Win 10 host hangs while apparently reading whole VDI

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Win 10 host hangs while apparently reading whole VDI

Postby Grrrrrrr » 16. Apr 2021, 08:32

I'm running Win 10 Ent 1909. After upgrading from 6.1.16 to 6.1.18 or newer I noticed that my VMs were hanging for a while during boot, each time I pause a VM, and during shutdown. Going back to 6.1.16 always fixes it. Anyone see the same?

I have ticket # 20202 open about it but no bites yet..

It's particularly noticable with Task Manager - disk reads go to ~600MBytes/sec and stay while VirtualBox hangs. In the case of a VM with a 9GB VDI, VirtualBox hangs for about 15 seconds - long enough to read the entire image. Likewise Task Manager shows 50 second of reading @ 600MB/sec for a 30GB VDI.


Other info:
I don't notice any major errors in the logs - I've attached some to the ticket.
During bootup of an Ubuntu 20.04 server, I notice a console log about FLUSH CACHE failing. On shutdown the hang occurs after the last "Reached target Power-off" console log appears, if those give any clues..
I don't have the problem on a Win 8.1 host - 6.1.18 works normally there. I'm curious whether it's even an issue on win10 versions other than 1909, but I don't have access to a different install currently.

Can anyone tell me where I can download each of the testbuilds made available between the releases of 6.1.16 and 6.1.18? Is there anywhere we can see changes made between versions and particularly between testbuilds? That might help isolate the cause..
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Re: Win 10 host hangs while apparently reading whole VDI

Postby scottgus1 » 17. Apr 2021, 15:09

Once an even-numbered version is released, the odd-number test versions are sent out to the bit bucket. I think there is no way to get them back.

Please start the VM from full normal shutdown, not save-state. Run until you see the problem happen, then shut down the VM from within the VM's OS if possible. If not possible, close the Virtualbox window for the VM with the Power Off option set.

Right-click the VM in the main Virtualbox window's VM list, choose Show Log. Save the far left tab's log and the hardening log next to it, zip them, and post the zip file, using the forum's Upload Attachment tab.
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Re: Win 10 host hangs while apparently reading whole VDI

Postby Grrrrrrr » 6. May 2021, 08:31

scottgus1 wrote:Please start the VM from full normal shutdown, not save-state. Run until you see the problem happen, then shut down the VM from within the VM's OS if possible. If not possible, close the Virtualbox window for the VM with the Power Off option set.

Right-click the VM in the main Virtualbox window's VM list, choose Show Log. Save the far left tab's log and the hardening log next to it, zip them, and post the zip file, using the forum's Upload Attachment tab.


The VM powers up, pauses, resumes and powers off OK. However, during boot, pausing, and at the end of power off, VBox 6.1.18+ hangs while the host's disk reads jump to 600MB/sec - a number not seen in normal use with 6.1.16 and earlier. During one hang, it looked like a disk write timing out for the guest caused disk corruption.

I've attached the VBox.log and hardening from running a basic ubuntu server VM on 6.1.22. Here's what was happening at the times listed:

00:00:24 (approx) Windows TaskMgr starts to show host disk reads of ~600MBytes/sec. VBox hangs for next ~14 seconds. 14*600MB is approx the size of the VDI file.
00:01:33 Pause the VM - it takes about 14s to pause instead usual sub-1s, with disk reads of ~600MBytes/sec.
00:02:12 Un-pause the VM - happens instantly
00:02:29 (approx) issue "poweroff" command at Ubuntu CLI. within a couple of seconds Ubuntu gets to "reached target power off" but instead of the VM turning off within the following couple of seconds, it hangs for ~14s and disk reads jump to 600MB/sec.

For comparison, I've also attached logs from 6.1.16 which is working fine.
Attachments
VBox logs 6.1.16 - all good.zip
Working well
(55.47 KiB) Downloaded 2 times
VBox logs 6.1.22 - VBox hanging.zip
Hanging with excessive disk reads
(61.59 KiB) Downloaded 4 times
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Re: Win 10 host hangs while apparently reading whole VDI

Postby fth0 » 6. May 2021, 18:19

Looks like you have some so-called security software installed (other than Microsoft Defender). For a test, uninstall (not only deactivate) all security software and check if the problem persists.
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Re: Win 10 host hangs while apparently reading whole VDI

Postby Grrrrrrr » 7. May 2021, 10:59

fth0 wrote:Looks like you have some so-called security software installed (other than Microsoft Defender). For a test, uninstall (not only deactivate) all security software and check if the problem persists.


I'm 80% sure which software you're referring to. Would you mind pointing out where you noticed mention of the software? (In a message perhaps..)

I'm limited to what I'm supposed to remove/disable on this machine, but I'll try what I can.

Note that 6.1.16 and earlier is still working fine, making me curious about what's changed around what I'm (wildly) guessing is a DMA cache flush .. https://www.virtualbox.org/wiki/Changelog-6.1#v18 doesn't seem to mention changes to windows hosts or disk.
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Re: Win 10 host hangs while apparently reading whole VDI

Postby fth0 » 7. May 2021, 12:42

Grrrrrrr wrote:I'm 80% sure which software you're referring to. Would you mind pointing out where you noticed mention of the software?

In both VBoxHardening.log files, there are two indications: A file named umppc13408.dll is found in the address space of the VirtualBox process (CrowdStrike?), and the Windows DLLs ntdll.dll and apphelp.dll have been patched (in memory) by some unnamed software. Both are typical indications of either malware or so-called security software.
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Re: Win 10 host hangs while apparently reading whole VDI

Postby scottgus1 » 7. May 2021, 14:36

Try to set exclusions in any security software your host PC has, to stay out of every Virtualbox folder and file. If you cannot do this because of corporate IT rules, then you may have to make a case to your boss to be allowed to use Virtualbox. Then your boss can go to bat for you with IT to relax restrictions on your computer.

Alternatively, there isn't really anything wrong running an earlier version of Virtualbox, on the "If it ain't broke" paradigm. Eventually the old version will get obsoleted, but 6.1.16 should be good for a while. Eventually, though, you'll get stuck between the rock of obsolescence and the hard place of IT rules, so going for the big fix might be a good idea now, while there's time.
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