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RHEL 4 guest crashing upon shutdown

Posted: 24. Mar 2023, 13:10
by Rotator
Dear all,

as described here, we are trying to make a VM with Red Hat Enterprise Linux 4 run smoothly in VirtualBox. Apart from the problem with the display resolution described in the aforementioned topic, the VM works fine as long as it is not shut down. Upon shutdown, the guest O/S crashes. I don't know how to log the shutdown, but I noticed the following many times (it happens reproducibly on every shutdown):

- The most part of the shutdown process seems to work as it should, until the point where file systems are unmounted and something is switched to readonly (the messages are running through quite fast - I'll try to catch it in more detail later).
- Then the terror begins: A never-ending list of messages like the one I have attached are flickering up the screen. I can't tell how many messages it would output because I turn off the VM as soon as it begins to output those messages. However, for testing, one time I have let it run for 15 minutes before I turned off; I believe that it would have continued forever.
- Although this is quite frightening, it hasn't corrupted the VM (as far as I can tell - the VM boots just fine next time).

Yesterday I have put a lot of time into this and have changed literally every hardware setting in the VM configuration one by one, but that problem seems to be immune against any hardware change.

The OS and software installation in that VM have originally been set up in a virtual machine under VmWare Player (probably version 4), but I have successfully uninstalled the VmWare tools from the guest. Hence, the problem shouldn't be due to that history. In the old VmWare Player, the VM didn't have problems with the shutdown.

Now I am out of ideas. Could somebody please help me out of there?

Re: RHEL 4 guest crashing upon shutdown

Posted: 24. Mar 2023, 15:03
by scottgus1
Please try making a brand-new RHEL 4 VM in Virtualbox, using all the default hardware settings chosen by Virtualbox except for:
Use 2 processors in the VM. Adjust disk size and RAM to reasonable values.

If this new RHEL 4 runs and shuts down correctly, then the problem is inside the OS of the old VM, not in Virtualbox.

If the new VM also fails to shut down correctly, then please post a zipped VM log of both old and new VMs using the forum's Upload Attachment tab.

Re: RHEL 4 guest crashing upon shutdown

Posted: 23. May 2023, 17:23
by Rotator
Thank you very much for helping us! Please excuse the late answer.

Unfortunately, I really don't know how to make a new VM with RHEL 4. The problem is that we have got the VM in question in WMware format from a supplier as part of another product. That means that we really only have got that VM, installed ready for use, and nothing else. We didn't get installation media or something like that.

I will research whether there is an RHEL ISO somewhere that we could install into a fresh VM, but I am unsure whether we could use it because we don't have a subscription for it.

In the meantime, I also have tried the following: I have created a new VM in VirtualBox, selecting RHEL4 as O/S, but without actually installing it. That should have created a VM with appropriate hardware. Then I attached the disks. Then the VM couldn't boot, probably because of missing drivers. I had to replace the SATA AHCI in the VM hardware by an LSI Logic SCSI controller to make it boot. But that didn't solve the shutdown problem.

Re: RHEL 4 guest crashing upon shutdown

Posted: 23. May 2023, 18:58
by scottgus1
Rotator wrote:I will research whether there is an RHEL ISO somewhere
A quick web search on "red hat linux 4 iso" tells me it's not available anymore, unless you have a Red Hat support contract or some such. So that's a dead end.

Based on this from "" ... 175531788/ It appears CentOS 4 is available and is related to Red Hat closely enough.

I would next suggest trying to make a CentOS VM, see if it will shut down correctly. The idea is to see if your Virtualbox is running correctly. If so, you can then go back to your supplier and ask them to troubleshoot the VM OS.