100% CPU with Windows XP on Debian Lenny Linux Host

Discussions about using Windows guests in VirtualBox.

100% CPU with Windows XP on Debian Lenny Linux Host

Postby chammers » 2. Aug 2010, 13:36


My VirtualBox process constantly uses 100% CPU on the host system even if it is supposed to be idle.

I've migrated a vmware server 1 guest system .vdsk using qemu-img and "VBoxManage convertdd" to a VirtualBox OSE .vdi (after applying the Heise c't mergeIde Tool). Then I created a similar guest system with the VirtualBox GUI and bootet. The Windows XP Professional guest system boots fine and I could login and re-activate the Windows license. Everything works fine, just far to slow :-(

I'm using:
Host System: Debian Lenny with 2.6.18-6-686-bigmem kernel
Host Hardware: Sun Fire(tm) V65 with DualCore Xeon 2.8GHz and HyperThreading enabled
VirtualBox Version: 3.2.4-dfsg-1~bpo50+1 from Debian Backports
Guest System: Windows XP Professional
Configs: are attached

For testing I moved the guest.xml and .vdi to my Desktop with Debian Lenny, a more recent 2.6.32-bpo.5-686 kernel and the latest non-free VirtualBox binaries. The guest still sucked up 100% CPU.

I tried disabling IO ACPI but then Windows won't boot anymore (black screen).

Please don't suggest "reinstall Windows" as I'd rather continue using Windows under VMware then.
Except from that I'm open to any debugging hints! :)

thanks in advance,

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Posts: 1
Joined: 2. Aug 2010, 13:02
Primary OS: Debian Lenny
VBox Version: OSE Debian
Guest OSses: Windows XP

Re: 100% CPU with Windows XP on Debian Lenny Linux Host

Postby vbox4me2 » 9. Aug 2010, 11:53

Check the HAL version used in XP, when it hits 100% cpu you often have the wrong HAL.
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Joined: 21. Nov 2008, 20:27
Location: Rotterdam

Re: 100% CPU with Windows XP on Debian Lenny Linux Host

Postby MarkCranness » 11. Aug 2010, 09:07

A link to HALu (used to change the HAL, if setting the driver in Device Manager doesn't work), and info here:

These HALs require IO APIC enabled and may have host CPU usage problems:
ACPI Multiprocessor PC (HALu=ACPI Multiproccesor PC)
ACPI Uniprocessor PC (HALu=ACPI Uniproccesor PC)

This HAL doesn't care about IO APIC and will not have host CPU usage problems:
Advanced Configuration and Power Interface (ACPI) PC (HALu=ACPI PC)

If changing the HAL works for you, then please add your details to this bug ticket: Huge IO-APIC/guest SMP overhead with 32 bits guests (you will need to register a new account: Use the 'Register' link at the top-right of the bug ticket page.)
Posts: 875
Joined: 10. Oct 2009, 06:27
Primary OS: MS Windows 7
VBox Version: PUEL
Guest OSses: Windows Server 2008 R2; Ubuntu 11.04; Windows 2000 Server; Windows XP

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