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Awful Windows XP performance in VirtualBox 3.1.8
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Shining Arcanine
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PostPosted: Tue May 11, 2010 1:46 am    Post subject: Awful Windows XP performance in VirtualBox 3.1.8 Reply with quote

After a horrible experience with VirtualBox 3.1.2 (both open source edition and binary edition), I decided to give VirtualBox another try on my laptop and I installed VirtualBox 3.1.8 binary edition on my system and then proceeded to install Gentoo. I tried using a SATA virtual hard disk, but I could not get Windows setup to recognize it, so I went with an IDE based hard disk. I enabled I/O APIC, 2 processors, 256MB of RAM, 2D and 3D graphics acceleration and 128MB of graphics ram to match my vmware virtual machine. I also switched the system over to the virtualized nic and partitioned the virtual drive via System Rescue CD so that it would be aligned properly for my SSD. I then installed Windows and it took roughly 8 hours to finish (it should take less than 30 minutes if I installed it natively as the host). Performance in windows is awful, much like it was with version 3.1.2.

The host is at 30% to 40% CPU utilization (on a dual-core processor) in ksysguard when the virtual machine is at idle. Inside of Windows, when I run task manager, it idles between 37% and 43% CPU utilization according to itself. I installed virtualbox's guest additions in safe mode and they did not make any difference. I googled regarding the issue and there appear to be an old unresolved ticket open at sun's website:

http://www.virtualbox.org/ticket/1884

Has anyone else experienced these issues or is it just me? Also, for the people not having issues, exactly how are your virtual machines configured? Also, as strange as it sounds, I have no sound because from what I could find via Google, KDE is hogging the raw interface to my audio device. How can I fix this and could it be related to this issue?
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Master of the Darkside
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PostPosted: Tue May 11, 2010 9:29 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

I have also had performance problems with windows xp under virtualbox 3.1.6. I am updating now to 3.1.8, but initially I thought (after reading several tickets on sun's website) that it may be related to kernel timer stuff and the fact that I was using zen-sources. After coming back to gentoo-sources I noticed a slight decrease in cpu usage but still some 10-20% cpu usage on my core 2 duo laptop.
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devsk
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PostPosted: Fri May 14, 2010 10:04 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Few things that drive Windows XP performance under VB:

1. Try disabling VT-x/AMD-V in the settings. That thing never works with a Windows guest for me.
2. Try just one virtual processor and at least 512MB of RAM.
3. Disable IO APIC.
4. Enable the single processor ACPI HAL in windows. Without having my setup in front of me, I am going with pseudo-instructions here: Computer Mgmt => Hardware/Device Drivers => Processor => Right click to update the driver => Choose manual option => Don't Search, choose manually (you should see a window with "Have a disk..." and bunch of HAL drivers) => Select Standard ACPI PC HAL.
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Shining Arcanine
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PostPosted: Fri May 14, 2010 10:23 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

devsk wrote:
Few things that drive Windows XP performance under VB:

1. Try disabling VT-x/AMD-V in the settings. That thing never works with a Windows guest for me.
2. Try just one virtual processor and at least 512MB of RAM.
3. Disable IO APIC.
4. Enable the single processor ACPI HAL in windows. Without having my setup in front of me, I am going with pseudo-instructions here: Computer Mgmt => Hardware/Device Drivers => Processor => Right click to update the driver => Choose manual option => Don't Search, choose manually (you should see a window with "Have a disk..." and bunch of HAL drivers) => Select Standard ACPI PC HAL.


I can run Windows XP under VMWare Player with multi-processor support and IO-APIC (there is no way to disable it) without issues. I do not understand why this seems to be the only way to handle this issue under VirtualBox.

Anyway, from everything I have read, it seems to me that having a single processor configuration without IO-APIC is the only way to resolve this. I wonder what VMWare's people did that Sun's people have not figured out how to do.
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drescherjm
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PostPosted: Sat May 15, 2010 2:29 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

Quote:
I then installed Windows and it took roughly 8 hours to finish

This took me less than 30 minutes the last time I tried that.

Quote:
Try just one virtual processor and at least 512MB of RAM.


Yes. 256MB is way too small. I use 1 to 3GB.

Quote:
I wonder what VMWare's people did that Sun's people have not figured out how to do.

I am not having serious performance problems with VB and SMP (well its not like its way slower than kvm) but I am having stability issues with every single SMP enabled virtual box and my two home machines a core2 quad and an i7 920. The stability issues range from guest OS lockups to single application misbehavior. In 3.1.8 programs return an error that says ReadProcessMemory failed .. and then they terminate. I got fed up with that converted mt .vdis to raw and mounted them with kvm and 4 guest cores and all is well. Well at least since the conversion this week after getting frustrated with 3.1.8 on the day of its release.
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Shining Arcanine
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PostPosted: Fri May 21, 2010 1:41 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

I found a bug report regarding this in VirtualBox's bug tracker:

http://www.virtualbox.org/ticket/4392

I am posting feedback there.
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