Chrome browser in Win7 guest crashes VM

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Chrome browser in Win7 guest crashes VM

Postby meowsqueak » 6. Jul 2013, 02:28

I'm using VirtualBox 4.2.16 on OS X Lion 10.7.5, on my MBP.

I have a Windows7 64-bit guest that is actually booting from a Bootcamp partition, so it's a 'proper' Windows installation. This all works fine and I'm able to use it normally every day.

However if I open Google Chrome in the guest, it becomes very unstable. Chrome's main menu does not render completely. I see flickering graphics not just on the VirtualBox window, but elsewhere on my OS X desktop too. Then, after clicking a few links in Chrome, eventually the Chrome window will become corrupted, perhaps with mirrored or upside down text, or just random garbage, and then a few seconds later the entire Virtual Machine will crash and terminate. VirtualBox shows it as 'aborted'.

Any ideas where to start debugging this?

I have Video Memory set to 128 MB, Monitor Count set to 1, and Enable 3D & 2D acceleration. I have Base Memory at 2GB, and 2 CPUs.
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Re: Chrome browser in Win7 guest crashes VM

Postby noteirak » 6. Jul 2013, 10:10

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Re: Chrome browser in Win7 guest crashes VM

Postby meowsqueak » 7. Jul 2013, 01:49

Sure, in addition to the details already provided, I have Guest Additions installed (without Direct3D support). Both host and guest are 64-bit, 2GB memory for guest, 8GB total on host. Guest is up-to-date Windows 7 Home Premium.

Log is attached, no new entries appear upon/after crash. VirtualBox doesn't show any error messages, it simply dies silently.

windows7-2013-07-07-11-45-09.log.gz
Log
(26.63 KiB) Downloaded 168 times
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Re: Chrome browser in Win7 guest crashes VM

Postby noteirak » 7. Jul 2013, 10:07

VirtualBox VM 4.2.16 r86992 darwin.amd64 (Jul 4 2013 16:04:47) release log
00:00:25.755113 Guest Additions information report: Version 4.2.8 r83876 '4.2.8'

A guest additions update wouldn't hurt here, especially since you are using 3D, by the look of the log? Try disabling it maybe?
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Re: Chrome browser in Win7 guest crashes VM

Postby meowsqueak » 10. Jul 2013, 00:33

That's unusual, I did update Guest Additions before recreating the issue (for the log) - perhaps I forgot to reboot. Anyway, I can confirm that the issue is still present with the latest Guest Additions installed.

I disabled 3D in the VirtualBox settings and it does appear to dramatically improve the stability of Chrome - no more random artifacts, and as far as I can tell no crashes either, so far. Is this the only workaround, to disable 3D, or is there a way I can get Chrome to avoid using 3D inside the VM?
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Re: Chrome browser in Win7 guest crashes VM

Postby meowsqueak » 10. Jul 2013, 00:34

I should add that I need 3D enabled for some 3D modeling work that I do, so for now I'll need to leave 3D enabled and use another browser like Firefox, which doesn't have this problem. Only Chrome seems to cause the VM to crash.
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Re: Chrome browser in Win7 guest crashes VM

Postby loukingjr » 10. Jul 2013, 02:07

I thought I would check if there is a problem with Google Chrome. Installed it in my Windows 7 64bit guest. Works fine here. 3D enabled.
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Re: Chrome browser in Win7 guest crashes VM

Postby meowsqueak » 10. Jul 2013, 02:24

I do wonder if it's related to the fact I'm using the MBP screen and an external monitor too, but it seems to do the same thing if the VM is on the MBP screen, so I'm not sure it's relevant.
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Re: Chrome browser in Win7 guest crashes VM

Postby loukingjr » 10. Jul 2013, 02:28

I couldn't say. I installed the stable version of Chrome.

edit: Version 28.0.1500.71
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Re: Chrome browser in Win7 guest crashes VM

Postby meowsqueak » 11. Jul 2013, 01:17

I don't think it's going to be a problem with Chrome per-se, I think Chrome simply uses some feature of the OS that other applications don't (OpenGL for rendering webpages, it would seem). So Chrome is a trigger, but it's not the root cause.
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Re: Chrome browser in Win7 guest crashes VM

Postby loukingjr » 11. Jul 2013, 02:14

I'm not sure about your comment. For one thing Chrome should "trigger" the problem in my guest if that was the case. Which it doesn't.
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Re: Chrome browser in Win7 guest crashes VM

Postby meowsqueak » 14. Jul 2013, 11:22

That doesn't necessarily follow. If there's some rare and complex issue involving my MBP dual-video cards, second monitor via HDMI, OpenGL and VirtualBox, and Chrome triggers it, then that is not sufficient to say that it ought to trigger it on your system.

Clearly I'm the only person who sees this problem, and I see it reliably and 100% of the time I run Chrome. The log is useless, it simply terminates, so I'm not sure what else there is to do other than avoid using Chrome in my Win7 VM. I'd gladly help debug it if I knew where to even start.
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Re: Chrome browser in Win7 guest crashes VM

Postby loukingjr » 14. Jul 2013, 11:29

meowsqueak wrote:That doesn't necessarily follow. If there's some rare and complex issue involving my MBP dual-video cards, second monitor via HDMI, OpenGL and VirtualBox, and Chrome triggers it, then that is not sufficient to say that it ought to trigger it on your system.

Clearly I'm the only person who sees this problem, and I see it reliably and 100% of the time I run Chrome. The log is useless, it simply terminates, so I'm not sure what else there is to do other than avoid using Chrome in my Win7 VM. I'd gladly help debug it if I knew where to even start.

You do have a point although I think Chrome uses webkit to render pages not OpenGL but no matter. I have 8.1 installed as a guest and it aborts on a regular basis if I try to use IE11 but FF is fine.
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Re: Chrome browser in Win7 guest crashes VM

Postby loukingjr » 14. Jul 2013, 11:59

I had a thought after re-reading the entire post. I had dismissed what you said about booting Windows 7 from a Bootcamp partition. I assume Chrome doesn't crash your Windows 7 install if you boot directly into it. When Windows 7 is installed with Bootcamp there are drivers that should be installed to make Windows 7 work properly on a Mac. I am not booting Windows 7 from a Bootcamp partition but installed it directly as a guest. Perhaps there is a conflict between the drivers Apple installs with Bootcamp, the VirtualBox additions and Extension Pack. It also might explain why your Mac's display would act up. A guest has never affected my Mac's display. I also remembered that when I installed VLC it would either crash or abort the guest until I set its video output to Windows GDI video output. So perhaps something is going on there.

Not sure it means anything but when I installed the guest additions in Windows 7 I did not do so in safe mode and I did install the WDDM driver.
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Re: Chrome browser in Win7 guest crashes VM

Postby meowsqueak » 6. May 2014, 01:23

Fellow forum user Danthemanintan kindly sent me this to try:

Start Google Chrome then click the button in the upper right hand corner that is marked with three horizontal bars. Choose Settings, scroll to the bottom. Choose advanced settings, scroll down to System and uncheck "Use hardware acceleration when available". Close Google Chrome and reopen it.


I'm happy to say that this seems to have successfully worked around the problem I reported. I still had the original issue even with the latest version of VirtualBox, so this makes Chrome usable again. Thanks Danthemanintan!
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