Friday, March 22, 2013

Issue with .vdi file virtual PC in Oracle Box stuck in boot loop

I don't know what the hell it is with me and Virtual PCs but I always seem to struggle with getting them running. If its not one thing its another.

Today I saw an issue that I've seen before so I figured I would do a little brain dump of what the issue was for the two things that I've seen. I'm sure there are a million other things that could cause it but it is what it was for me so it should help someone.

A colleague of mine was attempting to start a virtual machine using Oracle Box 4.1.2 (something) and the virtual machine would not boot. It kept saying 'Windows booting' or 'Windows is starting' with a progress bar but never actually getting to boot. I thought this could be an issue with the BIOS settings or something.

We tried the following to no success:
  • Running the image on an external hard drive
  • Running the image on an external hard drive from all ports
  • Compared the configuration start up settings
  • Ran the virtual machine image loaded locally
The first time this happened, it ended up being an issue with image distributed to everyone as being broken somehow. Not sure what the actual problem was but I would check with other people or have them try to run your image as well to isolate the issue to either something with your computer or the image itself. That's how I found out about that issue. You may want to try to copy the image again and try it again if that same virtual image is working on another person's box and the versions and settings are the same.

The issue today was actually due to the version of Virtual Box that the person was running. It seems the newest version of Oracle Box was causing the image to not boot properly. Not sure why this was happening but it seems everyone else could run this image but that one person. He could even run other virtual machines, just not this one specific one.

That being said, how can we get him to run this virtual machine? I couldn't find anything online that allows a user to regress their version of Virtual Box. It seems the only way to solve the issue is to uninstall the current version completely download an older version, and reinstall it. Sure enough, this fixed the issue.

Interesting I'm sure. Sorry there is no explanation into what the issue actually was causing this issue but at least two solutions and some troubleshooting steps are here. We couldn't find anything online so hopefully people like us in the future will stumble on this and save themselves a little frustration.

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