Howto: Windows XP in both VM and native - DISCUSSION

Discussions about using Windows guests in VirtualBox.

Dual Boot with partitions broken on 2.1.0 for Windows guest

Postby JeffWithAVbox » 29. Dec 2008, 03:35

If you try to add a VMD representing the partitions on a hard disk, you get an error message like:


Code: Select all   Expand viewCollapse view
Could not open the hard disk '/home/jeff/.VirtualBox/rawDiskXP-pt.vmdk'.
VDI: invalid pre-header in '/home/jeff/.VirtualBox/rawDiskXP-pt.vmdk' (VERR_VD_VDI_INVALID_SIGNATURE).
VD: error opening image file '/home/jeff/.VirtualBox/rawDiskXP-pt.vmdk' (VERR_VD_VDI_INVALID_SIGNATURE).


Result Code:
NS_ERROR_FAILURE (0x80004005)
Component:
HardDisk2
Interface:
IHardDisk2 {ed6e2525-c2fd-42a4-917a-7a9045ac9e15}
Callee:
IVirtualBox {339abca2-f47a-4302-87f5-7bc324e6bbde}


It turns out that this is a known error in 2.1.0 and has been fixed in the source code. You'll have to wait till 2.1.1 or use 2.0.6 which does work.
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Postby kai4785 » 29. Dec 2008, 19:25

So I felt a little adventurous, since the dual-boot/native install of windows I was using could be trashed. I did the following to try and get the native install to boot inside the virtual machine, and visa versa.

1) Boot native windows
2) Install MergeIDE
3) Boot into native Linux
4) Setup VDMK disk for the windows partition (/dev/sda1 in my case)
5) Create a grub.iso to boot the windows install

This is really short, but this is working for me. Laptop is running XP and Fedora 10.
At this point, I am able to boot into either the VM or natively with out any stability issues. I'm trying to figure out a few things though.

1) Do hardware profiles allow for me to have a separate list of services? (ie: can I run the Catalyst ATI stuff only when running in native mode?)
2) If I have Guest Additions installed, the Native install will Blue Screen on me after about 5-10 minutes of activity. The machine reboots so quickly, that I am only able to . Also my mouse is totally hosed. The cursor stays in the bottom left corner, and my synaptics mouse doesn't move the mouse at all. If I plug in a USB mouse, the cursor will move around properly, with the exception that every second, it returns to the lower left corner, making the mouse useless. Un-installing the Guest Additions resolves both the BSOD and Mouse issues that I'm experiencing. Similar to the issues described in this bug: http://www.virtualbox.org/ticket/1633
3) Who does this sort of advanced stuff with Windows anyway? I'm sitting here with my finger up my nose trying to figure out how to troubleshoot some of these windows issues. Does anybody have some good reading material on this stuff?

This is my school laptop, and my school's open wifi requires me to have an anti-virus software installed. I just use their McAfee software. The trick I'm mostly interested in is disabling McAfee when inside the VM, and enable it when booting Natively. While I can enable/disable manually when I shutdown Windows each time, it'd be nice if this was something that hardware profiles could manage for me, but so far I can't figure out how to do it. The same thing goes for my Catalyst software from ATI. I'd like it to only run in Native mode. I wouldn't worry so much about these problems if I had more than 1GB of memory. Running both OS's on 1GB of memory is a little more difficult when you have to load resource hogs like Anti-Virus and Video card software.
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Postby TerryE » 29. Dec 2008, 22:38

kai4785 wrote:Do hardware profiles allow for me to have a separate list of services? (ie: can I run the Catalyst ATI stuff only when running in native mode?)

No to separate lists of services but you can mark "optional" services as stopped by default and then have a startup script which uses WMI to check which profile is running and then start the various services and programmes that only run in that mode.
kai4785 wrote:Who does this sort of advanced stuff with Windows anyway? I'm sitting here with my finger up my nose trying to figure out how to troubleshoot some of these windows issues. Does anybody have some good reading material on this stuff?

Good Q. I don't. I don't know who does. I have an XP laptop which I only run XP and a dual boot test system which I nearly always run Ubuntu on, but can boot XP either native or as a VM. However, I only use XP on this system to test out its use under VBox (all my serious VMs are Linux) and because this system doubles as an occasional media centre I boot native XP since some multimedia S/W runs like a dog under VB and the custom codecs and S/W are only supported under Windows. So I do have the programming skills but quite frankly a lot more useful pressures on my time. Sorry.
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One question

Postby pacut » 7. Jan 2009, 10:17

Hello there. I have a question. I have an existing XP OS into first partion on my HD drive. I have also Linux Kubuntu and have installed Virtualbox.

I tried to start XP under Virtualbox but unsuccessfully (boot halts on MUP.sys). I searched around here and bu google if there was a solution and I couldn't find a real one.

My question is: is it really possible to have such existing XP be launched under Linux host ? Ot is it better to start from scratch ? I would not like to install all my existing software once again ;(((

What is you reccomendation ?

Thanks
paolo
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Postby TerryE » 7. Jan 2009, 16:46

Paulo, welcome to our forum. You might want to take this opportunity to browse the Forum Posting Guide. This contains some useful tips on how to search for VBox knowledge and how to frame Qs.

Read the "sticky" which is the first post in this forum :-)
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Postby pacut » 7. Jan 2009, 19:03

TerryE,

the first thing I did was a deep read on official docs + search on other 3rds. I minght be wrong but didn't find any solution. Since I am not eanglish mother tongue, just to clarify my mind, I have asked if what i am trying to do is feasable or not.
;)

Cheers
paolo
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Postby TerryE » 7. Jan 2009, 19:21

Paolo, it is clearly possible to dual boot XP native and via VM as this whole topic and discussion shows. It's just difficult to do. The reason for this is that a given Windows installation is tailored to the hardware environment that it runs on. This hardware environment is very different for a virtual machine compared the the bare hardware: the IDE controller, the VGA controller, the chipset which supports the CPU, ... are all different. So unless the kernel loads these dynamically, the drivers can get confused and the boot can hang. This is what is happening in your OS.

With windows you can create profiles, etc. to allow you to boot as this tutorial explains, but Microsoft doesn't want you to run its OS on bare metal and in a VM. It would prefer that you bought two copies of the OS and had two separate installs.

So yes, it can be done as this tutorial explains, but this is not something that a novice should attempt readily.
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Postby pacut » 8. Jan 2009, 12:34

Terry,

simply and clear. Thanks.

I tell you what....I am going to start a new XP install from scratch, within VM. I assume doing this would provide me with same result, despite I will have to load again all my software under XP. I understand it's not a matter of VM sw/environment, rather the damn Microsoft ;).

I thank you a lot !
Ciao
Paolo
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Postby TerryE » 8. Jan 2009, 16:51

I found it a lot easier to do a clean install to a VM then create the second profile and get that running on bare metal as Vkov's tutorial describes.
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Postby pacut » 11. Jan 2009, 19:21

Terry,

I successfully installed Xp under Vbox from scratch. It works !!

Just two things i have to fine tune up:

1) permission to sda1 (my "C:" windows drive) now set to 666

2) USB. I can see decives into Vbox manager, I have installed Gust Additions, but as soon as XP starts from Vbox, no items are available into XP ;(

The way I would backup my existing XP is very simple: dd if=/dev/sda1 of=dev/sdaX
at least I won't lose my XP & programs ;)))

THANKS !
Your detailed wiki has been very useful to me

Ciao
Paolo
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Postby TerryE » 11. Jan 2009, 19:48

pacut wrote:permission to sda1 (my "C:" windows drive) now set to 666

There are dangers to this in that any process that you run has write permissions to /dev/sda1, and finger trouble can result in you trashing the partition. You are better off running you VM in a service account, configuring sudoers so that you can sudo this account without entering passwords then starting up the VM with a wrapper script which makes sure that the partition is not mounted on your host before starting the VM. You need to enable X permissions so that the service account can write to your display and use VBOX_USER_HOME. This is all explained in VTs tutorial and the associated discussions.
pacut wrote:The way I would backup my existing XP is very simple: dd if=/dev/sda1 of=dev/sdaX

I first defrag the XP VM and then run sDelete (explained in my tutorial). You can then do something like dd if=/dev/sda1 bs=8192 | gzip -c > yourBackup.dmpz. You will be surprised how effective this is at compressing the backups. bzip2 is slower but compresses better. 7zip is even better at compression but is slower again. Still if you kick this off before you go to bed, then who cares?
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Postby pacut » 11. Jan 2009, 21:34

Terry,

:cry: :cry: :cry:

when I start Vbox and use "virtual" profile XP doesn't start any longer. It halts. It starts regularly on safe mode (I didn't do any restore obviously). On when I try "safe mode command prompt" it halts for a while on mups.sys (same issue I had with my native XP prior to rebuild everything from scratch). I'd say that it halts on same mup.sys :cry: :cry:

What the hell can be ?
I have not done the things you mentioned yet, and I do believe it is not this that creates this issue.
How can I troubleshoot this error ?

THANKS
Paolo
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Postby GoodbyeWinblowz » 12. Jan 2009, 01:04

pacut,

I have the exact same problem. See my post here... http://forums.virtualbox.org/viewtopic.php?t=13083

I was fine booting the same pre-existing XP partition both natively and in Vbox under Ubuntu until I installed Guest Additions. After the reboot from the install, I'm stuck with the XP logo on startup... If I boot Safe Mode, I hang on Mup.sys for about a minute but eventually boot fine. Booting the XP partition natively works fine. Assuming the Guest Additions install didn't touch the native HW profile I created. That was good advice...

Hopefully someone knows how to get past this as it is frustrating being on the 1-yard line and not scoring...
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Postby GoodbyeWinblowz » 12. Jan 2009, 04:55

Was able to get past this using a copy of the working native HW profile, which had never been booted previously using VBox.
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Postby pacut » 12. Jan 2009, 10:07

Thanks !

I found where is my problem. As soon as I activate USB under Vbox profile preference, my XP hangs ! As soon as I clear the USB my XP starts again !

That said, what the hell can be ? I am user of USBFS group. What else is needed ?

I am sure I am close to resolution and, eventually, someone that is experiencing same issue (XP hangs on MUP.SYS) maybe can try to disable USB and see if it works !

I look forward in getting suggestions from you

Ciaooo
paolo
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