How to change the boot device type to virtio?

Discussions about using Windows guests in VirtualBox.

How to change the boot device type to virtio?

Postby vb91745 » 24. Aug 2019, 06:22

I'm using Virtualbox on a Mac to prepare a Windows image to ultimately run on a Openstack + KVM host system. Right now when I run my Windows image on the host, it fails to boot, giving the INACCESSIBLE_BOOT_DEVICE error.

I was advised to try this solution:
https://superuser.com/questions/1057959 ... -to-virtio
where it says "change the boot device type to virtio".

How do I do that in VirtualBox?

I thought it meant just set the CD-ROM pointing at the virtio iso file as the primary slave drive. I did that and rebooted into safe mode, and rebooted back into normal mode, before saving the VM image. But it still fails to boot on the host, giving the INACCESSIBLE_BOOT_DEVICE error.

So I must not be setting the "boot device type to virtio" correctly.

Help! Thanks.
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Re: How to change the boot device type to virtio?

Postby mpack » 24. Aug 2019, 09:52

The only way that makes sense to me is if you meant when using a PXE boot. VirtualBox has no VirtIO-disks that I'm aware of, for one thing that would require guest OS support. VirtualBox does however support VirtIO-networking.

If all else fails, check the user manual - search the PDF for instances of "VirtIO".

Incidentally, these are the VirtualBox forums. The article you linked to discussed KVM, an entirely different program.
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Re: How to change the boot device type to virtio?

Postby vb91745 » 24. Aug 2019, 18:21

@mpack-- thank you for your response!

Yes, the article talks about KVM but I was looking for something equivalent in Virtualbox....

I'm stuck at INACCESSIBLE_BOOT_DEVICE error, and am looking around for anything to try to get past that error....
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Re: How to change the boot device type to virtio?

Postby mpack » 24. Aug 2019, 18:48

As I indicated, I'm afraid VirtualBox has no support for VirtIO disks. There is no way to get around the error while booting from a disk.

Why are you interested in using this feature? A virtual disk is already block based and asynchronous, it's already cached by the host OS, it isn't fiddling with emulating hardware registers for every byte transferred... so I would not expect the performance benefit of paravirtualized disk to be noticeable.
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Re: How to change the boot device type to virtio?

Postby vb91745 » 24. Aug 2019, 19:38

I don't fully understand what's going on and what I'm doing. I'm not "interested in a feature," I just want my Windows image to boot on the Openstack+KVM host, w/o the INACCESSIBLE_BOOT_DEVICE error.

My interest in "change the boot device type to virtio" is merely an attempt to get around the INACCESSIBLE_BOOT_DEVICE error.
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Re: How to change the boot device type to virtio?

Postby socratis » 24. Aug 2019, 20:41

I still haven't: 1) understood what you're trying to do, 2) why, 3) and most important of all, how. I need a complete step-by-step description of what is it that you're doing in VirtualBox, and what you're expecting.

Please do not repeat that "you want your Windows image to boot on the Openstack+KVM host, w/o the INACCESSIBLE_BOOT_DEVICE error", we got that part, that's not the explanation I'm looking for, it doesn't make sense in VirtualBox-speak...
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Re: How to change the boot device type to virtio?

Postby vb91745 » 24. Aug 2019, 21:02

I've been given access to a cloud platform run by the Texas Advanced Computing Center (TACC) at UT Austin. They say it's possible to run Windows VMs on their platform, but do not offer any technical support. They did point me to some how-to webpages that tell you to use VirtualBox on a Mac to set up a Windows image, upload the image to the TACC platform using Openstack API, and create and run VM instances from the image. I've followed all those directions, and when I get to the final step of booting the Windows VM on the TACC platform, it gives the INACCESSIBLE_BOOT_DEVICE error. That's when their tech staff pointed out the "change the boot device to virtio" webpage as a possible solution.

Thank you for any possible tips.
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Re: How to change the boot device type to virtio?

Postby socratis » 24. Aug 2019, 21:24

vb91745 wrote:They did point me to some how-to webpages that tell you to use VirtualBox on a Mac to set up a Windows image
Can we see the instructions, the how-to pages?

vb91745 wrote:That's when their tech staff pointed out the "change the boot device to virtio" webpage as a possible solution.
Apparently either they don't know what they're talking about, or they pointed you to the wrong pages. Most probably the latter, because they can't be giving you instructions to setup a VirtualBox image and then point you to a page that talks about Openstack + KVM host system. That's a completely different virtualization environment, with different settings and capabilities. There's no KVM on a Mac host to begin with...
If you obfuscate any information requested, I will obfuscate my response. These are virtual UUIDs, not real ones.
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Re: How to change the boot device type to virtio?

Postby vb91745 » 24. Aug 2019, 22:57

To be fair, I don't think TACC is saying, "here are complete & specific instructions." More like, "these instructions will probably work." But it's probably also true they don't know exactly what they're talking about, because, they would admit, they haven't done/don't do Windows VMs.

The instructions they pointed out to me are:
https://superuser.openstack.org/article ... openstack/

Once a VM instance has been created, there is a web GUI to the platform called Horizon, which lets me see the console window of the instance. And that's where I see Windows try to start up, then say INACCESSIBLE_BOOT_DEVICE.

Thank you for any suggestions/tips!
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Re: How to change the boot device type to virtio?

Postby fth0 » 25. Aug 2019, 02:51

The tutorial instructs you to create the virtual disk image using the QCOW format, and change the format to QCOW2 when uploading it to OpenStack. Did you do this or did you use the VDI format, which OpenStack cannot run (as far as I know)?

Regarding the VirtIO SCSI drivers: The tutorial instructs you to install them into the Windows guest OS during the Windows installation process. The virtual disk image is attached to the VirtualBox virtual machine at the IDE controller (according to the tutorial), so I guess in OpenStack the virtual disk image will later get attached to an SCSI controller, so the SCSC drivers must be pre-installed for that change. Note that you don't transfer the virtual machine to OpenStack, but only the virtual disk image.
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Re: How to change the boot device type to virtio?

Postby vb91745 » 25. Aug 2019, 03:14

They (TACC) told me I should upload the image in raw format, so I used qemu-img to convert from .vdi to .img, by following these instructions:
https://docs.openstack.org/image-guide/ ... mages.html
I do that as the last step on my local Mac before I upload the image to Openstack.

Re: SCSCI -- I believe when I install E:\viostor\2k16\amd64\viostor.inf that installs the SCSI drivers into the Windows image. I'm not sure what else I'm supposed to do.

And yes, I understand the concept that I upload the image to Openstack, not the VM (one of very few things I understand!)

Thank you for your help!
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Re: How to change the boot device type to virtio?

Postby mpack » 25. Aug 2019, 10:25

I don't understand why this discussion is still going. VirtualBox has no corresponding paravirtual disk device for a "KVM VirtIO-SCSI" guest driver to talk to. End of.

For example: VirtualBox has a VirtIO-Network card. You first have install the KVM-networking driver in the guest, then shut down the VM and enable the corresponding VirtIO-network card in the VM settings. Step 2 is missing from any attempt to do the disk equivalent.
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Re: How to change the boot device type to virtio?

Postby fth0 » 25. Aug 2019, 13:28

vb91745 wrote:They (TACC) told me I should upload the image in raw format, so I used qemu-img to convert from .vdi to .img

Ok. Just if you want to try and stick closer to the tutorial: When creating the virtual disk image from inside the VirtualBox GUI, there is an Expert Mode button, where you can select the QCOW format right away.

vb91745 wrote:Re: SCSCI -- I believe when I install E:\viostor\2k16\amd64\viostor.inf that installs the SCSI drivers into the Windows image. I'm not sure what else I'm supposed to do.

Nothing else, as far as I understand it. But the tutorial has several slight inaccuracies which invite to interpretations ...
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Re: How to change the boot device type to virtio?

Postby fth0 » 25. Aug 2019, 13:54

mpack wrote:I don't understand why this discussion is still going. VirtualBox has no corresponding paravirtual disk device for a "KVM VirtIO-SCSI" guest driver to talk to. End of.

You have to know the concepts of the multiple phases of the tutorial the OP has been instructed to use, to understand this discussion, and I did not bother to explain those concepts here. (My posts generally tend to be long and complicated enough anyway, wouldn't you agree? ;))

I've been trying to explain to the OP, which topics are VirtualBox specific (the QCOW disk format, in the context of the tutorial), and which are not (the SCSI driver). It really doesn't matter here if VirtualBox offers VirtIO here or not, because there is no SCSI interface used inside the VirtualBox VM. After transferring only the virtual disk image to OpenStack, the new QEMU/KVM VM will have different virtual hardware, especially an VirtIO SCSI controller, and the guest OS can use the pre-installed SCSI driver right away.

PS: If you are really interested, I could explain some of the major concepts of the mentioned tutorial.
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Re: How to change the boot device type to virtio?

Postby mpack » 25. Aug 2019, 15:09

fth0 wrote:PS: If you are really interested, I could explain some of the major concepts of the mentioned tutorial.

No, I'm not really interested in that, nor do I believe I need to have the concepts explained to me. The subject matter indicated in the topic title is how to change a VirtualBox boot device type to VirtIO, so it very much matters here whether VirtualBox supports a VirtIO disk or not.
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