I don't want to lock down my machine for the install. Can I hand it off to a virtual box process?

  1. Open virtual box

  2. Create virtual Mac

  3. Attach Mavericks install pen drive to virtual Mac

  4. Attach real external HD to virtual Mac

  5. Boot virtual Mac from Mavericks pen drive

  6. Install to real external HD from inside virtual Mac

Would/should/could this work?

I'm stuck at step 3.

I've entered:

sudo VBoxManage internalcommands createrawvmdk -filename ~/PENDRIVE.vmdk -rawdisk /dev/disk2

which outputs:

VBoxManage: error: VMDK: could not open raw disk file '/dev/disk2'  
VBoxManage: error: Error code VERR_RESOURCE_BUSY at /Users/vbox/tinderbox/4.3-mac-rel/src/VBox/Storage/VMDK.cpp(3390) in function int vmdkCreateRawImage(VMDKIMAGE*, VBOXHDDRAW*, uint64_t)
VBoxManage: error: Cannot create the raw disk VMDK: VERR_RESOURCE_BUSY
VBoxManage: error: The raw disk vmdk file was not created
  • I doubt it would work. Even if you got that far, it would try to install drivers for the VM device, not that actual Mac hardware.
    – Tetsujin
    Jan 6, 2015 at 14:59
  • @Tetsujin: 1) OS X does NOT come with drivers for Virtual Box. Best you can get are fallback drivers. The performance is horrible. In addition to that, OS X does NOT remove drivers for components it does not see at the time of installation or first boot. It will load them if booted on real hardware. If you get problems there, reset the kext-cache. 2) Can you elaborate why you think it wouldn't work? I can't see any reason.
    – bot47
    Feb 22, 2015 at 16:23

2 Answers 2


First make sure your external HD is attached. Then find out what device node your HD is. In your case it's /dev/disk2. Umount it with

diskutil umountDisk disk2

and wait until it disappeared from Finder. Change the owner of the device node to your user:

sudo chown `whoami` /dev/disk2

Then create the vmdk:

sudo VBoxManage internalcommands createrawvmdk -filename ~/disk2.vmdk -rawdisk /dev/disk2

Right then attach it to your VM and start it. If you unplug the drive, the ownership and permissions get reset, so you'll have to do the chown step again.


/dev/disk2 is mounted by your machine still. Go to Disk utility and unmount the device the rerun your command.

You must log in to answer this question.

Not the answer you're looking for? Browse other questions tagged .