Monday, November 08, 2010

Starting a vm in VirtualBox hangs

When trying to start a new vm in Oracle VM VirtualBox 3.2.10 it hot hung at progress 0%. There is no way to cancel the startup without killing the process from the host OS.

The first thing to look at is the VBox.log file which resides under C:\Documents and Settings\\.VirtualBox\Machines\OELTest\Logs in Windows XP. Or you can access the log using the menu like below.

I had these lines at the bottom of the log file.

00:00:04.228 AIOMgr: Endpoint for file 'E:\vm\OELTest\OELTest_boot.vdi' (flags 000c0723) created successfully
00:00:04.228 AIOMgr: I/O manager 0x3f3f898 encountered a critical error (rc=VERR_INVALID_PARAMETER) during operation. Falling back to failsafe mode. Expect reduced performance
00:00:04.228 AIOMgr: Error happened in D:\tinderbox\win-3.2\src\VBox\VMM\PDMAsyncCompletionFileNormal.cpp:(1631){pdmacFileAioMgrNormal}
00:00:04.228 AIOMgr: Please contact the product vendor

This seems like the problem is related to the virtual disk I created as the root disk. I am using the SATA interface and in the virtual machine storage settings there is an option named "Use host I/O cache" which is unchecked in my case. Checking it and starting up the vm again resolves the issue.

There are lots of Google results when you search for messages in the log file but the issue has been explained in