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On my Mac Pro I'm running Mountain Lion. With OS X I can run my Windows 7 partition using VMWare. Is it possible to run my Mac OS X partition in Windows 7 running VMWare or any other virtual machine application out there? If so, could someone point me in the right direction?

  • Yes, it's possible, but it is very problematic! If you can simply boot into Mac OS X and then run Windows in VMWare, you will have a much easier time than trying to do it the other way around. – user9290 Sep 21 '13 at 17:44
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Here is a quick summary of running OS X on non apple hardware with (and also without) support from virtualization such as VMware.

  • Possible - yes

  • Supported, licensed, intended - no

  • Legal - you'll need a lawyer to help with that in your specific location.

So, as long as the hardware was Mac you would be probably licensed for Lion and later OS X to run visually no matter what intermediary OS you used as part of the virtualization chain. The how isn't going to be easy since you'll have to defeat either VMWare's checks to prevent any Windows person from running OS X or OS X's checks to ensure it's running on Mac hardware.

  • I have a Mac Pro, so technically I have apple hardware, right? – JordanDevelop Sep 21 '13 at 17:05
  • Also, I'd be running it on my Mac Pro. Like I asked in my question, I want to run my OS X partition from my Windows 7 partition using a virtual machine. – JordanDevelop Sep 21 '13 at 17:06
  • Yes - I didn't consider the nested possibility of running windows as the primary OS on Mac hardware, then virtualizing OS X on top of windows on top of Mac. I would say you are within the licensing terms from Apple as I understand them, but I am not a lawyer. I had understood the first sentence to be a statement of general significance, and not a precondition of the circumstance. See my edit to clarify my answer. – bmike Sep 21 '13 at 17:07
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Several versions of VMware and VirtualBox support installing Mac OS, but it doesn't work very fluent due to the lack of "QE/CI", which is a technology to accelerate graphics (for e.g. you wont have the transparent bar at the top and the cursor will probably be a bit laggy).

However according to Apple's license agreement you're only allowed to install Mac on Apple hardware. As long as your Windows 7 runs on a Mac and from within this Windows you install Mac OS it's ok (I know from VMware ESXi that it checks if it is running on Apple hardware otherwise you won't be able to install Mac OS in a virtual machine).

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