Windows 8 Host

Discussions related to using VirtualBox on Windows hosts.

Windows 8 Host

Postby TJCacher » 13. Mar 2012, 15:58

Hello - I realize there is no support for Windows 8 as a host system yet. I am attempting to test VirtualBox on such a system anyway, and would like a thread to discuss issues.

There is already a locked thread on this forum where a forum admin linked to another suggested thread for such discussion, but, unfortunately, that thread is in the "Guest" area, and all the posts appear to be people having issues or discussion running Windows 8 as a guest system.

That is not what I am proposing. Can we have one non-locked thread somewhere where we exclusively discuss issues with Windows 8 as a host system?

Thanks for considering this request - if this thread can be left unlocked for the stated purpose, then please let me know, so I can follow-up with a post detailing two relevant issues I have found which are affecting the operation of VirtualBox on my Windows 8 64-bit host (I am running the publicly available Windows 8 Consumer Preview (64-bit) as host, with a variety of Windows and Linux guests).
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Re: Windows 8 Host

Postby mpack » 13. Mar 2012, 16:15

Current policy is that we don't want to waste time and bandwidth discussing issues with a host OS that isn't even released/finalised yet. We could be chasing our tails with issues that turn out to be Win8 beta bugs. There is some merit to allowing "guest" discussion because a VM is an obvious way to beta test a new OS. The argument for allowing a host discussion is less clear IMHO.

However I'll wait for other mods and/or devteam members to comment before I lock this topic. Perhaps you are right there is some sense in having one thread for Win8 hosts which can be ignored by those of us who see no point. Don't expect any support however.
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Re: Windows 8 Host

Postby Perryg » 13. Mar 2012, 16:44

Running an unsupported guest is different then an unsupported host to be sure, but I don't see an issue with a single topic for the host side as long as you remember Windows 8 is not supported and anything that is attempted now more than likely will be different when it is. Especially since from what I read things are about to change a lot.
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Re: Windows 8 Host

Postby TJCacher » 13. Mar 2012, 16:58

As a retired CIO, I certainly understand the need not to waste resources "chasing your tail" with issues that may be blind alleys or simply Windows 8 beta issues that may change or go away with the commercial release.

I suspect there are at least a few of us out there, however, who are simply very interested in virtualization and are trying out unusual / unsupported configurations. Edge cases? Yes, for sure...

However, it seems likely to me that we might identify legitimate issues or work-arounds for our own unusual configs that could be applicable to more traditional or supported configurations, and that the more "official" folks who read or contribute to these fora might then be made aware of upcoming issues that could be addressed before they become more mainstream issues.

This especially seems to me to be likely with something like the Windows 8 preview, which is likely to be largely unchanged at its commercial release in the particulars of its internals, and which said commercial release is destined to be widely used as a VB host system, probably within the next 6 to 8 months. It seems a shame to miss this window of opportunity to capture useful input about likely issues before it ships and must be supported as a host platform of extremely wide interest.

With that said, is there some other forum or area I should be looking at to report issues I see with VB as host on the Windows 8 platform so that the developers / contributors can be made aware of issues prior to the OS's rapidly approaching commercial release? It truly is not my intent to degrade the experience of the fine people on this forum, or to waste their time with something they simply have no interest in discussing.

Thanks again for your consideration of my comments.
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Re: Windows 8 Host

Postby mpack » 13. Mar 2012, 17:02

Yes, having someone scout the road ahead is potentially useful. Issues would be reported in this thread, just don't expect a formal response.
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Re: Windows 8 Host

Postby Perryg » 13. Mar 2012, 17:14

With that said, is there some other forum or area I should be looking at to report issues I see with VB as host on the Windows 8 platform so that the developers / contributors can be made aware of issues prior to the OS's rapidly approaching commercial release? It truly is not my intent to degrade the experience of the fine people on this forum, or to waste their time with something they simply have no interest in discussing.


I think at this point here is the proper place. I'll make it sticky so it is easier to find.
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Re: Windows 8 Host

Postby TJCacher » 13. Mar 2012, 19:51

Ok, then I'll assume this is the thread for posting our "Windows 8 as host" observations. Hopefully, others may chime in with their own experiences, and we may all learn something useful.

As reference, my host hardware is an early 2011 MacBook Pro laptop with a quad-core "Sandy Bridge" processor, 8 gigs of RAM, and a 500 gigabyte SSD partitioned to run both Windows and OSX via Apple's "Bootcamp" manager software.

My Windows 8 Consumer Preview (64-bit) OS was installed as an upgrade over Windows 7 Ultimate (64-bit), and as a general rule, the overall experience has been problem-free.

I am using VirtualBox 4.1.8 with up-to-date guest additions in all VMs which have them available. All VM's have all available OS updates installed - I've included a list of VM's at the bottom of this post.

I currently have identified the following issues while attempting to run Windows 8 Consumer Preview (64-bit) as a VirtualBox (VB) host system:

1) Windows uses my MacBook Pro's discrete GPU - the ATI 6750M. Previous to Windows 8, I had used the most current ATI driver from Apple's BOOTCAMP setup. Windows 8 update offered a newer driver, labeled in its description as an "Engineering Sample" for this chipset. When using this newer video driver, VB throws a "LibLoad" error at multiple stages during its operation: at startup of VB, when attempting to start any VM, when attempting to edit any part of any VM, when attempting to use any VB command-line-based tool. It may or may not be of interest to know that the updated video driver from Microsoft's Windows Update site is listed as WDDM 1.20, rather than WDDM 1.10. Unfortunately, the LibLoad error dialog fails to list which particular library is not being found.

Reverting the driver from the WDDM 1.20 from Windows Update to the Apple-provided WDDM 1.10 driver allows VB to run without the LibLoad error dialogs or messages.

In either case, however, VB continues to run - the LibLoad error does not cause it to crash or result in a host BSOD. However, the problem with the WDDM 1.20 driver *does* prevent the successful start of any VM's. Reverting to the WDDM 1.10 driver allows my VM's to run as expected.

In using the older driver, presumably, one has to give up the additional features and benefits of the WDDM 1.20 driver on Windows 8, although I'm not conversant with what those features/benefits may be or how much utility is being lost by not using said driver. Windows 8 so far seems to be perfectly happy with the WDDM 1.10 driver.

2) As is otherwise noted on another thread in this forum, use of Microsoft's Hyper V virtualization product results in VirtualBox not being able to start any VM's. I mention this here because, unlike Windows 7, Windows 8 appears to be the first consumer-facing OS from Microsoft that will support Hyper V as an optional install, which means there are likely to be more VB users in the future than there are now who experience problems due to this incompatibility. For me, simply uninstalling Hyper V allowed VirtualBox to start VM's again.

3) Bridged vs. Host-only networking issues: I have two issues here, one related to bridged networking capabilities and one to host-only capabilities.

Bridged: If the bridged networking capability is installed (as is the default) with VirtualBox, my host system will 100% reliably lose its wireless Internet connectivity each time after waking from sleep. Recovering Internet connectivity requires running the Windows 8 "troubleshooter" each time upon wake and allowing it to perform fixes to the wireless adapter with Administrator privileges. Configuring the wireless adapter's "Power Management" tab options to allow/disallow powering off the device to save power make no difference to this behavior. At this point, my work-around has been to install VirtualBox *without* the bridged networking capability, which appears to prevent this unfortunate issue. Luckily for me, I have no real need for bridged networking on any of my VM's although that was the way that I was using them previous to installing the Windows 8 preview.

Host-only: This is simply a minor annoyance, and it's likely not due to anything in VB at all, but to the way Windows treats active network adapters, but the host-only network adapter (which does not have Internet connectivity on my host, of course) is non-configurably displayed with the yellow exclamation-point warning about "limited connectivity" in my system tray. My wireless adapter is functioning correctly and has Internet connectivity, but its icon does not appear in the system tray at all as long as the host-only adapter is present and enabled. On Windows 7, the OS appeared to ignore the host-only adapter when an active, Internet-connected wireless adapter was also present. The current state of affairs results in Windows 8 only displaying an icon for a single adapter in the system tray, and it unfortunately defaults to the host-only adapter, which it dutifully reports as having a "limited" connection with the distracting yellow exclamation icon. Even more bothersome is that this prevents my seeing the somewhat useful signal-strength indicator for the non-limited connection on my wireless adapter. The work-around I've found for this is to "disable" the host-only adapter when not running VB. This allows the wireless adapter's connection status and signal strength to be displayed in the system tray (when not using VB), but requires me to remember to re-enable the host-only adapter each time before running VB.

I mention this problem even though it's probably not VB-related, since it seems possible (likely?) that this behavior will make it into the Windows 8 commercial release, and I am somewhat hopeful that the VB developers could somehow contrive to install a host-only adapter device that contained some kind of internal configuration that would keep it hidden from the Windows 8 user-interface altogether. Otherwise, I forsee a number of future postings on this forum asking for assistance with how to make Windows ignore the host-only adapter and its "limited connectivity" overlay when they only want to see the wireless adapter in their system trays.

Other than these issues, I have been able to use VirtualBox without incident on my 2011 MacBook Pro running the Windows 8 Consumer Preview (64-bit) with the following VMs:

Windows ME (don't ask...)
Windows XP Professional (Version 2002) SP3
Windows 7 Ultimate (32-bit) SP1
Ubuntu Linux (11.04 Natty Narwhal)
Fedora Linux (15)
gparted live (dedicated partition management OS, boots & runs from ISO)
OracleSolaris11Express2010_11
OSX (Leopard) - not stable - even under Windows 7 or OSX hosts
BSD Unix (no X, console mode only)
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Re: Windows 8 Host

Postby jjsan » 15. Mar 2012, 14:39

i did upgrade from W7 to W8 and virtualbox was working correctly.

today i tried to upgrade to new version but I cant it install. i got BSOD

with bluescreen view I got this information

VBoxUSBMon.sys fffff880`18da2000 fffff880`18dc8000 0x00026000 0x4f5f413a 13. 3. 2012 13:44:42
VBoxDrv.sys fffff880`18c00000 fffff880`18c3c000 0x0003c000 0x4f5f413a 13. 3. 2012 13:44:42

now i dont know how to get it back :(

//ok older version installed without problem
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Re: Windows 8 Host

Postby Scandalon » 15. Mar 2012, 16:19

TJCacher wrote:3) Bridged vs. Host-only networking issues: I have two issues here, one related to bridged networking capabilities and one to host-only capabilities.

Bridged: If the bridged networking capability is installed (as is the default) with VirtualBox, my host system will 100% reliably lose its wireless Internet connectivity each time after waking from sleep. Recovering Internet connectivity requires running the Windows 8 "troubleshooter" each time upon wake and allowing it to perform fixes to the wireless adapter with Administrator privileges. Configuring the wireless adapter's "Power Management" tab options to allow/disallow powering off the device to save power make no difference to this behavior. At this point, my work-around has been to install VirtualBox *without* the bridged networking capability, which appears to prevent this unfortunate issue. Luckily for me, I have no real need for bridged networking on any of my VM's although that was the way that I was using them previous to installing the Windows 8 preview.


Hi TJ. I can confirm the same behavior on both my desktop and laptop running Win 8 CP x64. Every time (without fail) I bring them out of sleep, my network connection(s) are not working. I use the Win 8 troubleshooter and it repairs the issue. This happens regardless of whether I'm using the wireless or wired connection.

I've also upgraded VB to 4.1.10 and am still seeing the same behavior. I haven't tried installing without bridged mode, so I cannot confirm that that resolves the issue for me.
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Re: Windows 8 Host

Postby TJCacher » 15. Mar 2012, 23:38

jjsan wrote:i did upgrade from W7 to W8 and virtualbox was working correctly.
today i tried to upgrade to new version but I cant it install. i got BSOD


I assume you were running VB 4.1.8 before, and attempted to upgrade to 4.1.10?

I have done the upgrade and did not experience any problems moving from 4.1.8 to 4.1.10, so I can offer little assistance with your issue. Perhaps if you posted some details about your host platform, we could see how your setup differs from mine...

I did experience a problem with attempting VB's builtin automatic download and upgrade to the VirtualBox Extension Pack 4.1.10. After downloading the package, VB failed to install it and I got an error dialog reporting that the upgrade had failed.

Going to the VB webpage and downloading and installing the extension pack manually worked perfectly, however.

I was also able to successfully upgrade the guest additions to the 4.1.10 versions for all my guest systems which support guest additions, and am continuing to use VB with no significant issues other than the ones mentioned in my original post. So far, all is still well...
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Re: Windows 8 Host

Postby regli » 23. Mar 2012, 21:24

Scandalon wrote:
TJCacher wrote:3) Bridged vs. Host-only networking issues: I have two issues here, one related to bridged networking capabilities and one to host-only capabilities.

...


Hi TJ. I can confirm the same behavior on both my desktop and laptop running Win 8 CP x64. Every time (without fail) I bring them out of sleep, my network connection(s) are not working. I use the Win 8 troubleshooter and it repairs the issue. This happens regardless of whether I'm using the wireless or wired connection.

I've also upgraded VB to 4.1.10 and am still seeing the same behavior. I haven't tried installing without bridged mode, so I cannot confirm that that resolves the issue for me.


The easiest way around it right now for me is simply to disable/enable the VirtualBox Host-Only Network adapter. Either action will bring the network back instantly.
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Re: Windows 8 Host

Postby Scandalon » 26. Mar 2012, 16:19

regli wrote:The easiest way around it right now for me is simply to disable/enable the VirtualBox Host-Only Network adapter. Either action will bring the network back instantly.

This doesn't actually work for me. It was one of the first things I tried, but with no luck.
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Re: Windows 8 Host

Postby regli » 27. Mar 2012, 07:16

Scandalon wrote:
regli wrote:The easiest way around it right now for me is simply to disable/enable the VirtualBox Host-Only Network adapter. Either action will bring the network back instantly.

This doesn't actually work for me. It was one of the first things I tried, but with no luck.


Note that I'm not talking about the physical connection but the VB Host-Only Network one. Not totally intuitive.
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Re: Windows 8 Host

Postby Scandalon » 5. Apr 2012, 16:00

regli wrote:
Scandalon wrote:
regli wrote:The easiest way around it right now for me is simply to disable/enable the VirtualBox Host-Only Network adapter. Either action will bring the network back instantly.

This doesn't actually work for me. It was one of the first things I tried, but with no luck.


Note that I'm not talking about the physical connection but the VB Host-Only Network one. Not totally intuitive.


I assume you mean this? If so, I've disabled it, but still without success.

NetCon.png
NetCon.png (27.09 KiB) Viewed 30885 times
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Re: Windows 8 Host

Postby regli » 5. Apr 2012, 22:45

In my case when the system comes out of sleep state the Wired Ethernet Connection status says "Enabled" and NOT "Network". As long as that is the case I have no internet/local network access.

As soon as I enable or disable the VirtualBox Host-Only Network, the wired connection goes into "Network" status just as your screen shot shows. I'm just fine then. I'm a little baffled why you're not.
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