Problems using virtual box when changing computer

This is for discussing general topics about how to use VirtualBox.
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Hawkmoth 2
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Joined: 28. Nov 2023, 00:27

Problems using virtual box when changing computer

Post by Hawkmoth 2 »

Hello everyone - this is my first post on this forum and I hope someone will be able to an issue I'm having.

First of all I must tell you that a friend installed virtual box for me some years ago so that I could run a version of Windows Xp inside my main operating system. However, my computer recently started having serious problems, so I took the plunge to get a new computer, but I'm now having problems getting the virtual box working properly on my new computer and the friend who initially got the program up and running is no longer available to assist me. So this is where I'm at, I will now explain the problem I'm having.

I have already installed the Oracle VM Virtual box 7.0 on my new computer and as for as I can tell that all seemed to go well. The problem starts to show up when I open up the Virtual box and click on the 'new' button. I start to fill in the information, but very quickly I run into trouble when I'm asked to fill in the 'ISO image' and I can't find this information anywhere. I have tried filling in the rest of the details hoping that the ISO image would turn up automatically at some stage, but this hasn't happened and I'm completely stumped as to how to proceed.

I would be really grateful if someone could help me to sort this issue out, thanks.

My new operating system is Windows 11 and it's my copy of Windows Xp (32 bit) I wish to have in the virtual box.

Hawkmoth 2
scottgus1
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Re: Problems using virtual box when changing computer

Post by scottgus1 »

You have to provide the operating system CD or DVD installers, or an ISO copy of the installer. They don't come with Virtualbox.

Question: do you still have the old computer? If so, you may be able to copy the VM's folder to the new computer and use the old VM with XP already running as before.
Hawkmoth 2
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Joined: 28. Nov 2023, 00:27

Re: Problems using virtual box when changing computer

Post by Hawkmoth 2 »

Hello scottgus1- Many thanks for your reply and help on this issue: -

On your first point, I think I've got the original CD containing Windows XP, but like many modern computers, my new computer doesn't have a CD drive.

On your second point, I do still have my old computer (which is just about still working) with the oracle Virtual box still operating on it with Xp inside it. However, to give me the best chance of your suggestion working, I would be very grateful if you could please take me through the steps of copying the old VM across to the new computer. I have got an external hard drive which could be used for this, thanks.

Hawkmoth 2
mpack
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Re: Problems using virtual box when changing computer

Post by mpack »

scottgus1
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Re: Problems using virtual box when changing computer

Post by scottgus1 »

The link Mpack posted is really good for moving VMs around from one folder/drive to another on the same PC. You could use the procedure to move the VM to an external USB hard drive on the old PC. Then attach the USB drive to the new PC. In the main Virtualbox window, use the Machine menu Add command to register the VM's .vbox file with Virtualbox. If no errors happen, you can then use the procedure to move the VM from the USB drive to the new PC's internal drive.

Personally, I don't like such a procedure for moving a VM to a new PC. "Move" is a real move, as in a cut/paste, so the original is deleted. So there's no opportunity to confirm the copy with a file compare.

Here's what I would do:

Start the main Virtualbox window. In the Virtual Media Manager (File menu, then Tools if you're running Virtualbox 7.0) check that the VM's hard drive file is inside the VM's folder where the VM's .vbox file is. If it is not, use the Virtual Media Manager's Move tool to move the VM's hard drive file into the VM folder next to the VM's .vbox file. (Virtualbox defaults to putting the hard drive file inside the VM folder. But there is a nuance about when a VM is made that allows folks to put the drive elsewhere, and a number of folks do that. Makes for more difficult moving later.)

Once the VM folder holds all the VM's files, then close Virtualbox and use Windows to copy the whole VM folder to the USB drive. After this copy, use individual "FC" commands in a command prompt window to test each copied file's integrity, or get a file-comparing app like WinMerge to compare the whole folder structure. If the files copied correctly,, move the USB drive to the new PC, copy the VM folder to the new PC's drive. "C:\Users\{youraccount}\Virtualbox VMs" is the default, but you can put it where you want, as long as it's not a special permissions location like "C:\Windows" or "C:\Program Files". Do the FC file compare or WinMerge etc again to check the second copy. Then register the VM with Virtualbox.

With this process you'll have three copies of the VM: the original and USB drive copies as backups, and the final copy on the new PC.
Hawkmoth 2
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Re: Problems using virtual box when changing computer

Post by Hawkmoth 2 »

Hello scottgus1 (and thanks for your input mpack as well)

I will do my best to follow the procedure you've suggested, although my knowledge of doing this sort of thing is very limited, so I may come up against the odd stumbling block.

Just so you are aware, the version of the virtual Box I'm using on my old computer is 6.1

Hawkmoth 2
Hawkmoth 2
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Re: Problems using virtual box when changing computer

Post by Hawkmoth 2 »

Ok scottgus1, I followed your instructions and everything went well until the very last step of opening the program - then I got a message 'This app can't run on this device', please let me know how I should proceed from here, thanks.

Hawkmoth 2
scottgus1
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Re: Problems using virtual box when changing computer

Post by scottgus1 »

Hawkmoth 2 wrote: 28. Nov 2023, 18:06 until the very last step of opening the program
Could you please explain this part? What program are you referring to? Virtualbox, or an app inside the VM?
Hawkmoth 2
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Re: Problems using virtual box when changing computer

Post by Hawkmoth 2 »

The app inside the VM which I use to create a shortcut to the desktop, am I doing the wrong thing here, if so please let me know what I should be doing, thanks.
Last edited by Hawkmoth 2 on 28. Nov 2023, 18:44, edited 1 time in total.
scottgus1
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Re: Problems using virtual box when changing computer

Post by scottgus1 »

OK, thanks. If the VM is actually running, and you can interact with it, then Virtualbox is doing its job.

If the app inside the VM is newly installed, and is having trouble, then you'd need to ask the app's help channels what is wrong.

If the app was in the old VM on the old PC and it was working well, then you may have had a bit flip in the copy/move process. Did you use the Move to USB/Register/Move to New PC process (the first one), or the file-compare-check-integrity process (the second one)?
Hawkmoth 2
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Re: Problems using virtual box when changing computer

Post by Hawkmoth 2 »

Well, I wouldn't say I can interact with it, as I can't open it!

The app still is, in the old computer and is still working perfectly.

I did Move to USB, but I didn't register at that point, is this where I've gone wrong?

Also, are you saying that the program should be sited in exactly the same place on my new computer as it was on my old computer?
scottgus1
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Re: Problems using virtual box when changing computer

Post by scottgus1 »

Hawkmoth 2 wrote: 28. Nov 2023, 19:07 I did Move to USB, but I didn't register at that point, is this where I've gone wrong?
If you haven't followed all the steps, then you'll not be able to complete the move.
Hawkmoth 2 wrote: 28. Nov 2023, 19:07 are you saying that the program should be sited in exactly the same place on my new computer as it was on my old computer?
The VM is the whole virtual computer. A program can run inside the computer. Proper terminology will help us avoid misunderstandings as we're having now.

Virtualbox runs virtual computers, or VMs. The VM has an operating system inside it, in your case, XP. The operating system inside the VM runs programs or apps.

Please use "Virtualbox" to refer to Virtualbox installed on your new physical PC, that opens the main Virtualbox window where you can set up new VMs. Please use "VM" to refer to the virtual computer that has XP inside it. Please use "program" or "app" to refer to the programs and apps you have installed inside XP.

Please explain as detailed as reasonable what you actually did. Looks like you may have missed some steps.
Hawkmoth 2
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Joined: 28. Nov 2023, 00:27

Re: Problems using virtual box when changing computer

Post by Hawkmoth 2 »

Hello scottgus1, many thanks for the heads up with the terminology, I must admit I have found it a bit taxing, but I'll do my best to get it right.

I actually went wrong by trying to register the VM after I had copied onto the new computer, I now realise I should have done this while it was still on the external drive, sorry about that. I'll go back to where I copied onto the portable hard drive (and delete everything I did after that) and go again from there, thanks.

Hawkmoth 2
scottgus1
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Re: Problems using virtual box when changing computer

Post by scottgus1 »

You may have to unregister the VM from the main Virtualbox window, too. You can't have the same VM registered twice. Same thing for the hard drive.

If this is the only VM you'll be having, the easiest way to reset Virtualbox is to reboot the host, go to C:\Users\{youraccount}\.Virtualbox (note the period in the folder name) then rename the "Virtualbox.xml" to something else. This will reset Virtualbox the next time it is open.
Hawkmoth 2
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Joined: 28. Nov 2023, 00:27

Re: Problems using virtual box when changing computer

Post by Hawkmoth 2 »

Hello scottgus1 - after a lot of head scratching and puffing of the cheeks I have decided that this is all too much for me. It's all beyond my paltry computer skills I'm afraid, most of the time I don't know the terminology used, how to do the next step or which way to turn next. Hopefully at some stage I may get someone to install it correctly for me.

So thank you very much for all your patience and effort, all of which was very much appreciated and now you'll be able to help others with greater computer skills than mine. Thank you.

All the very best to you,

Hawkmoth 2
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