Vmware to Virtualbox Migration Issues

May 20, 2008 – 19:43 | misc | Tags: , ,

In my Kubuntu, I have a Windows XP Professional virtual machine running in Vmware that I use from time to time. Recently I decided to migrate it to VirtualBox. Eventually I got it working, after going through a number of issues. Here goes a recount of them:

The Agp440.sys Hang
Since VirtualBox supports the VMDK file format, it’s fairly simple to get started: just create a new VirtualBox vm, make it as close to the Vmware one as possible configuration wise, attach the same VMDK files to the vm as harddrives, and that’s it.

Although the first time when you try to boot it up in VirtualBox, Windows is very likely going to hang right away. Trying to boot it into safe mode reveals that the sequence hangs at agp440.sys.

It is easily resolved by following this VirtualBox wiki article. Basically boot into the Recovery Console, and disable the agp440 service.

The Mup.sys Hang
Next Windows hangs at Mup.sys. The same trick from above doesn’t help. After disabling Mup.sys, Windows hangs at the driver before it. So it’s not Mup.sys itself, but something afterwards. Google finds me this virtualbox ticket. Following the tips, I switch to the PIIX4 setting for the IDE controller, experiment various combinations of APIC and IO ACPI, and am able to get past Mup.sys with both enabled.

Reactivate Windows
Finally I’m able to boot into Windows, but with various new hardware found, the Reactivate Windows screen shows up. I called Microsoft to reactivate, but looking back, I would advise waiting until after you have successfully reconfigured windows, especially the network connection (see below).

Hardware Configuration
Once booting into the desktop, Windows happily reports “new hardware” found and offer to install drivers for them. Always choosing the easiest option (i.e. the one with “automatic” in it) gets me through. If it does not for you, try selecting “Install Guest Addons” from the virtual machine menu first.

Naturally I decide to reboot at this point. Big surprise! Windows hangs up again as soon as the splash screen shows up. Booting into safe mode works, but not the normal mode. After a few tries and some futile digging around, I decide to call it a day.

Well, the next day when I try it again, it just magically works! I still don’t know how exactly, except maybe a soft reset in VirtualBox is not such a “clean” restart compared to completely quit VirtualBox and restart from scratch.

Network Configuration
The networking doesn’t work after booting into Windows at this point. Try to manually add a network connection manually does not go anywhere. Look through the Device Manager and find that the Vmware network card is still in there, with a big question mark. Uninstall that. Force the Device Manager to detect new hardware. Sure enough the VirtualBox one comes up and the driver gets installed smoothly.

Everything works great now. I’m for sure making a baseline copy of the virtual machine though.

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  1. 9 Responses to “Vmware to Virtualbox Migration Issues”

  2. Everything worked here, except the networking. I needed to uninstall vmware-tools and to uninstall the driver.

    By Largo on Jun 27, 2008

  3. Network detection did not work properly for me.
    I had to manually select the non-VMware AMD driver for networking to get my internet working again.
    I still have a unknown PCI device, any idea anyone?

    By Vincent on Oct 13, 2009

  4. seems to be the sata controller.
    I did not use the MergeIDE tool, anyone know how to remove it now?

    By Vincent on Oct 13, 2009

  5. got it: deactivate the additional sata device :)
    weird this does not get installed some how by virtual box guest additions.

    By Vincent on Oct 13, 2009

  6. Thank you for the Network Configuration tip. Without that networking was not working.

    By Sateesh Potturu on Nov 2, 2009

  7. Hi,

    The ACPI IO option did the trick for me, i am now able to run my old Windows 2000 and windows XP images in Virtualbox 3.2

    By Robert on Aug 12, 2010

  8. IN VISTA IS SLOW !!!!


    By OIUU on Aug 27, 2010

  9. Is there a way to start an imported VM and shut down and uninstall “VMWare Tools”, rather than having to uninstall prior to the import?

    By Keith Goldberg on Apr 14, 2011

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  2. Aug 22, 2012: hanging of Windows XP after converting from VMware to Virtual Box agp440.sys « Coolpanda's Space

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