Using VirtualBox to test drive Windows Blue

[Update: From VirtualBox 4.2.16 there's a Windows 8.1 and Windows 2012 OS type which automatically sets this property and makes this blog redundant]

Oracle VM VirtualBox is great for trying out the latest and greatest technologies and platforms. So when Microsoft recently announced the Developer Preview for Windows Server 2012 R2 and Windows 8.1,  it was with eager anticipation that FatBloke ran to the TechNet Evaluation Center to download the isos.

Once downloaded,  a new VM in VirtualBox Manager was created that used Windows 2012 (64-bit) OS type and all the defaults were selected.

And on starting the VM, and pointing to the iso file to install from, the excitement rose as we saw a cool new splashscreen image:

But suddenly our hopes are dashed....

It would seem that this platform requires an instruction (CMPXCHG16B) that VirtualBox doesn't offer "out-of-the-box". 

Fear not, for the VirtualBox team knew that this day would finally arrive and have prepared an "in case of emergency" switch as follows:

  1. Power off the vm;
  2. At the command line type: 
    VBoxManage setextradata [vmname] VBoxInternal/CPUM/CMPXCHG16B 1
  3. Start the VM and install Windows Server 2012 R2

This will be enabled by default in a future release, but geeks can't wait, hence this blog.

Enjoy!

-FB 

Comments:

VBoxManage setextradata "Win8.1" VBoxInternal/CPUM/CMPXCHG16B 1

That works for me. Thanks

Posted by Dominique Thao on July 20, 2013 at 01:40 PM BST #

Thanks a lot, worked a treat !

Posted by James on September 19, 2013 at 09:03 PM BST #

My vm is named Win81, but this command returns an error 'Could not find a registered machine named 'Win81'.

C:\Program Files\Oracle\VirtualBox>VBoxManage.exe setextradata Win81 VBoxInternal/CPUM/CPUM/CMPXCHG16B 1

Posted by Aditya on September 20, 2013 at 06:54 PM BST #

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