Upgrading VirtualBox on Windows 7 Host with Ubuntu Guest
Long back I had brought home a zip file containing Ubuntu 12.04.3 virtual machine files and was able to run them by installing VirtualBox 4.2.x on my Windows 7 machine and double clicking the .vbox files after unzipping. Also, I had brought another similar archive containing Kali Linux.
However, there was a new version available - VirtualBox 4.3.4 - and I thought I will upgrade to the same. I thought it would be a piece of cake, but like so many technical tasks, it turned out to have intricacies of its own. I was having an older version of VirtualBox - 4.2.16, on my computer which I wanted to upgrade. Downloaded and installed the latest one 4.3.4 and tried that out. However, encountered multiple problems when I tried to use the .vbox files from the earlier installation. The first issue was VirtualBox telling me that AMD-V was not enabled on my computer. I knew this was not correct. Tried out a lot of things, first of which being installing extension pack. However, this did not help and the message kept on appearing.
Mouse Scroll, VirtualBox Extensions and dkms
Ultimately, I thought that perhaps my .vbox and .vdi will only work with the version they were created and accordingly, uninstalled the newer version, installed the latest release of the older version - 4.2.20. However, still goofed up when I did not install the guest additions properly. I realised this because my mouse scroll-wheel was not working. Before installing the guest additions, one should run the following comand which I had not done:
apt-get install dkms
Once I rectified my mistake by running the above command for installing 'dkms' which is required for proper installation of guest addition, my mouse scroll-wheel started working.
Another Virtual Machine
Another error I kept on getting was for duplicate registration of the VirtualBox extensions. After I had successfully run my first Ubuntu appliance from the earlier version, I was having trouble running Kali from the same installation. Ultimately, it turned out that the .vbox files are small editable text files. This gave me new hope. Went and peeped into the file and to my delight, there were lines which were quest similar to the error message I was getting. I decided to try out by first making a backup of the .vbox file before changing it. Of course, this was followed up with changing the values to point the location of the existing VirtualBox Extensions .iso. That did the trick and I was successful in running Kali Linux as well.
Back to the Latest Version
While running all these experiments, I came across some blog post which suggested simply creating a new virtual machine with the .vdi disk ignoring the existing .vbox altogether. I followed the same but still got the AMD-V disabled error. However, I tweaked the settings for the virtual machine by enabling PAE/NX in the 'System->Processor' Tab under 'Extended Features'. Presto! I restarted the machine and it started working.
Tried out the same with the Kali Linux .vdi and was able to run it as well.
Happiness all around :)
This unblocks a lot and am very happy. Hope to post more of my adventures here.