Friday 27 November 2009

Creating blank partitioned drives

For a system such as VeRa, testing its filesystem and partition table detection routines on a range of partition combinations is a necessity; however, creating these can be time-consuming. A simple solution to this involves a Linux live ISO and a copy of VirtualBox, an open-source virtualisation tool from Sun Microsystems.

The process I am following is as follows:
  1. Create a new Virtual Machine, with a drive sized as required.
  2. Boot this Virtual Machine from the Linux live ISO.
  3. Using a partition manager (such as fdisk), create partitions on the virtual hard disk as required.
  4. Format these partitions to match the requirements of the particular test.
  5. Exit VirtualBox.
  6. Using 'VBoxManage.exe' from the VirtualBox install folder, convert the VirtualBox image to a raw image format: VBoxManage clonehd –format RAW (image).vdi (image).img
(with thanks to

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