Migrating VMware->VirtualBox: Windows XP/2003 guest

This is a correction to my VMware to VirtualBox migration entry.

After reading das gelimes Blauge : Windows cloning disk BSOD, I realized that VirtualBox.org site's wiki page Migrate_Windows is rather outdated. For Windows XP/2003, I made only 2 changes and they booted successfully.

  1. Enable IO APIC
  2. IDE Controller Type: PIIX4 


Windows 2000 VMware image still doesn't boot.

Hello again,

This seems to work quite well, but, VirtualBox's IO APIC emulation appears to be a little fragile. It doesn't work at all with windows 2000 and seems to fail on shutdown (sometimes) with windows XP.

I would suggest it's best to replace the HAL inside the VM with the non-APIC version as soon as possible so you can disable the emulation.

Device Manager
ACPI Uniprocessor PC
Update Driver
Install from a Specific Location
I will choose the Driver
Advanced Configutation and Power Interface (ACPI) PC

Posted by Robert on April 10, 2008 at 12:57 AM JST #

Thanks Robert. I saw the Windows XP hang as well on shutdown.

Posted by Katsumi INOUE on April 17, 2008 at 04:24 AM JST #

Thanks for the tip in the post, it saves me a lot of time!

But Robert tip doesn't work for me, if I change the ACPI Uniprocessor PC the windows presents a blue screen, even if i enable/disable the IO APIC.
Did you make it?

btw I can't suspend my guest system, did you know why?

Posted by Nuno on November 22, 2008 at 02:13 PM JST #

Nuno, thanks for reading.

No, I haven't tested Robert's steps. I heard that vmware support is actively being improved. So, I guess I'll see very different stability/performance in next version.

Posted by Katsumi INOUE on November 25, 2008 at 03:21 AM JST #

I just wanted to post a success story using Robert's advice.

I installed XP in VirtualBox with IO APIC enabled (thinking that enabling features was always a good idea) but found out that it slows down VirtualBox considerably. A little research said I had to reinstall XP to disable the feature.

Using Robert's advice:
\* I replaced the device in device manager
\* shut down the VM
\* disabled IO APIC
\* restarted the VM
\* Windows found new hardware, which installed and asked me to reboot.
\* rebooted the system and it appears to work fine and is very noticeably faster.

This was a 30 second solution to avoiding a Windows reinstall.


Posted by Brian on January 18, 2009 at 04:54 PM JST #

Also wanted to mention that this worked great on VBox 2.1.2! With the comments from Robert, the guest did speed up noticeably and was finally able to P2V a Windows host into a usable Virutal Box guest.


Posted by Jason on January 23, 2009 at 10:19 PM JST #

Am I the only one that it not work?
When I replace the device and disabled IO APIC the windows can't load and keeps restarting :(

If I enable IO APIC the systems works very very slow :/

Posted by Nuno Lebreiro on January 23, 2009 at 10:43 PM JST #

[Trackback] Thanks to all who commented on my past entry. Migrating VMware->VirtualBox: Windows XP/2003 guest For Windows XP/2003, I made only 2 changes and they booted successfully. And I'm sorry I don't have answers to all of the questions. I find Jason...

Posted by Let the Sunshine In on January 30, 2009 at 08:32 AM JST #

same trick (io apic) works for me with a vista machine. thanks for the tip!


Posted by Matt Price on April 06, 2009 at 01:20 AM JST #

To the one who didn't got it to work.
You just updated to the WRONG DRIVER.

NOT uniprocessor ACPI

Wrong driver, wrong results.

Posted by guest on January 16, 2010 at 04:46 PM JST #

thnaks for the tip.

Posted by Raccoon Dog on April 01, 2012 at 11:19 AM JST #

Post a Comment:
  • HTML Syntax: NOT allowed

The views expressed on this blog are my own and do not necessarily reflect the views of Oracle.


« May 2015