• We've upgraded our forums. Please post any issues/requests in this thread.

Can I access a real Mac hard drive in VirtualBox?

MikeTyson

New Member
Joined
Dec 9, 2009
Messages
645 (0.22/day)
Likes
20
Location
South East, United Kingdom
System Name Swag
Processor Intel Xeon E3110 4GHz
Motherboard GIGABYTE GA-G31M-ES2L
Cooling Scythe Infinity I Push-Pull w/ AS5
Memory 2x2GB Transcend 800MHz DDR2 @ 890MHz 1.9v
Video Card(s) Palit nVIDIA GTX460 1GB 800/1600/2000
Storage Crucial M4 64GB
Display(s) LG Flatron M1917TM 1280x1024 @ 60Hz
Audio Device(s) Realtek HD Audio
Power Supply OCZ StealthXStream 2 600W
Software Windows 7 Professional 64-bit
#1
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"?
 

freaksavior

To infinity ... and beyond!
Joined
Dec 11, 2006
Messages
8,086 (2.01/day)
Likes
889
System Name Absolute Zero | M.A.S.S
Processor Intel i7 4770k | i7 920
Motherboard Gigabyte Z87X-UD4H | EVGA X58 FTW3 SLI
Cooling Phanteks ph-tc14pe | CM 212+ Push Pull
Memory Mushkin 16Gb at 2400Mhz | Corsair Vengence 6x8Gb=48Gb
Video Card(s) EVGA SC GTX 770 2Gb | Nvidia 7300GT
Storage Sandisk 256Gb Ultra Plus x 2 raid0 + 72.12 500Gb | Intel 320 80Gb 2x1.5Tb, 2x2Tb 2x.5Tb + 3 x6Tb
Display(s) Samsung 245BW + Asus PB278Q + Samsung 40" 650A | None
Case NZXT H630 |Rosewill 8bay 4u server chasiss
Audio Device(s) Asus Xonar HDAV + GTX770 | Onboard
Power Supply Silverstone DA800 | Rocketfish 700w aka fsp
Software Windows 7 ultimate X64 | Debian 7 wheezy
#2
No, it is hardware based that prevents the mac from running on regular pc.
 
Joined
May 21, 2009
Messages
4,966 (1.59/day)
Likes
1,511
System Name i7-PC / HTPC / iMac
Processor i7 3820 / Phenom II 940
Motherboard GIGABYTE G1.ASSASSIN2 / M3A79-T Deluxe
Cooling Corsair Hydro H100i / Scythe II (HS only)
Memory G.SKILL Trident X Series 8GB (2 x 4GB) DDR3 1600mhz / 4GB DDR2 1066 (@800) Corsair Dominator
Video Card(s) GB Radeon HD 7950s 3GB / GB Radeon HD 7950s 3GB
Storage 2x 80GB Intel X-25, 2x600gb SATA, 1x1tb 5400RPM storage /1x600GB, 3x500GB,1x160,1x120 SATA
Display(s) 1x 27" Yamakasi / Vizio 42" HDTV
Case Lian Li Lancool PC-K58 / Antec 900
Audio Device(s) HT Omega Striker 7.1 / Onboard and HDMI from ATi Card
Power Supply PC Power & Cooling 750W / 610W
Software Ubuntu / Windows 8.1 Pro / OS X / PHPStorm / Gaming
#3
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.
 

Easy Rhino

Linux Advocate
Joined
Nov 13, 2006
Messages
14,405 (3.56/day)
Likes
4,257
System Name VHOST01 | Desktop
Processor i7 980x | i5 7500 Kaby Lake
Motherboard Gigabyte x58 Extreme | AsRock MicroATX Z170M Exteme4
Cooling Prolimatech Megahelams | Stock
Memory 6x4 GB @ 1333 | 2x 8G Gskill Aegis DDR4 2400
Video Card(s) Nvidia GT 210 | Nvidia GTX 970 FTW+
Storage 4x2 TB Enterprise RAID5 |Corsair mForce nvme 250G
Display(s) N/A | Dell 27" 1440p 8bit GSYNC
Case Lian Li ATX Mid Tower | Corsair Carbide 400C
Audio Device(s) NA | On Board
Power Supply SeaSonic 500W Gold | Seasonic SSR-650GD Flagship Prime Series 650W Gold
Mouse N/A | Logitech G900 Chaos Spectrum
Keyboard N/A | Posiden Z RGB Cherry MX Brown
Software Centos 7 | Windows 10
#4
Can I use VirtualBox to boot from this Mac hard drive? and run a sort of "Virtual MacBook Pro"?
no. virtualbox does not work that way.
 
Joined
May 21, 2009
Messages
4,966 (1.59/day)
Likes
1,511
System Name i7-PC / HTPC / iMac
Processor i7 3820 / Phenom II 940
Motherboard GIGABYTE G1.ASSASSIN2 / M3A79-T Deluxe
Cooling Corsair Hydro H100i / Scythe II (HS only)
Memory G.SKILL Trident X Series 8GB (2 x 4GB) DDR3 1600mhz / 4GB DDR2 1066 (@800) Corsair Dominator
Video Card(s) GB Radeon HD 7950s 3GB / GB Radeon HD 7950s 3GB
Storage 2x 80GB Intel X-25, 2x600gb SATA, 1x1tb 5400RPM storage /1x600GB, 3x500GB,1x160,1x120 SATA
Display(s) 1x 27" Yamakasi / Vizio 42" HDTV
Case Lian Li Lancool PC-K58 / Antec 900
Audio Device(s) HT Omega Striker 7.1 / Onboard and HDMI from ATi Card
Power Supply PC Power & Cooling 750W / 610W
Software Ubuntu / Windows 8.1 Pro / OS X / PHPStorm / Gaming
#5
no. virtualbox does not work that way.
i assumed he meant after loading the base OS, not as in replacing it. does it(virtualbox) not boot OS images?
 

Easy Rhino

Linux Advocate
Joined
Nov 13, 2006
Messages
14,405 (3.56/day)
Likes
4,257
System Name VHOST01 | Desktop
Processor i7 980x | i5 7500 Kaby Lake
Motherboard Gigabyte x58 Extreme | AsRock MicroATX Z170M Exteme4
Cooling Prolimatech Megahelams | Stock
Memory 6x4 GB @ 1333 | 2x 8G Gskill Aegis DDR4 2400
Video Card(s) Nvidia GT 210 | Nvidia GTX 970 FTW+
Storage 4x2 TB Enterprise RAID5 |Corsair mForce nvme 250G
Display(s) N/A | Dell 27" 1440p 8bit GSYNC
Case Lian Li ATX Mid Tower | Corsair Carbide 400C
Audio Device(s) NA | On Board
Power Supply SeaSonic 500W Gold | Seasonic SSR-650GD Flagship Prime Series 650W Gold
Mouse N/A | Logitech G900 Chaos Spectrum
Keyboard N/A | Posiden Z RGB Cherry MX Brown
Software Centos 7 | Windows 10
#6
i assumed he meant after loading the base OS, not as in replacing it. does it(virtualbox) not boot OS images?
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.
 
Joined
May 21, 2009
Messages
4,966 (1.59/day)
Likes
1,511
System Name i7-PC / HTPC / iMac
Processor i7 3820 / Phenom II 940
Motherboard GIGABYTE G1.ASSASSIN2 / M3A79-T Deluxe
Cooling Corsair Hydro H100i / Scythe II (HS only)
Memory G.SKILL Trident X Series 8GB (2 x 4GB) DDR3 1600mhz / 4GB DDR2 1066 (@800) Corsair Dominator
Video Card(s) GB Radeon HD 7950s 3GB / GB Radeon HD 7950s 3GB
Storage 2x 80GB Intel X-25, 2x600gb SATA, 1x1tb 5400RPM storage /1x600GB, 3x500GB,1x160,1x120 SATA
Display(s) 1x 27" Yamakasi / Vizio 42" HDTV
Case Lian Li Lancool PC-K58 / Antec 900
Audio Device(s) HT Omega Striker 7.1 / Onboard and HDMI from ATi Card
Power Supply PC Power & Cooling 750W / 610W
Software Ubuntu / Windows 8.1 Pro / OS X / PHPStorm / Gaming
#7
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.
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?
 

Easy Rhino

Linux Advocate
Joined
Nov 13, 2006
Messages
14,405 (3.56/day)
Likes
4,257
System Name VHOST01 | Desktop
Processor i7 980x | i5 7500 Kaby Lake
Motherboard Gigabyte x58 Extreme | AsRock MicroATX Z170M Exteme4
Cooling Prolimatech Megahelams | Stock
Memory 6x4 GB @ 1333 | 2x 8G Gskill Aegis DDR4 2400
Video Card(s) Nvidia GT 210 | Nvidia GTX 970 FTW+
Storage 4x2 TB Enterprise RAID5 |Corsair mForce nvme 250G
Display(s) N/A | Dell 27" 1440p 8bit GSYNC
Case Lian Li ATX Mid Tower | Corsair Carbide 400C
Audio Device(s) NA | On Board
Power Supply SeaSonic 500W Gold | Seasonic SSR-650GD Flagship Prime Series 650W Gold
Mouse N/A | Logitech G900 Chaos Spectrum
Keyboard N/A | Posiden Z RGB Cherry MX Brown
Software Centos 7 | Windows 10
#8
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?
i dont know if it would work.
 

MikeTyson

New Member
Joined
Dec 9, 2009
Messages
645 (0.22/day)
Likes
20
Location
South East, United Kingdom
System Name Swag
Processor Intel Xeon E3110 4GHz
Motherboard GIGABYTE GA-G31M-ES2L
Cooling Scythe Infinity I Push-Pull w/ AS5
Memory 2x2GB Transcend 800MHz DDR2 @ 890MHz 1.9v
Video Card(s) Palit nVIDIA GTX460 1GB 800/1600/2000
Storage Crucial M4 64GB
Display(s) LG Flatron M1917TM 1280x1024 @ 60Hz
Audio Device(s) Realtek HD Audio
Power Supply OCZ StealthXStream 2 600W
Software Windows 7 Professional 64-bit
#9
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 ^_^
 
Joined
May 21, 2009
Messages
4,966 (1.59/day)
Likes
1,511
System Name i7-PC / HTPC / iMac
Processor i7 3820 / Phenom II 940
Motherboard GIGABYTE G1.ASSASSIN2 / M3A79-T Deluxe
Cooling Corsair Hydro H100i / Scythe II (HS only)
Memory G.SKILL Trident X Series 8GB (2 x 4GB) DDR3 1600mhz / 4GB DDR2 1066 (@800) Corsair Dominator
Video Card(s) GB Radeon HD 7950s 3GB / GB Radeon HD 7950s 3GB
Storage 2x 80GB Intel X-25, 2x600gb SATA, 1x1tb 5400RPM storage /1x600GB, 3x500GB,1x160,1x120 SATA
Display(s) 1x 27" Yamakasi / Vizio 42" HDTV
Case Lian Li Lancool PC-K58 / Antec 900
Audio Device(s) HT Omega Striker 7.1 / Onboard and HDMI from ATi Card
Power Supply PC Power & Cooling 750W / 610W
Software Ubuntu / Windows 8.1 Pro / OS X / PHPStorm / Gaming
#10
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.
 
Joined
Jan 16, 2008
Messages
886 (0.24/day)
Likes
137
Location
Milwaukee, Wisconsin, USA
Processor Intel Xeon X5670 Hexa-core @ 4.6GHz @ 1.35v
Motherboard Gigabyte GA-X58A-UD7
Cooling Swiftech H20 (w/Custom External Rad Enclosure)
Memory 6GB (3x2GB) G.Skill Trident 2000Mhz + 6GB (3x2GB) Corsair 1600Mhz DDR3
Video Card(s) EVGA GTX 980 SC
Storage 1TB Samsung 850 EVO
Display(s) Samsung BX2440 (24" LED Backlit)
Case Cooler Master 690 (w/Mods)
Audio Device(s) Creative X-Fi Titanium
Power Supply Corsair 750-TX
Software Windows 7 Ultimate (x64)
#11
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

"'m gonna say intel mac - am quite sure 10.6 doesn't work with ppc, they stopped at 10.4. "
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:
Joined
Jul 26, 2010
Messages
1,655 (0.61/day)
Likes
729
Location
Philly
System Name Primary Rig
Processor Phenom II X4 B50 @ 3.7GHz
Motherboard Biostar TA790GX 128M
Cooling Sunbeam CR-CCTF 120mm , 6x120mm, MOS-C1
Memory 2x2GB Kingston HyperX 1066 @ 800 4-4-4-12
Video Card(s) Sapphire HD 5830 800/1000 @ 885/1225
Storage 320GB, 400GB, 500GB, 1.5TB
Display(s) Hannspree HF259
Case CM 690
Power Supply OCZ 850W
Benchmark Scores 3Dmark06: 18545/5219 CPU Mark 7.0: 3911.2 Cinebench R10: 11826/3359 x264 HD 2.0: 75.6/23.9
#12
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:

MikeTyson

New Member
Joined
Dec 9, 2009
Messages
645 (0.22/day)
Likes
20
Location
South East, United Kingdom
System Name Swag
Processor Intel Xeon E3110 4GHz
Motherboard GIGABYTE GA-G31M-ES2L
Cooling Scythe Infinity I Push-Pull w/ AS5
Memory 2x2GB Transcend 800MHz DDR2 @ 890MHz 1.9v
Video Card(s) Palit nVIDIA GTX460 1GB 800/1600/2000
Storage Crucial M4 64GB
Display(s) LG Flatron M1917TM 1280x1024 @ 60Hz
Audio Device(s) Realtek HD Audio
Power Supply OCZ StealthXStream 2 600W
Software Windows 7 Professional 64-bit
#13
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
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 ^_^
 
Joined
Jul 26, 2010
Messages
1,655 (0.61/day)
Likes
729
Location
Philly
System Name Primary Rig
Processor Phenom II X4 B50 @ 3.7GHz
Motherboard Biostar TA790GX 128M
Cooling Sunbeam CR-CCTF 120mm , 6x120mm, MOS-C1
Memory 2x2GB Kingston HyperX 1066 @ 800 4-4-4-12
Video Card(s) Sapphire HD 5830 800/1000 @ 885/1225
Storage 320GB, 400GB, 500GB, 1.5TB
Display(s) Hannspree HF259
Case CM 690
Power Supply OCZ 850W
Benchmark Scores 3Dmark06: 18545/5219 CPU Mark 7.0: 3911.2 Cinebench R10: 11826/3359 x264 HD 2.0: 75.6/23.9
#14
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:
dd if=/dev/hda of=./hda.img
VBoxManage convertdd hda.img hda.vdi
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:
Joined
Jul 11, 2010
Messages
140 (0.05/day)
Likes
47
Location
Finland
Processor i7-2500K @ 4.5 GHz
Motherboard Gigabyte GA-Z68XP-UD4
Cooling EK Supreme HF
Memory Kingston HyperX Genesis 2 * 4 GB
Video Card(s) Radeon HD 7950
Storage OCZ Agility 3
Case Bitfenix Shinobi XL
Power Supply Super Flower SF-700P14XE
#15
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"?
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.
 

MikeTyson

New Member
Joined
Dec 9, 2009
Messages
645 (0.22/day)
Likes
20
Location
South East, United Kingdom
System Name Swag
Processor Intel Xeon E3110 4GHz
Motherboard GIGABYTE GA-G31M-ES2L
Cooling Scythe Infinity I Push-Pull w/ AS5
Memory 2x2GB Transcend 800MHz DDR2 @ 890MHz 1.9v
Video Card(s) Palit nVIDIA GTX460 1GB 800/1600/2000
Storage Crucial M4 64GB
Display(s) LG Flatron M1917TM 1280x1024 @ 60Hz
Audio Device(s) Realtek HD Audio
Power Supply OCZ StealthXStream 2 600W
Software Windows 7 Professional 64-bit
#16
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.
Please explain in more detail :D
 
Joined
Jul 11, 2010
Messages
140 (0.05/day)
Likes
47
Location
Finland
Processor i7-2500K @ 4.5 GHz
Motherboard Gigabyte GA-Z68XP-UD4
Cooling EK Supreme HF
Memory Kingston HyperX Genesis 2 * 4 GB
Video Card(s) Radeon HD 7950
Storage OCZ Agility 3
Case Bitfenix Shinobi XL
Power Supply Super Flower SF-700P14XE
#17

MikeTyson

New Member
Joined
Dec 9, 2009
Messages
645 (0.22/day)
Likes
20
Location
South East, United Kingdom
System Name Swag
Processor Intel Xeon E3110 4GHz
Motherboard GIGABYTE GA-G31M-ES2L
Cooling Scythe Infinity I Push-Pull w/ AS5
Memory 2x2GB Transcend 800MHz DDR2 @ 890MHz 1.9v
Video Card(s) Palit nVIDIA GTX460 1GB 800/1600/2000
Storage Crucial M4 64GB
Display(s) LG Flatron M1917TM 1280x1024 @ 60Hz
Audio Device(s) Realtek HD Audio
Power Supply OCZ StealthXStream 2 600W
Software Windows 7 Professional 64-bit
#18
Joined
Jul 11, 2010
Messages
140 (0.05/day)
Likes
47
Location
Finland
Processor i7-2500K @ 4.5 GHz
Motherboard Gigabyte GA-Z68XP-UD4
Cooling EK Supreme HF
Memory Kingston HyperX Genesis 2 * 4 GB
Video Card(s) Radeon HD 7950
Storage OCZ Agility 3
Case Bitfenix Shinobi XL
Power Supply Super Flower SF-700P14XE
#19