N00b here, trying to get shared folders to work...

Discussions related to using VirtualBox on Mac OS X hosts.

N00b here, trying to get shared folders to work...

Postby Tazling » 5. Dec 2017, 07:47

I have just installed my very first Virtual Box (version 5.22), on an El Capitan 10.11.6 system. After installing VB I managed to install Windows 10 from a .iso file (legally obtained, btw). So my native system is OSX running on Intel i7, and my guest system is Windows 10. I did request installation of the "guest" extras package.

So far so good. I can boot my virtual machine (it's a bit slow, but it does boot into Windows and it can use my internet connection). Now, I am struggling with the challenge of getting any files into the brand new Windows "guest" OS. I carefully read the procedure for setting up a shared folder here (forum won't let me post link, but topic ident is 25198)

I followed these instructions carefully. (I have added annotation to identify 2 steps referred to further on):

Code: Select all   Expand viewCollapse view
Close the guest (shutdown)
Open the VirtualBox program and click once on the guest.
Click settings and then click on shared folders.
Click the folder with the green + to add a new share
Click the down arrow on the folder path then click the Folder that says other.
This brings up a browse window. (1) Browse to the folder that you want to share and click OK.
This will put the full path in your folder path line
Click on the box just below that and (2) type [i]shared[/i] then press enter.
At this point you have created the shared folder.

Now open (start) the guest.
Click the program start button and then open a command window or click in the run box and type cmd and press enter.
Put this in the command window: [b]net use x: \\vboxsvr\shared -p[/b] and press enter
After this the share will show in the file manager as a mapped drive.


I did this step by step, exactly as shown here. But I get the dreaded System Error 53, the network path was not found.

I'm still a little puzzled by the relationship of "full path" and folder name, above. If I select the folder /Users/myname/vbshare in step 1, then I type in "shared" as directed in step 2, is the real path then /Users/myname/vbshare/shared? and /Users/myname/vbshare equivalent to \\vboxsvr ? This is what I would expect from the instructions I was reading. But I can't get the VM to see the shared folder. This is, well... pretty essential to getting any use out of the VM :-) so I'm stuck here, unable to import any .exe files to try out my virtual Windows machine.

I'm fairly sure this is just a n00b conceptual error. Other people have got this to work, so I must be misunderstanding something. Can someone unconfuse me please?
Last edited by socratis on 5. Dec 2017, 08:30, edited 1 time in total.
Reason: Added missing URL.
Tazling
 
Posts: 4
Joined: 5. Dec 2017, 07:30

Re: N00b here, trying to get shared folders to work...

Postby socratis » 5. Dec 2017, 08:44

The article you read is 8 years old. Not that much has changed in principal, but you should be reading something more up to date, like the User Manual that comes with your VirtualBox installation; menu Help » Contents.

If you installed the Guest Additions, then you should be able to open a Windows Explorer window, go to the Network (from the left side tree), then "VBOXSRV". This contains all the potential shared folders from VirtualBox. Your shared folder should be there. If you want you can right-click on in and select "Map network drive" to have it permanently as a fixed-letter drive, although it's not really necessary.

To answer to your example question, the folder/directory that you should be seeing in the Windows Explorer would be "\\VBOXSVR\shared".

For more information, check (as I already mentioned) the User Manual, either in the PDF format that's included with your installation (I find it easier; it's searchable), or online, ch. 4.3 Shared folders.
If you obfuscate any information requested, I will obfuscate my response. These are virtual UUIDs, not real ones.
Do NOT reply with the "QUOTE" button, please use the "POST REPLY", at the bottom of the form.
socratis
Site Moderator
 
Posts: 12658
Joined: 22. Oct 2010, 11:03
Location: Greece
Primary OS: Mac OS X other
VBox Version: PUEL
Guest OSses: Win(*>98), Linux*, OSX>10.5

Re: N00b here, trying to get shared folders to work...

Postby Tazling » 5. Dec 2017, 09:17

Sorry about replying to own post, but for some reason the EDIT feature was not showing me the up-to-date version of my original post (it omitted my previous edit). So I am posting my resolution (such as is is) here.

I'm not entirely sure why it started working. I think what I finally did right, was to unmount the .iso from the VB control panel, with the VM shut down (powered off). Then I restarted the VM (with an empty virtual CD drive). Then I tried the "mount Guest Additions .iso" from the Devices menu and wow, this time it worked and installed Guest Additions! After that there was an ugly half hour or so while I struggled to get NET framework 3.5 to install, but googling turned up the answer (a very arcane cmd line starting with DISM). Now I seem to have a working Windows 10 install and can run a tiny handful of obscure Win-only apps which I need for game and Arduino development. Whew.

I am not sure what to tell other n00bs who are similarly confused, except that the relationship between the VB commands and settings and the VM commands is clearly rather tetchy. If a .iso has beem mounted via the VB, the VM might not be able to see/mount it; I thought VM would boot up seeing it as a pre-mounted CDROM, as when I installed Windows in the first place -- but it appears that (at least for the Guest Additions .iso) you have to start with an empty virtual CD drive at the VB level, then boot the VM, then mount the .iso from the VM. I think this is what I did that worked in the end.
Tazling
 
Posts: 4
Joined: 5. Dec 2017, 07:30

Re: N00b here, trying to get shared folders to work...

Postby socratis » 5. Dec 2017, 09:51

I'm sorry, but what you're describing makes absolutely no sense at all. The existence or not of the CD has absolutely nothing to do with the ability to access the shared folders. BTW, I really hope that you simply ejected the CD and didn't "simply" remove the whole CD drive from the VM recipe.

There was a similar thread recently, "Possible Bug: Unable to Mount Shared Folder When Blank CD Tray Defined". Turns out that it wasn't the existence or not of the CD that created the issue, it was the version of the GAs installed in the guest. I suspect that you might be having the same issue, but without logs it's difficult to tell.

One thing is for sure; shared folders and the existence of a CD drive/image, have absolutely nothing to do with each other.
If you obfuscate any information requested, I will obfuscate my response. These are virtual UUIDs, not real ones.
Do NOT reply with the "QUOTE" button, please use the "POST REPLY", at the bottom of the form.
socratis
Site Moderator
 
Posts: 12658
Joined: 22. Oct 2010, 11:03
Location: Greece
Primary OS: Mac OS X other
VBox Version: PUEL
Guest OSses: Win(*>98), Linux*, OSX>10.5

Re: N00b here, trying to get shared folders to work...

Postby Tazling » 5. Dec 2017, 21:53

Sorry, it didn't make much sense to me either -- I only report what I think I saw happen. I know absolutely nothing about Windows (*nix all my life) and have been driven to this expedient because of one particular app for which I can find no substitute, and which I need for an Arduino project... so I'm floundering around on very foreign territory, trying to know as little as I can get away with :-) I realise this is a pretty thin excuse for not sitting down and RTFM, but this whole VB install is a detour/distraction from my Arduino project so I was being quick and lazy, hoping that the sw was friendly enough that I could get by w/o much learning curve. This was almost true... VB impressively friendly actually... but not quite idiot-proof :-)

I did not eliminate the virtual CDROM drive -- even for a n00b that would be rather obviously a bad idea :-) I just ejected the virtual medium in VB-land prior to boot, so that the VM booted with the cd "drive" empty. On previous attempts, I had "mounted" the GA iso in the virtual drive at the VB level prior to booting the VM. Mounting "Guest Additions" via the Devices menu always failed with the obscure error message. I read various threads here and there in which n00bs like me were struggling with very similar problems, and one suggested that it works if the VM boots without any .iso mounted as the virtual CDROM, but mounts GA iso later (after boot) via the Devices menu. So I tried that, and for whatever reason (pure coincidence maybe?) that did work and I was able to install Guest Additions.

My initial error (difficulty with getting Shared Folders working) was in assuming that "Guest Additions" was a feature set for the VB, that was installed when I initialised the VB from its .dmg file. I should have realised sooner that the name ("Guest") meant that it was a feature set for the virtual machine, which had to be installed on the virtual machine after it existed and was booted. The lingo is becoming clearer to me now, as is the shift of perspective from "inside the (v)box" to "outside the box".

The VirtualBox concept is dizzyingly powerful now that I see how it works; a safe sandbox for trying out dodgy apps, a way to run N versions of one operating system (for compatibility testing, for example) on just one hardware instance... I thought of it initially as just a better version of Wine -- due to my single-minded focus on getting one particular Windows app to run w/o having to {dual-boot, buy an Intel compute stick, buy a Windows laptop} -- but now I see how general-purpose it is, I'm really impressed.
Tazling
 
Posts: 4
Joined: 5. Dec 2017, 07:30


Return to VirtualBox on Mac OS X Hosts

Who is online

Users browsing this forum: No registered users and 13 guests