Windows 10 VM, black screen, blinking cursor

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Windows 10 VM, black screen, blinking cursor

Postby MarkFoley » 4. Dec 2021, 20:18

Apparently not a new topic, but new to me. I've searched through many of the posts on this, tried various things and have not come up with a fix. I've restored the whole OS and Virtual Box directory for several iterations going back more than a month and even these backed-up versions, which ran fine at the time, give me a black screen with blinking cursor when started. I've tried doing a repair from the Windows 10 DVD, but it was unable to repair the "computer". Currently, I have the latest OS version (Slackware-Current, kernel 5.15.6 and VirtualBox (64) 6.1.30 r148432). I've attached the VBox.log and my WIN10VM.vbox config. I've not seen anything obvious in those files.

I've been using, backing up and restoring Vbox VM's for XP, WIN7 and WIN10 for over 5 years. I've restored VMs from back up numerous time and and have never had this happen before Any help would be greatly appreciated as apparently none of the backups I have will work.
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Last edited by scottgus1 on 4. Dec 2021, 21:27, edited 1 time in total.
Reason: changed title to reflect problem
MarkFoley
 
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Re: Windows 10 VM, black screen, blinking cursor

Postby scottgus1 » 4. Dec 2021, 21:31

00:00:05.047970 VMMDev: Guest Log: BIOS: Booting from Hard Disk...
09:12:33.160610 GUI: Machine-window #0 deactivated

Apparently the VM OS never starts in this log. This is apparently a host problem, not a VM problem. What the problem is, though, is a puzzler.

Can you make and run a new VM?
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Re: Windows 10 VM, black screen, blinking cursor

Postby MarkFoley » 5. Dec 2021, 06:57

scottgus1 wrote:
00:00:05.047970 VMMDev: Guest Log: BIOS: Booting from Hard Disk...
09:12:33.160610 GUI: Machine-window #0 deactivated ...
Can you make and run a new VM?


Oooh, not sure. This was a upgrade from Windows 7, and while I have a Windows 10 installation disk, I don't have the license code as it used the Windows 7 license. I'll try. It might work even though it will be "unlicensed".

As to it being an OS issue, that's a puzzler. I've restored the OS as far back as October (Vbox version 6.1.26), along with the corresponding 'VirtualBox VMs' directory and .vdi file when the VM ran fine, but the same thing happened. That's really strange because the VM ran fine back then.

I also grabbed an archived version of the .vdi and 'VirtualBox VMs' directory from February (Vbox version 6.1.16) and copied that folder to my current 'VirtualBox VMs' directory, but got the error: "Failed to open a session for the virtual machine WIN10VM [details] The VM Session was closed before any attempt ot power it on. Result Code: NS_ERROR_FAILURE (ox80004005); component SessionMachine; Interface: ISession {c0447716-ff5a-4795-b57a-ecd5fffa18a4}".

I will also try booting from an archived version of the OS where the above 1.6.16 is hosted and see if I can do an export.
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Re: Windows 10 VM, black screen, blinking cursor

Postby scottgus1 » 5. Dec 2021, 15:38

The new VM test does not have to be licensed, it's just to see if Virtualbox can run on the host. Try installing any OS, see if you can boot it to the desktop. If that works, then we'll have to hunt deeper.
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Re: Windows 10 VM, black screen, blinking cursor

Postby MarkFoley » 5. Dec 2021, 19:00

Mostly back in action. As mentioned, I had a mothballed partition from February from before I upgraded the OS from Slackware 14.2 to Slackware-Current. I booted that and exported the 6.1.16 VBox image. I then booted back to Slackware-Current and imported that saved export and it came up OK albeit with the .vdi name of WIN10VM-disk001.vdi (the "-disk001.vdi" bit added to the file name). I might be interested in renaming that back to just WIN10VM.vdi, but not urgent at the moment.

I ran Windows Update to catch up from February and was disconcerted to see a "Not Activated" message since this was an activated Windows 10 and, in fact, the same as the one that crapped out. I'll have to do some more investigating on this with a Windows forum.

I am missing some apps downloaded since February, and hopefully I still have the installation disks. I will be sure to do a monthly or quarterly Acronis backup of the Windows system so if this happens again I can restore without losing any programs. I will also do a practice restore of the .vdi backup every so often to make sure that still works. In 5 years this has never happened.

Did I miss some files when restoring from October? Are some important VBox files kept in other than /opt and 'VirtualBox VMs"? I restored the complete OS from tar backup, which included the VirtualBox programs in /opt, then I restored the complete 'VirtualBox VMs' directory from that same backup date (I don't backup the .vdi file with the daily tarfile backup). Really puzzled as to why that didn't put me back to running as of October.
MarkFoley
 
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Re: Windows 10 VM, black screen, blinking cursor

Postby scottgus1 » 5. Dec 2021, 19:59

MarkFoley wrote:disconcerted to see a "Not Activated" message since this was an activated Windows 10

This will probably have been because of this:
MarkFoley wrote:exported the 6.1.16 VBox image. I then booted back to Slackware-Current and imported that saved export

Export can and usually does change system UUIDs (I think there is a way to prevent this, though I'm not certain how). One or more of these UUIDs is used in Windows activation. If you copy the VM's folder directly instead of export/import, UUIDs don't change and activation is far more likely preserved.

Import also causes this:
MarkFoley wrote:albeit with the .vdi name of WIN10VM-disk001.vdi (the "-disk001.vdi" bit added to the file name).


************************

MarkFoley wrote:6.1.16 VBox image

The 'image', which I take to be the guest or the VM, is not generally tied to the Virtualbox version. You should be able to take the VM and run it on any Virtualbox version that is compatible with the 'hardware' virtualized in the VM and that supports the OS in the VM.

MarkFoley wrote:I am missing some apps downloaded since February

If this refers to the host OS, then restoring a mothballed host partition would do this on the host OS. If this refers to the VM, it could be you imported an earlier export. Changing the host OS does not cause changes in the VM OS. If it did, then there's something else happening that is not known yet.

MarkFoley wrote:a practice restore of the .vdi

The vdi is only the hard disk. A better backup would be the whole VM folder, which would include any VM 'hardware' changes or snapshots.
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Re: Windows 10 VM, black screen, blinking cursor

Postby MarkFoley » 6. Dec 2021, 16:32

scottgus1 wrote:
MarkFoley wrote:disconcerted to see a "Not Activated" message since this was an activated Windows 10

This will probably have been because of this:
MarkFoley wrote:exported the 6.1.16 VBox image. I then booted back to Slackware-Current and imported that saved export

Export can and usually does change system UUIDs (I think there is a way to prevent this, though I'm not certain how). One or more of these UUIDs is used in Windows activation. If you copy the VM's folder directly instead of export/import, UUIDs don't change and activation is far more likely preserved.

Ah ah! I didn't know that about the UUID. That definitely explains why my Windows was not considered activated. Normally, I always do backup the entire $HOME/VirtualBox\ VMs folder, but that gave me some trouble when I tried from the 6.1.16 version before. I got the ""Failed to open a session ..." error (my post on Dec 5 6:57). So, I tried it again thinking that somehow my copy of the directory messed up. This time it did sort-of work except I got an error saying that the UUID of the VM and the UUID in $HOME/.config/VirtualBox/VirtualBox.xml didn't match and it was "Inaccessible". Fortunately, the message gave the UUID it was expecting so I modified the VirtualBox.xml file to change to the expected UUID and that worked!

The app I'm missing is on the guest Windows 10 system, but I think I can find it.

After I get some actual work done, I'm going to try and restore last month's $HOME/VirtualBox\ VMs folder again, just to see if it works this time. That would save me trying to figure out reinstalling apps on the guest. In any case, I will make a periodic Acronis backup of the Win10 guest, just in case this happens again. Thank goodness I didn't delete that old partition! I'll post back if I was able to recover any of these "black screen, flashing cursor" backups. Otherwise, I think we can consider this issue resolved albeit with a work-around for the original problem. Thanks for your help.
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