Am I eligible for Qubes OS? (moving from Windows, MDADM, ecc...)

Hello everyone. I know I am asking a lot and I do not pretend anyone to respond me, but if you help me I would really appreciate it!

I have a PC, not a laptop. I want to move from Windows 11 to Qubes OS for privacy and security reason (because of banking and other stuff). I would still need to use Windows sometimes so I would like to put my current Windows OS in a virtual machine inside Qubes OS.

My question is: is there a way I could export my current Windows system in a virtual machine file and then import it in a virtual machine inside QubesOS as a standalone, so I don’t lose any of my data? Actually, a very important thing for me is that the virtual machine storage files for the SDD and the HDD are separated, so I can put each one in the right disk, to have a good speed for the things that needs the speed of the SDD. Is it even possible to do that?

Talking about disks, I have a lot of doubts. I own an SSD as primary disk for OS and a HDD for other files and large programs. Also I have another old HDD that I currently don’t use but it’s barely enought to store temporanely the two other disks, so I could use it while changing OS to save Windows in some way.

I am planning of buying another SSD and HDD so I can do RAID 1. Until now I never had a backup of my files, but since I’m already planning to change OS, I want to do things correctly and I would like to use MDADM to do RAID 1 both for the SSDs and for the HDDs. Of course, I would have to install Qubes OS first and only then I could use MDADM, but would I be able at that point to do RAID 1 even for the same disk the OS is currently on? Is there a way to do it? I don’t have hardware RAID and my motherboard only supports RAID if I install a driver for Windows (which I guess it’s useless if my OS will be Qubes OS…).

Also, as I said, I still need to use Windows sometimes, to use some applications. My biggest concern is the graphic aspect. I will need sometimes to use video editing and photo editing softwares. Of course, I can imagine that I will need to have only the Windows qube opened for performance reasons, that’s not a problem. Do you think that I will be ok with the following configuration?

  • Motherboard: ASUS TUF GAMING B550-PLUS
  • CPU: AMD Ryzen 5 3600
  • RAM: 32GB 3200MHz
  • First monitor: 1080p 144Hz
  • Second monitor: 1080p 75Hz

Yes, you can do this with qvm-create:

–root-copy-from=FILENAME, -r FILENAME

Use provided root.img instead of default/empty one (file will be copied). If the provided file does not have the same size as the system volume being created, the VM will still be created but with an empty system volume, and the program will report an error. This option is mutually exclusive with --root-move-from.

It’s possible, you can boot Windows from root.img on SSD and attach the HDD image or whole disk to this VM usign qvm-block:

Right now Qubes OS doesn’t have hardware acceleration support in VMs. If you have 2 GPUs you can use one GPU for Qubes OS and another one passthrough to Windows VM. But in this case you’ll need to use separate display and keyboard/mouse for Windows VM or use KVM switch or maybe use some software solution for switching your keyboard/mouse and use VNC or something.

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Thank you so much for the quick answer.
I can’t try to do this immediatly, so I can’t tell if it’s actually gonna work for me, but thanks for your time!

Hello again.
I have a doubt: how do I create this file from Windows? Also, you mentioned

but what do you exactly mean by that? Of course, I don’t want to attach all the HDD, but how can I create and attach this “image”?

If you have your Qubes OS installed on first drive /dev/sda and you have Windows installed on second drive /dev/sdb, then you can select /dev/sdb as root to copy from:
Or you can make an image of your disk in some way, for example, with dd in linux:

You can add secondary storage in Qubes OS:

And instead of creating qube in this pool you can create a volume on this secondary storage and use it as disk image in your Windows qube that can be attached to VM with qvm-block. Windows will see it as second drive and you can use it to store some files on your HDD. This way you won’t attach the whole HDD to your Windows qube but only a LVM volume as disk image.