Quitting Parallels for VirtualBox

04 Nov 2009

I used to love parallels for running windows, now it seems slow and overpriced. I’d been using VirtualBox for linux instances and it’s great. I upgraded to snow leopard for $29 and Parallels 3 is unsupported – they wanted $50 to upgrade to Parallels 4. That’s not the kind of path I want to be on. I decided to convert my windows instance to VirtualBox.

Step 1: Convert Image

I followed these steps to use vmware to convert hdd into something usable by virtualbox

Step 2: Fail

I went to boot and it didn’t work. Hung loading drivers – boot to safe mode hung after agp440.sys, disable agp440.sys and it hangs on mup.sys.

Step 3: Disable Everything & Enable IO APIC

An important tenet to troubleshooting any problem you should be careful to change one thing at a time. I am not a careful troubleshooter – I like to take shortcuts first then careful later. In VirtualBox I disabled the following: Audio, Network, Ports (USB) and under “System” I checked the “Enable IO APIC”. I was then able to boot.

After installing Guest Add-Ons I started turning things back on one-at-a-time and now everything is back on and when I uncheck “Enable IO APIC” the VM doesn’t boot, so perhaps that was the problem the whole time but I can’t tell because I tried a shortcut.