Let's not throw ElectroMark off the bus quite yet.
I have a Win8 host with an XP guest. Everything was working two days ago just fine. The guest could see my USB devices, I could map COM1 on my guest to COM4 on my host, and I could print from my guest machine.
That all changed when I attempted to:
- Investigate why the Oracle VM VirtualBox Manager (2) (as shown in the host's Task Manager) was consuming 75% of the CPU at all times;
- Troubleshoot why a daily production data upload to a remote appliance via a USB Modem attached to a host USB port was taking 23% longer than it did when the entire process was working on a much slower stand-alone PC running XP (this is an hour long upload...23% is a lot of time); and,
- Use the task scheduler on the host to automatically invoke VM VirtualBox and an instance of the XP VM whenever the host machine was rebooted.
Since fiddling around with the three items above, I can no longer map COM1 to COM4 using the serial configuration setup without getting the following error:
Failed to open a session for the virtual machine Win XP.
NamedPipe#0 failed to create named pipe COM4 (VERR_INVALID_NAME).
My guest machine cannot see the printer, and it cannot connect to the USB Modem.
I suspect that all three things may have a common root cause. However, my primary focus is the need to restore connectivity to the USB Modem. The daily upload is critical.
I have read all the VBox documentation I can get my hands on. I have read forums on the printer issue, the Serial Port issue, and the USB issue until I am beginning to mix them up. I have now invested over 30 hours in testing conflicting theories, statements, configurations, and networking, serial, and USB configurations. I still cannot get back to where things worked two days ago.
In my attempts to restore the COM port connectivity, I gave up at trying to map COM1 to COM3 at one point and attempted, instead, to try and connect to the modem directly via the virtual USB port. That is when I discovered problems with this method as well. In the original configuration (> two days ago) I only had the "Enable USB Controller" checked. I used no filters. I had not checked whether the USB modem showed up in the hardware device list within Control Panel or not (I had no need, since the COM port mapping was working just fine), so I have no real baseline regarding the USB issue. In my testing to try to restore functionality, I have added a USB device filter and the device list shows the USB modem connected to the host just like ElectroMark said. However, my result is the same as his; once the guest is running, I can't find the modem anywhere from within the guest OS.
Things that I did that may have had an impact:
- I attempted to Invoke the Guest XP VM at Host startup via Task Scheduler with the following command:
"C:\Program Files\Oracle\VirtualBox\VBoxManage.exe" startvm "WIN XP"
However, I screwed up a couple of times when I didn't remember the correct syntax. Accordingly, I had invoked the commands:
"C:\Program Files\Oracle\VirtualBox\VBoxManage.exe" vmstart "WIN XP"
"C:\Program Files\Oracle\VirtualBox\VBoxManage.exe" /vmstart "WIN XP"
"C:\Program Files\Oracle\VirtualBox\VBoxManage.exe" /startvm "WIN XP"
and possibly others before I realized my mistakes and gave up altogether for the time being.
- I turned off McAfee's firewall and antivirus services on the Host; this did not help. I have restored the two functions.
Things that I have done to troubleshoot (including all of testing discussed above):
- I have reinstalled the USB modem drivers on both the host OS and the guest OS; this did not help.
- I have moved the USB modem to a different USB port
- I have renamed the USB modem port to COM3
- I have tried every configuration of networking and Serial Port mapping I can think of.
- I upgraded VM VirtualBox from version 4.2.6 to version 4.2.12 r84980
Things that happened along the way that may have had an impact:
- While troubleshooting, the automated Dell update process kicked off, popped a bunch of windows on the screen, then, eventually said successful update. This was after I had problems with the modem connection, however.
The bottom line is that everything worked just fine two days ago, I am now experiencing the same things as ElectroMark, I am having the same luck in resolving the problem as ElectroMark, and I am sure there is a solution.
Could it be something in the Host's registry?
Could it be a firewall issue?
Could it be something wrong with DHCP? (I'm a bit out of my element here.)
I would rebuild the entire VM world from scratch except that it takes about 10 hours per day for a week to get everything loaded so the production application runs correctly. I just finished putting it all together about two weeks ago and had not yet backed it all up before this problem. (Now you can rag on me!)
Any new ideas or direction would help.
P.S. By the way, the Oracle VM VirutalBox Manager (2) App in the Host's Task Manager now shows as 15% CPU utilization. I have no idea what caused this change. It had been running 75% and higher constantly for weeks.