SMP + HAL - unable to get it working with beta 1 and 2

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SMP + HAL - unable to get it working with beta 1 and 2

Postby Marian Kechlibar » 24. Jun 2009, 13:01

Hello,

I am currently running a Windows XP guest on an openSUSE 11.1 host. The kernel version of the host is 2.6.30. The CPU is Intel Core 2 Quad at 2500 MHz.

From these forums, I learnt that in order to use APIC and SMP in VirtualBox, I need to change the HAL of the existing installation via Repair installation. The trouble is that it is not possible. The Repair action will be started, but after the restart, the action will freeze in the middle. The old installation, however, is not damaged.

The same freeze happens if I try to create and install a new fresh guest computer from WinXP SP3 iso. The installation procedure will freeze somewhere soon after disk formatting. The cursor stops blinking etc.

The culprit seems to be IO/APIC. As long as it is checked in the system properties, the above mentioned errors happen. Plus, even if I just try to run the existing guest, various strange errors happen ("My Computer" will crash etc.). As soon as I uncheck it, the errors stop happening and I can run the WinXP guest smoothly and reliably. But, of course, without the multiprocessor support (which I direly need, as I compile huge projects on the guest).
Last edited by Marian Kechlibar on 24. Jun 2009, 21:01, edited 1 time in total.
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Re: SMP + HAL - unable to get it working with beta 1

Postby vbox4me2 » 24. Jun 2009, 18:29

IO/APIC is not needed for SMP, IO/APIC is sometimes needed with VT-X but I've never used it with vt-x.
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Re: SMP + HAL - unable to get it working with beta 1

Postby Marian Kechlibar » 24. Jun 2009, 19:19

vbox4me2 wrote:IO/APIC is not needed for SMP, IO/APIC is sometimes needed with VT-X but I've never used it with vt-x.


In my installation of VirtualBox, as soon as I set more than 1 virtual processor, the following message appears in red color at the bottom of the dialog:

There is more than 1 virtual CPU assigned for this VM, which requires IO-APIC feature to be enabled too, else SMP will not be able to work, so this feature will be enabled automatically... (etc)

Which is in direct contradiction to your opinion that IO/APIC is not needed for SMP.
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Re: SMP + HAL - unable to get it working with beta 1

Postby sandervl » 24. Jun 2009, 19:31

IO-APIC is needed for both SMP and 64 bits guests.
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Re: SMP + HAL - unable to get it working with beta 1

Postby Marian Kechlibar » 24. Jun 2009, 19:34

sandervl wrote:IO-APIC is needed for both SMP and 64 bits guests.


Hi Sander, you are a Sun insider ... have you met my bug yet? Or is it a new observation?
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Re: SMP + HAL - unable to get it working with beta 1

Postby sandervl » 24. Jun 2009, 19:40

Try again with Beta 2 please.
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Re: SMP + HAL - unable to get it working with beta 1

Postby Marian Kechlibar » 24. Jun 2009, 19:41

sandervl wrote:Try again with Beta 2 please.


Just noticed the publishing of beta 2. No RPM available for openSuse. Downloading the .run file ... hopeful that it will work :-)
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Re: SMP + HAL - unable to get it working with beta 1

Postby Marian Kechlibar » 24. Jun 2009, 19:58

Marian Kechlibar wrote:
sandervl wrote:Try again with Beta 2 please.


Just noticed the publishing of beta 2. No RPM available for openSuse. Downloading the .run file ... hopeful that it will work :-)


Whoops. For me, beta 2 is way worse than beta 1.

Not only that the problem with SMP and IO-APIC persists, but now also video got much worse. Leftovers from Firefox and KDE desktop in the virtual machine window, huge blocks of glowing white, yellow or other colors with fragments of the original Windows XP GUI in between ... the Windows XP guest is unusable now.
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Re: SMP + HAL - unable to get it working with beta 1

Postby Marian Kechlibar » 24. Jun 2009, 20:55

Marian Kechlibar wrote:
Marian Kechlibar wrote:
sandervl wrote:Try again with Beta 2 please.


Just noticed the publishing of beta 2. No RPM available for openSuse. Downloading the .run file ... hopeful that it will work :-)


Whoops. For me, beta 2 is way worse than beta 1.

Not only that the problem with SMP and IO-APIC persists, but now also video got much worse. Leftovers from Firefox and KDE desktop in the virtual machine window, huge blocks of glowing white, yellow or other colors with fragments of the original Windows XP GUI in between ... the Windows XP guest is unusable now.


Now the RPM for openSUSE is available. Re-installed the beta 2 from RPM. The graphical problems are gone. The SMP and IO-APIC problems persist in old glory.

Do you need some logs from me?
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Re: SMP + HAL - unable to get it working with beta 1

Postby sej7278 » 24. Jun 2009, 21:55

sandervl wrote:IO-APIC is needed for both SMP and 64 bits guests.


is vt-x required for 64-bit guests on a 64-bit host? i seem to recall reading somewhere it was - or is that for 64-bit guests on a 32-bit host?

i'm just thinking i could install virtualbox on my e5200 which is dual core, has pae/nx but no vt-x and will run 64-bit ubuntu, but i'd like to use the 64-bit guests from my core2quad (obviously would have to reduce the number of cpu's).
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Re: SMP + HAL - unable to get it working with beta 1 and 2

Postby Marian Kechlibar » 25. Jun 2009, 15:41

Any feedback from Sun team?

Do you need any log files from me?

I experimented and tried to add the line apic=verbose to the GRUB line which runs my current openSUSE configuration. Then, I tried to install a fresh Windows XP guest with IO APIC and SMP active. The installation progressed further than before, but froze in half anyway.
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Re: SMP + HAL - unable to get it working with beta 1 and 2

Postby sandervl » 25. Jun 2009, 15:52

If you attach the VBox.log of the failed session, I'll have a look.
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Re: SMP + HAL - unable to get it working with beta 1

Postby sandervl » 25. Jun 2009, 15:53

sej7278 wrote:
sandervl wrote:IO-APIC is needed for both SMP and 64 bits guests.


is vt-x required for 64-bit guests on a 64-bit host? i seem to recall reading somewhere it was - or is that for 64-bit guests on a 32-bit host?

i'm just thinking i could install virtualbox on my e5200 which is dual core, has pae/nx but no vt-x and will run 64-bit ubuntu, but i'd like to use the 64-bit guests from my core2quad (obviously would have to reduce the number of cpu's).

VT-x or AMD-V is required for both SMP and 64 bits guests.
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Re: SMP + HAL - unable to get it working with beta 1 and 2

Postby Marian Kechlibar » 25. Jun 2009, 16:19

Here are two logs of an unsuccessful attempt to boot a guest with IO/APIC. One of them was VBox.log, the other VBox.log.1. Since the forum does not allow to upload files with extension .1, I changed the latter's name to VBox1.log.

If you find nothing useful, I can try generating new logs.

I was thinking about possibility of some motherboard/firmware issue, but I already have the latest firmware from Intel flashed.
Attachments
VBox1.log
This file was originally named VBox.log.1
(57.59 KiB) Downloaded 13 times
VBox.log
Log 1
(51.55 KiB) Downloaded 14 times
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Re: SMP + HAL - unable to get it working with beta 1 and 2

Postby Marian Kechlibar » 26. Jun 2009, 15:16

So, nothing which indicates the source of problems in the logs?

In the meantime, I reduced the number of virtual processors to 1, but left IO-APIC active. Problems persisted. So I have one more reason to believe that the problems are rooted in IO-APIC.
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