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Windows 7: Guest OS (XP) won't boot as Virtual System

11 Mar 2010   #1

windows 7
Guest OS (XP) won't boot as Virtual System

I'm a virtual newbie and run a small non-profit organization. We have made a VHD of our old computer drive with Windows XP Pro and moved it to our new computer running Windows 7. I've installed VirtualBox 3.1.4 and it appears to have installed correctly. I open VB and hit "start" but all I get is a black screen in the middle of my monitor. No boot activity and nothing appears on the screen. I'm hoping that there's just something simple we're doing wrong. The program is pointing towards the VHD file.

We would greatly appreciate any ideas about how to get the virtual system up and running.


Here is the config info:

OS Type:
Windows XP

Base Memory:
767 MB
Boot Order:
Hard Disk

Nested Paging:
Video Memory:
16 MB
3D Acceleration:
2D Video Acceleration:
Remote Display Server:

IDE Controller
IDE Primary Master:

RYOKAN.VHD (Normal, 111.79 GB)
IDE Secondary Master (CD/DVD):

VBoxGuestAdditions.iso (28.39 MB)
Floppy Controller
Floppy Device 0:

Host Driver:
Windows DirectSound

NetworkAdapter 1:
PCnet-FAST III (Host-only adapter, 'VirtualBox Host-Only Ethernet Adapter')

Serial Ports

Device Filters:
0 (0 active)

Shared Folders

My System SpecsSystem Spec
11 Mar 2010   #2

Microsoft Community Contributor Award Recipient


Hello Todoinst, welcome to the Seven Forums.

Which virtualization software you used to make the vhd? Did you go through the whole process to create a new virtual machine choosing the option Use existing hard disk?


Attached Images
Guest OS (XP) won't boot as Virtual System-vbox_use_existing.png 
My System SpecsSystem Spec
12 Mar 2010   #3

windows 7

Hi Kari,

Thanks for responding. We used a utility called Disk2vhd to make a vhd file from our old hard drive. That drive included our XP OS and also data files. Then we copied this file from the old computer to the hard drive on the new Win 7 computer. One thing I should mention, maybe relevant, is that the old hard drive was IDE type, and the new drive is SATA type. Then we used the wizard, as in your graphic above, to point VirtualBox towards the vhd file.

What do you think?
My System SpecsSystem Spec

12 Mar 2010   #4

Microsoft Community Contributor Award Recipient


You mean the host HD is SATA but the vhd is IDE? If so, that's not an issue. To be able to mount an existing vhd, it has to be IDE.

How big is your vhd? If it's under 127 gigs, it could also be mounted to Microsoft's Virtual PC to test it's working. A couple of weeks ago we had an almost similar case, only difference being that although he wanted to mount the vhd to VPC, it was too big but he managed to mount it to VirtualBox. You can read the thread here, if you are interested.

I've not had any problems to mount my XP and Vista images, using both VPC and VBox. It is quite straight forward procedure if the image or vhd is OK. I really do not know where to start looking.

One thing to do would be to create another virtual machine and install an OS to that, then mount your XP vhd as a second hard drive, boot the new virtual machine and then check if it can read the second HD.

I'll be back if I find something. Not much help this time, I'm sorry for that.

My System SpecsSystem Spec
30 Oct 2010   #5

XP Pro; Vista Business
Virtual image can be mounted directly in Win7

I know this is an old thread, but just wanted to add the following info.

ToDoInst said their host OS is Windows 7.
There is no need to create another Virtual PC environment just so the converted virtual disk can be mounted to check its validity.
It can be mounted directly in Win7.

They can just go to Disk Management and directly mount the vhd image there, and then browse the disk using Windows Explorer.

To get to Disk Manager:
Start Menu -> All Programs -> Administrative Tools -> Computer Management -> Disk Management
(FYI: I have Computer Management pinned to the Start Menu.)

Right click on Disk Management and select Attach VHD.
(If it is grayed out, click somewhere in the window & try again.)
Then browse to your VHD to mount it.

hope this helps future visitors to this page.
My System SpecsSystem Spec
30 Oct 2010   #6

Linux CENTOS 7 / various Windows OS'es and servers

Hi there
Provided you have vhd images of a "discrete" XP system either a REAL XP image or a Virtual image created as a separate Virtual Machine you should find you can use these images using Virtual Box / vmware or even Virtual PC as others have posted.
In the case of a Real XP image you'll need to to a P2V conversion (Physical to Virtual). You can do this either via creating an Acronis image of the XP system and then restoring it to a "virgin" virtual machine using the "universal restore feature -- boot the Acronis restore program up in the Virtual Machine and restore, or use utilities available on the vmware site.

If however you are trying to create a separate bootable guest OS from an "XP" mode virtual disk integrated into W7 I believe its a bit more complicated if it can even be done at all.

Running an acronis backup and running with the universal restore feature might work for an "XP MODE" vhd but you would certainly get asked for a product key after install --assuming it would even boot as a separate Guest OS. What the product key would be in this case I've no idea.

Hi Kari -- welcome back -- you've been HUGELY missed.

My System SpecsSystem Spec

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