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Archive for the ‘VirtualBox’ Category

Converting Hyper-V guest systems to VirtualBox

August 4, 2011 4 comments
  • System Notes: Oracle VirtualBox 4.0.12, Windows Server 2003 R2 X64, Windows Server 2008 R2

My main Hyper-V server host system runs four production and three development/testing guests, with the four production and one of the development/testing systems in use 24×7.  Memory was becoming extremely tight on the host system, especially when running either of the two remaining development/testing guests along with the regular 24.×7 guests.

Since the two development/testing guest systems were really just for security patch and software upgrade testing, I decided to try and move them over to Oracle VirtualBox on my main workstation.

If you are converting a guest Windows server that is running anything earlier than Windows Server 2008 R2, you should first remove the Hyper-V Integration Services from the guest, to prevent any BSOD startup problems after you move the guest over to VirtualBox.

When setting up a Windows Server 2008 R2 guest system using an existing VHD file for the primary hard disk, you must make a change in the VirtualBox Settings.  The VHD will be attached as a SATA drive by default, and you will get a BSOD if you try to boot it this way.  You need to remove the VHD file from the SATA controller and re-add it as an IDE hard drive.  See this link for a specific discussion of this problem.  See my previous blog entry Switching from IDE to SATA controller types for older Windows guests in VirtualBox for specific details on working with IDE and SATA virtual drive files.

Additional Notes:

Just a bonus quick reference note for VirtualBox:  you can use Ctrl-Arrow to move systems up and down the list on the main Oracle VM VirtualBox Manager window.  Just highlight the system you want to reorder and press Ctrl-Up or Ctrl-Down.

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Virtual guests using VHD files for their hard drives do not start when moving from Virtual PC to VirtualBox

April 25, 2011 Leave a comment
  • System Notes: Microsoft Virtual PC 2007 SP1, Oracle VirtualBox 4.0.4

I recently upgraded one of my production workstations, and wanted to move from Microsoft Virtual PC to Oracle VirtualBox, due to the increased horsepower of the new workstation.  In doing this, I had read online about the fact that VirtualBox supported the VHD hard disk files native to Virtual PC guest systems, and that it was a mostly seamless process to move from virtual host to the other.

I had four virtual guest systems that I use for testing to be moved.  Three of them were servers, comprising Windows 2000 Server Standard, Windows Server 2003 Standard, and Windows Server 2003 R2 Standard, and one was a Windows XP SP3 system.

After adding the systems to the new Oracle VirtualBox installation, two of them started and ran normally, and two hung at startup with a blank, black screen, with no indication they were doing anything at all.

The solution to the problem of the two systems hanging at start ended up requiring a conversion of the guest hard drive files from VHD to VDI.  This process was simple to complete using the CloneVDI tool, which is available for download here.  There is a good discussion of this problem and the solution on the VirtualBox forums here.

Categories: VDI, VHD, Virtual PC, VirtualBox