How to Boot VirtualBox from USB in Windows 10

One of the primary tools we have to virtualize is without doubt VirtualBox which offers us multiple configuration alternatives and a wide range of operating systems to install.

In the same way that we have this great tool, having ISOs images in devices such as USB drives is increasing thanks to MultiBoot USB.

Every time we try to install an Operating System in VirtualBox, we must do it from the physical CD/DVD drive or an ISO image hosted in our computer.

VirtualBox Compatible Operating Systems:

  • Windows
  • Linux
  • Solaris
  • Mac OS, among others.

You can download VirtualBox at the following link: VirtualBox

Pre-Requirements:

  • VirtualBox Latest Version
  • USB Stick
  • OS to install in the USB Stick.

Step #1: Identify USB

The first step is to identify the USB Stick ID using the Disk Management.

  1. Press the keys Winkey + R and type the command diskmgmt.msc
  2. Now, look at your USB ID, in this case, Disk 1

Step #2: USB Memory to VMDK

Once you know the USB id, open the Command Prompt as Administrator

Type the following command in the Command Prompt and press Enter

cd %programfiles%\Oracle\VirtualBox

Once in the VirtualBox Path, you need to type and run the following command changing some parameters like the name and USB id:

VBoxManage internalcommands createrawvmdk -filename C:\Name.vmdk -rawdisk \\.\PhysicalDrive#

Some of the settings you need to change are the following:

  • C:\Name.vmdk [Put a name to the VMDK File]
  • PhysicalDrive# [There type your USB ID, in this case, Disk 1]

So for this example, the command to create the Virtual Disk is:

VBoxManage internalcommands createrawvmdk -filename C:\name.vmdk -rawdisk \\.\PhysicalDrive1

Run that command to convert the USB memory into a VMDK Virtual Disk and from there boot the Operating System.

Step #3: Boot VMDK in VirtualBox

Now, open VirtualBox as administrator and click on New

Setup the usual things like disk size among others until you need to choose the Hard Drive, select Use an existing virtual hard drive file and use your USB VMDK file.

Finally, click on Create to Boot VirtualBox from USB easily and start your Operating System.

As easy as that you can boot any operating system from USB flash drives and thus extend the capabilities and benefits of using VirtualBox.

If you have any question about this tutorial, leave us a comment below.

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