a .vdi file generated from a RAW disk.

    To accomplish this I'd use the linux utility "dd" which is incredibly useful when working with virtual machines and disks (but there are several alternatives). It's very powerful so be careful that you don't accidentally run it on the wrong drive (as it will delete it!!).

    Here's a small (incredibly small) tutorial:
    http://grantmcwilliams.com/tech/virtualization/virt-blog/184-convert-raw-disk-images-to-vdi-format

    The two commands:
    The location "/dev/hda" may be different when you're running linux and if you're not sure try running "df -h" to list your HDDs.

    If you don't have a system with linux installed you can use a live CD but you'll need two HDDs. One that is big enough to hold the "hda.img" and "hda.vdi" files and your original OS X HDD.

    If you're not at least casually acquainted with Linux I'd recommend getting help from one of your friend's who is.

    You'll may also need a copy of the Empire EFI disc image which you'll load into the virtual CD-ROM drive so that it is executed as the first boot device in the virtual machine. VirtualBox does have an option for EFI that may work but I've never tried it.

    As I said earlier, even if you do all the right things I sincerely doubt you'll get it running in VirtualBox.
     
    Last edited: Dec 4, 2010
  15. mm67

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    Your sig rig will easily work as a Hackintosh, you just need to make a bootable usb stick or a cd with Chameleon. One of those can boot up your hard disk.
     
  16. MikeTyson New Member

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    Please explain in more detail :D
     
  17. mm67

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  18. MikeTyson New Member

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    Hm that one is for the Rev1.x of my board and I have Rev 2.0 :(

    Also it requires a functioning Mac which I don't have, I only have the hard drive (the laptop itself broke)
     
  19. mm67

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    I think rev 2 will work just fine, if remember correctly then it's only onboard Lan connector that doesn't work.

    If you cannot make a bootable usb stick then this boot cd might work : http://tonymacx86.blogspot.com/2010/04/iboot-multibeast-install-mac-os-x-on.html
     

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