[Solved] Black screen on boot win XP following multiple crashes

Discussions about using Windows guests in VirtualBox.

[Solved] Black screen on boot win XP following multiple crashes

Postby rcATS » 10. May 2021, 04:59

Hi there,

This is my first time posting in one of these forums, ever, so I apologise in advance for getting some of this wrong.

I have recently created a VM with win xp on the guest OS.

The VM was then moved onto a local server location, where it's functioning appeared stable (or as stable was being on the host hard disk).
Due to hardware constraints, this guest would frequently be used with what I think was borderline processing power, and I believe this had resulted in hanging up the guest OS frequently and/or causing the host to hang up. This would happen particularly because there was heavy CAD software package in use.

The last few times the guest/host crashed, a blue screen of death appearing in the guest OS. On powering down the guest OS and restarting it, I seem to recall a dialog box saying a log could not be found. After trying to open a program inside the guest, the guest would crash again.

I persisted in trying to restart and open software like this maybe 3 times, after which this has culminated in the virtual machine not booting beyond a black screen.

Things I have tried:
- safe boot
- toggling the I/O APIC setting
- trying different memory/video memory/processor settings
- moving the VM to the host hard disk (and then moving it back to server location)

I have attached the log file here.. please help!

Rachel
Attachments
log 20210510.zip
(27.63 KiB) Downloaded 4 times
rcATS
 
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Re: Black screen on boot win XP following multiple crashes

Postby mpack » 10. May 2021, 10:14

What is drive Z?

If this a network drive then it's possible that it doesn't have the bandwidth to make a practical hard disk for an XP installation. XP thrashes the disk a lot, though turning off all unnecessary background services (particularly disk indexing), and turning off the swap file could help. Though of course we then have to worry about the size of any models you load into Solidworks, if you only give it 1024MB RAM. Turning off the swap file is something I'd normally only do if I've maxed out the RAM at 4GB.

Also note that XP no longer has 3D graphics acceleration in VirtualBox 6.1.x, so Solidworks is never going to run well.

Ugh... giving the VM shared folder access to the Z: folder the VM is running from... sounds pretty incestuous to me. Generally speaking you should not share a share.

The run time in the log was less than 30 seconds, which limits what else I could say. E.g. no sign of a crash.
mpack
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Re: Black screen on boot win XP following multiple crashes

Postby rcATS » 11. May 2021, 06:35

Thanks for your comments mpack!

I can see what you're saying about XP and solidworks not running well on a virtual machine. Unfortunately, at this stage that's what I've got, and it's acceptable if it's not crashing.

Which brings me to the point, what might be helpful in diagnosing and moving the boot beyond the black screen? Is it worth digging around to try to find the logs from when some of the crashes occurred last? I will turn off the the share drive though, maybe give it another go just to rule that out.
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Re: Black screen on boot win XP following multiple crashes

Postby mpack » 11. May 2021, 10:27

Black screen on boot nearly always means IO APIC set the wrong way (not how it was when XP was installed). XP does NOT cope well with motherboard changes.

After that - try a safe mode boot, see how far it gets. To get into safe mode: launch the VM then start tapping the F8 key at 1s intervals (do not hold the key down) until it registers and XP says it's booting in safe mode.
mpack
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Re: Black screen on boot win XP following multiple crashes

Postby rcATS » 12. May 2021, 07:25

Hi mpack,

I've gone and tried
a) removing the share drive
b) changing I/O APIC setting (is that just a matter of enabled vs disabled?? Or is there something else you can do?)
c) safe boot

Unfortunately all the same deal, black screen.
Log uploaded here.
Attachments
log 20210512.zip
(25.12 KiB) Downloaded 2 times
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Re: Black screen on boot win XP following multiple crashes

Postby mpack » 12. May 2021, 10:13

Well, the only other thing I can suggest is to boot the VM from a setup CD (an ISO will do fine) and choose "Repair installation". The setup CD is ideally the same one used to install XP.

After that we're into mounting the XP disk in another VM and copying out any files you want to save.
mpack
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Re: Black screen on boot win XP following multiple crashes

Postby rcATS » 2. Jun 2021, 09:44

Hi mpack,

Good news! Great news even. I eventually worked through the XP repair option from installation CD. It was my first time doing anything of that nature, and had to restore to a previous restore point, but eventually got back to a running OS and solidworks. Thanks for your all your help!

Rachel
rcATS
 
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Re: Black screen on boot win XP following multiple crashes

Postby mpack » 2. Jun 2021, 13:20

Glad to hear that you got it running again. You should of course get into the habit of regularly backing up any VMs you wouldn't like to lose. By that I mean a proper backup, i.e. a copy of the VM folder stored on another drive, ideally on a NAS or similar. Not a restore point, and definitely not a VM snapshot.
mpack
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Posts: 34236
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