TurboTax 2010 Wonks the Window on XP

Discussions about using Windows guests in VirtualBox.

TurboTax 2010 Wonks the Window on XP

Postby dbk2vboxorg » 19. Jan 2011, 19:07

I bought TurboTax 2010 in late November to do some tax planning before the end of the year. It installed and ran successfully on Ubuntu 10.04 and I completed my planning work. In December I upgraded to Ubuntu 10.10 and the corresponding version of VirtualBox, though I can't recall whether I used TurboTax on 10.10 . . . until yesterday.

Running VirtualBox 4.0.0 yesterday, I launched TurboTax 2010 from the XP Start menu. Immediately, the VirtualBox window began flashing between its "normal" size (1400x1036 on my 1600x1200 monitor) and a "small" (maybe 640x480) window. VirtualBox would shift between the two windows quite rapidly, perhaps 1 to 2 seconds each. I couldn't see exactly what was displayed in XP, partly for the rapid cycle time and partly because the normal or small XP window was only partially repainted each time. Interestingly, the XP behavior was mimicked in the preview panel of VirtualBox Manager. I couldn't catch up with XP to shut down with the Start|TurnOff... buttons, so the only way to calm the situation was with Close the Machine|Power Off the Machine. I did this twice and then shut down the computer went to bed.

This morning, I tried again, thinking a rebooted computer might help, but the behavior was the same. Wanting to be sure I covered all update bases before posting this, I upgraded to VirtualBox 4.0.2. Same normal/small window cycling with TurboTax. Everything else that I run in XP starts just fine.

I suppose I can uninstall and reinstall TurboTax, but I would appreciate any other guidance that the VirtualBox community can offer. Thanks.

Background: Attempting to move into Linux, I only use VirtualBox and Windows XP Pro SP3 for apps that have no Ubuntu alternative: TurboTax, QuickBooks, Microsoft Access 2003, Microsoft Office Visio 2003, and a proprietary Visual Basic 6.0 app. The XP installation is otherwise pretty bare, having only the Office baggage that comes with Access and Visio (I hope), and I run the Avira AntiVir anti-virus package.

HW: AMD, terabyte disk, 2GB RAM (1GB allocated to VirtualBox)
SW: VirtualBox 4.0.2, XP Pro SP3 (with MS updates through 1/19/2011), Ubuntu 10.10, TurboTax 2010 (updated through 12/22/2010)
dbk2vboxorg
 
Posts: 2
Joined: 19. Jan 2011, 18:25
Primary OS: Ubuntu other
VBox Version: PUEL
Guest OSses: Windows XP Pro SP3

Re: TurboTax 2010 Wonks the Window on XP

Postby dbk2vboxorg » 20. Jan 2011, 23:09

Relating these circumstances to my son, he replied:

"It might be something to do with TurboTax trying to show a low-res splash-screen on startup, and it requests some strange resolution nonsense that VirtualBox doesn't handle so well. I believe VirtualBox Guest Additions includes some mojo that allows the host to resize the window when the guest changes its resolution; perhaps disabling that feature or uninstalling the Guest Additions entirely might have an effect."

While I couldn't find a Guest Additions mojo configurator to manage window resizing, his suggestion his prompt me to confirm the version of Guest Additions I had installed. Lo! and behold, it was 4.0.0. I upgraded to GA 4.0.2 and had a much better experience. In the first launch of TurboTax 2010 after upgrading GA, there was a single cycle of go-to-small/return-to-normal window size and then the size remained stable. On the next TurboTax start, I saw no resizing at all.

Indeed, TurboTax does display a smallish splash screen on start-up. Whether this is related to the problem I cannot tell. TurboTax follows by prompting for its own update check. On the first launch today (single small/normal cycle) I clicked Check Now and updated four files. On the second launch (no resizing) about ten minutes later I went directly into the tax return.

This doesn't explain the problem while I had version 4.0.0 of both VirtualBox and Guest Additions, but i won't look the proverbial gift horse in the mouth. While I'm reluctant to say all is resolved -- been around computers WAY too long to say that -- I am pleased that yesterday's symptoms have abated at the present.
dbk2vboxorg
 
Posts: 2
Joined: 19. Jan 2011, 18:25
Primary OS: Ubuntu other
VBox Version: PUEL
Guest OSses: Windows XP Pro SP3

Re: TurboTax 2010 Wonks the Window on XP

Postby mocharhw » 3. Mar 2011, 05:04

I'm trying to get Turbo Tax 2010 to work under Windows XP on VirtualBox 4.0.4 in Linux and it installs but then when you try to execute it, the process goes to 100% CPU and nothing happens. In old versions of VirtualBox I used to disable the video acceleration and it would work, but that's not helping this time. Any suggestions?
mocharhw
 
Posts: 13
Joined: 25. Mar 2010, 08:30
Primary OS: Ubuntu other
VBox Version: PUEL
Guest OSses: Windows, FreeBSD, NetBSD, Slackware, Fedora

Re: TurboTax 2010 Wonks the Window on XP

Postby mocharhw » 3. Mar 2011, 09:13

I figured it out myself. This is for virtualbox 4.0.4 on a Linux host. Boot into virtual WinXP, uninstall guest additions, reboot into safe mode, reinstall guest additions but do not select Direct 3D support. Shutdown the virtual WinXP. In the virtualbox GUI, deselect 2D and 3D acceleration checkboxes. Boot into WinXP and start TurboTax.
mocharhw
 
Posts: 13
Joined: 25. Mar 2010, 08:30
Primary OS: Ubuntu other
VBox Version: PUEL
Guest OSses: Windows, FreeBSD, NetBSD, Slackware, Fedora


Return to Windows Guests

Who is online

Users browsing this forum: No registered users and 12 guests