Monday Mar 29, 2010

TurboTax on VirtualBox problem solved

Murphy's Law punishes the procrastinator. TurboTax 2009 wouldn't install (on Windows XP on VirtualBox 3.0.6 on Ubuntu 8.04). There was no error message; the installer just silently quit. TurboTax 2008 installs fine, and TurboTax 2009 also fails on a different, fresh XP virtual machine. So I think something changed in TurboTax, not in my Windows installation.

Intuit support was little help, but did tell me how to create and access a verbose installer log file. That pointed me to a .NET error: "Handle does not support synchronous operations." Searching for that message I found a lot of people were getting the error with various programs including TurboTax, and with various versions of Windows running natively, as well as on VirtualBox. I did a repair installation of .NET with the Windows installer, to no avail.

Finally I tried what seemed a long shot to me: I updated VirtualBox to the latest version 3.1.6. Problem solved! The installer ran to completion, updated the program from the net, and I proceded to begin my tax return without incident.

I don't see in the change log what might have fixed the problem, but I'm grateful to the VirtualBox team! 
About

I am a software engineer in San Diego, president of the Standard Performance Evaluation Corporation (spec.org), formerly a mathematician and a violist.

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