Trying to convert existing physical XP to a VM on a new host

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Re: Trying to convert existing physical XP to a VM on a new host

Postby virgil_machine » 25. Apr 2009, 20:39

OK. I'm back at this.

I have not been able to get by the product registration problem.

So, I'm going back to the beginning: this thread http://www.virtualbox.org/wiki/Migrate_Windows

There are 3 issues there, One is hal.dll. I thought I had resolved that by copying hal.dll and ntoskrnl.exe from my xp pro vm. I can do that again (after I do the next step). However,
I want to be sure I understand this:

Hal.dll (Standard PC)
Halacpi.dll (ACPI HAL)
Halaacpi.dll (ACPI HAL with IO APIC)
If you perform a Windows installation with default settings in VirtualBox, Halacpi.dll will be chosen as VirtualBox enables ACPI by default but disables the IO APIC by default.


I checked windows\system32 on the system I want to virtualize, and only hal.dll is there. Should I be copying halacpi.dll and deleting hal.dll?

Second issue is mergeide. I have downloaded the utility from the german it magazine and plan to run it on th physical machine before cloning it again.

Third issue is agp400.sys. I'll deal with that if I get that far. I plan to delete it from the vm.

So, my plan is:
    run mergeide on the physical machine
    use acronis true image to clone the physical machine, copying that to the server
    restore the new image to the vm
    copy hal.dll from the xp pro vm (and ntoskrnl.exe too, I guess)
    try to boo the vm
    if it doesn't boot, delete agp400.sys

Am I on the right track?
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Re: Trying to convert existing physical XP to a VM on a new host

Postby vbox4me2 » 25. Apr 2009, 20:53

Sounds like a plan to me :) all thats missing is a sigar.
After executing your plan and making the first copy, boot it back up normally and attempt to delete everything in device manager, just don't delete things as keyboard/mouse/ide/processor stuff, and copy that one for a second try.
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Re: Trying to convert existing physical XP to a VM on a new host

Postby virgil_machine » 25. Apr 2009, 21:22

Thank you again :)

Actually, I have already created a second hardware profile with everything deleted in device manager. So I'll keep that.

Should I be doing anything with the hal files before copying (or after restoring)?
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Re: Trying to convert existing physical XP to a VM on a new host

Postby vbox4me2 » 25. Apr 2009, 21:54

Nope, just copy them over the existing ones after restoring the machine to the VM.
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Re: Trying to convert existing physical XP to a VM on a new host

Postby virgil_machine » 27. Apr 2009, 01:42

OK. I did what I said. I ran the mergeide utility from the german it magazine, then created an image with acronis, and restored that image to the vm. I then copied hal.dll and ntoskrnl.exe (from the cd I created last time) to \windows\system32. Got a blue screen. Renamed agp440.sys and intelppm.sys in \windows\system32\drivers and botted again. Something new: I get the XP inital screen, then "autochk program not found skipping autochk" then BSOD.. Booted in safe mode to see where it got to, Mup.sys.

I did some research on this MS says the file must be missing or corrupted. I don't believe that, but I'm trying what I can. autochk.exe does in fact exist in \windows\system32, but I copied one from \windows\ServicePackFiles\i386. Same result.

There is also some stuff about the latest updates--the system is up to date.

I see that this autochk thing is not uncommon. I booted back into recovery console and ran "chkdsk C: /r"--the source said that it would ask for the location of autochk--it didn't, but it ran. I then rebooted with the same result.

I also see a lot of problems with AMD processors. I am moving this image from an Intel Pentium 4, and the processor on the server is an AMD Athlon X2 (dual core 64-bit ). Is it possible that there's an issue? I have seen that the amd power management file (used instead of intelppm.sys) is amdk8.sys.

I do not have amdk8.sys in my XP Home physical machine or XP Pro VM.. I found it in the Windows 7 VM and copied that to the XP Home VM. BSOD on autochk.

Any thoughts?
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Re: Trying to convert existing physical XP to a VM on a new host

Postby vbox4me2 » 27. Apr 2009, 11:25

Thats what I said earlier, motherboard specific stuff, you need to get all of that disabled/de-installed, also have a look at a more advanced way:
http://www.google.nl/search?hl=nl&q=win ... pair&meta=
But keep your wpa file handy.
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Re: Trying to convert existing physical XP to a VM on a new host

Postby virgil_machine » 27. Apr 2009, 13:35

Thanks. I'll have a go at the more advanced stuff.

As to the disabling/deinstalling...that's why I created the second hardware profile. I created the profile copying the existing one, then rebooted and went into device manager and removed everything I could (as you said, not the keyboard/mouse settings, and there were some that had no option to remove).

After I restored the image to the VM, I select the second profile.

Just to be sure...is my process of creating the second profile what you meant by "getting all of that disabled/deinstalled"?
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Re: Trying to convert existing physical XP to a VM on a new host

Postby vbox4me2 » 27. Apr 2009, 14:49

virgil_machine wrote:Just to be sure...is my process of creating the second profile what you meant by "getting all of that disabled/deinstalled"?

Not exactly, some motherboard stuff has to be removed, but try that clean install advanced stuff first, most references to specific drivers are in those files, you should be able to remove the files "default,SAM,SECURITY and system", but start with system.
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Re: Trying to convert existing physical XP to a VM on a new host

Postby virgil_machine » 27. Apr 2009, 23:59

I'm assuming that what you mean is to copy the default, sam, security, and system from \windows\repair.

I tried system only first. The only change is that I get BSOD before I reach the screen to choose my hardware profile. Is that because the hardware profiles are connected to system or because I'm crashing faster?

I then copied the other 3...no change. Then I copied software, too. You didn't mention it but several of the articles you referenced did. That made no difference.

I'm doing this in the vm. Is that where I should be doing it?

Another option would be to go back to the physical machine, rename/restore the same 4 files, then delete everything with device manager and create a new image to restore to the vm (or do the device manager thing first and then rename/restore from \repair. Would that be of any help? And, if I do that, will I be setting my physical machine back to it's install state (at least w/respect to windows but not applications or data)?

I just want to be sure I'm on the right path before I go through this.

Thanks for your help.
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Re: Trying to convert existing physical XP to a VM on a new host

Postby vbox4me2 » 28. Apr 2009, 00:27

Your on the right path but at this level its not 'that easy', when you refer to xp's default state (system repair) you disable just about anything specific to the motherboard but not all since drivers are still on the disk and some xp parts will load them when found weither or not they are referenced(registry, default dll(class) association/assertion), for instance the driver cache, drivers and dllcache folders still contain 'new' parts that are relavant to the motherboard/chipset and they will get loaded when being part of the default startup sequence(as those parts got replaced by specific motherboard components, updates).

Next thing to try, install a clean xp VM, update to SP2/3(make it equal to your existing xp), file copy over program files and such, then copy over the working SAM and SYSTEM files to the VM.
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Re: Trying to convert existing physical XP to a VM on a new host

Postby virgil_machine » 28. Apr 2009, 14:58

Thanks. I'm not looking for easy, I'm trying to get this to work and to learn some things in the process.

If I understand your "right track" comment, I should be making these changes to the physical machine before cloning/restoring to the VM, not in the VM. Is that correct?
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Re: Trying to convert existing physical XP to a VM on a new host

Postby vbox4me2 » 28. Apr 2009, 15:17

No to the VM only (the latest of my replies).
You can do this to the real machine to ease migration as well but you may end up with a non functional real machine...

Check the VM settings again, compare them to a VM that is working, down to everything off, only acpi and ide disk(try the 2 controller types). This is also something you have to repeatedly play with once you try a changed migrated VM.

The odd thing here is, once you strip down a machine/VM and have repaired it with the windows repair console it should boot up, it not you start renaming (newer)drivers you find in windows and subfolders until its up in safemode.
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Re: Trying to convert existing physical XP to a VM on a new host

Postby virgil_machine » 3. May 2009, 23:59

I've been researching this and following the guidance here.

Playing with the VM settings, the only difference I get is that with ACPI disabled it hangs rather than BSODing at boot.

The Device manager "computer" entry on the XP Home physical machine is "ACPI Uniprocessor PC." On the XP Pro VM that works its "Advanced Configuration and Power Interface PC." I can't change that. The details of both show:
hal.dll
ntkrnlpa.exe
ntoskrnl.exe

Checking the \windows\system32\drivers directory, it looks the working VM hal.dll is the same filesize as halacpi--in the physical it's halaacpi.

Under "System" in device manager, there are some different entries. I can list them if you'd like.

I'm going to try a new hardware profile in the physical machine and go back to make sure I really deleted everything.

Assuming that's not going to work, is the next step to start deleting drivers? If so, from the \windows\system32\drivers directory?
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Re: Trying to convert existing physical XP to a VM on a new host

Postby vbox4me2 » 4. May 2009, 00:16

virgil_machine wrote:The details of both show:
hal.dll
ntkrnlpa.exe
ntoskrnl.exe

Copy the working versions over to the bsod version.
Assuming that's not going to work, is the next step to start deleting drivers? If so, from the \windows\system32\drivers directory?

Rename them. As to which ones... without experience this is a trail and error exercise.
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Re: Trying to convert existing physical XP to a VM on a new host

Postby virgil_machine » 5. May 2009, 16:31

Having no clue as to which drivers to rename, I did them alphabetically, doing the number that would fit on a screen in a directory list of \windows\system32\drivers.

After each screenful, I'd go back and try to boot the vm in safe mode.

I got to the filenames beginning with "m" when booting gave me the message "isapnp.sys corrupted or missing" so I renamed that back. next, I got "ntfs.sys corrupt or missing." I hadn't gotten to the "n's" yet, so it had to be somethig ntfs,sys needs. I started renaming drivers back to ".sys" staring with the beginning of the last screen I tried, starting with hidusb.sys, a half screen at a time. When it hung at Mup.sys again, I renamed half of the last batch back to .504 (as in May 4). Then I got the ntfs.sys message again until I isolated the culprit. It appears to be kmixer.sys. I have to research what that does and how to get around it (or if that's possible).

Does any of this give you any idea where my problem might be?

Again, the physical machine is an Intel P4 with an IDE drive, the server is an AMD Athlon X2 with and SATA drive.
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