Virtualbox Raw Disk

So I have a tone of old computers that are really slow that I am fixing for my church. So I had a bright idea of what if I can use a HDD with Virtualbox. So after hours of trial and error I got it to work. 


It likes to chose when to work and when not to work. mostly it does not work but got it to install windows successfully two times. What will usually happen is it will get to the windows start up screen with the logo and freeze. I have tried turning the drive offline but that does not always work. 

Also, when I installed Windows on the HDD and put it in the old computer it worked perfectly with a tone of notifications of Intel x86 drivers installed! But then the tone of windows updates came I took it out of the system and boot it back into the virtual machine so the updates will be faster! LOL But no luck it would not boot in the VM. I'm guessing that's mostly because of the Intel drivers that were just installed.

Maybe a roll back might fix that but I was lazy and gave up. And just going to shadow copy after one long and slow install on a computer.

I just wanted to share my experience with VB and the raw disk side of things.

Also, has anyone else tried this? and have you gotten it to work correctly? and do you have any thoughts?

WHO?WHAT?WHEN?WHERE?WHY?......     because?

I've done a lot of raw disk VM's, but unless your VM configuration is mostly similar to the hardware, I wouldn't recommend swapping back and forth.

A few months ago I played with imaging the HDD from a computer onto a ZFS ZVOL and pointing a raw VMDK at that. I was able to use the disk in VirtualBox, plus I messed around with exporting the ZVOL as an iSCSI target and netbooting it on the original hardware, and also creating a VM on the original hardware on a different OS and using a VM on there with the boot volume pointing at the iSCSI target. Configurations over the network are slow on wireless of course.

I tried to stay away from installing drivers that would conflict with the hardware changes. I think the most important settings had to do with the BIOS on the laptop. I made sure it was set to AHCI SATA mode, because that's what VirtualBox emulates.

Interesting. I will mess around and see what works!