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upgrading from 8 to 8.1 inside VirtualBox

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  1. #1



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    upgrading from 8 to 8.1 inside VirtualBox


    I'd like to upgrade from Windows 8 to Windows 8.1 Pro. This will be run as a guest on VirtualBox 4.3.2 (the newest as of November 2013) on Ubuntu 12.04 (April 2012) with weekly updates.

    In Windows Store, an attempt to upgrade fails because, it indicates that Windows 8.1 is "not supported by your CPU". This is a doubtful explanation because it runs Windows 8 fine. The CPU is an Intel i7 - 2670 QM that was released in Q4 2011 in a unit that retailed in June 2012. VirtualBox has WDDM and 3D acceleration since at least VirtualBox 4.1 which was released more than a year ago. I run with VirtualBox's display 2D acceleration ON, and previously with 3D acceleration OFF because I've had problems. However, 3D acceleration is presently ON. Regardless, Windows 8.1 will not install either way.

    This is what Microsoft indicates under "more information" about Win 8.1.


    • Processor: 1 gigahertz (GHz) or faster with support for PAE, NX, and SSE2 (more info)
    • RAM: 1 gigabyte (GB) (32-bit) or 2 GB (64-bit)
    • Hard disk space: 16 GB (32-bit) or 20 GB (64-bit)
    • Graphics card: Microsoft DirectX 9 graphics device with WDDM driver


    I note that Windows 8 also requires PAE, NX, and SSE2 so that should not be the problem. I have allocated 4 GB RAM and about 500 GB disk, which are both more than adequate.

    Edit: I use a 64 bit machine with 64 bit Linux and 64 bit Windows.
    Edit: Although I tried to install Windows 8.1 with 3D acceleration ON, I generally keep it OFF because it can result in a crash of my .NET application that uses a XAML window. It's not a bug that I care enough about to fix.

    How do I fix this Windows 8.1 installation problem?
    Last edited by broiyan; 27 Nov 2013 at 02:40 AM. Reason: add info


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  2. #2
    Mr Sardonicus's Avatar

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    Windows 8.1 Pro


    If you have a UEFI compatible system, make sure it's enabled.
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  3. #3



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    I have switched UEFI on and retested. The same problem occurs.
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  4. #4



    Member

    Join Date : Oct 2013
    Hasselt, Belgium
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    Windows 8.1 Pro 32/64
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    You have to change something in VirtualBox settings as well.

    Go to the Settings of the VB and then System and Processor. Make sure you have Enabled PAE/NX. Windows 8.1 needs this.

    I couldn't update from the store, because it didn't show up for me, but I could upgrade to the 64-bit version of Windows 8.1 with an ISO file.
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  5. #5



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    That's a good tip. I went and enabled PAE/NX in VirtualBox and rebooted Windows 8. Windows Store still does not allow upgrading to 8.1. The same error about the CPU is displayed.

    I then re-installed Guest Additions just to do something at random or out of desperation and rebooted.

    Still Windows 8.1 will not install due to the alleged CPU incompatibility.
    Last edited by broiyan; 26 Nov 2013 at 07:01 AM.
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  6. #6
    strollin's Avatar

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    Win 7 Ultimate (64-bit) on desktop, Win 8.1.1 (64-bit) on laptop, Win 8.1.1 (64-bit) on tablet
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    I have VirtualBox VMs that have been upgraded to 8.1 from 8 without issue. I used only the default/recommended settings for the processor that VirtualBox set when I first installed Win 8. On mine, PAE/NX is NOT checked and only 1 cpu is allocated so I don't think that is your issue.

    I don't have one running with an i7-2670 QM cpu but do have one running on an i7-3630QM cpu which I would assume to be close enough to eliminate that as your issue. It doubt this is your problem but check out this article: New Windows 8.1 requirements strand some users on Windows 8 | PCWorld
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  7. #7
    Hopachi's Avatar

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    UEFI on or off wouldn't do a thing here: we're talking about VM's so host UEFI is irrelevant. Guest UEFI doesn't work for Windows guests on VirtualBox yet but it's also not an item of top importance.

    Using one CPU is the most stable scenario, I agree with strollin. There may still be crashes, Vbox 4.3 isn't polished enough imo, I've encountered some weird hangs that I didn't see in 4.2... Give 4.3 time since the VT-x engine is enhanced and still in development (expect stability improvements in the upcoming updates) there.

    For the moment, VirtualBox and Windows 8.1 don't always go smooth with each other. To start, disable graphic acceleration on the guest. If you get too many issues consider trying Vmware Player for VM's, which also works well on Ubuntu. This is better for the users who don't know where to fiddle around in the VM settings since VMware Player takes care of the most needed settings so any user can simply concentrate on using the OS.
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  8. #8
    Hopachi's Avatar

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    You can copy or clone entire VM's to use from VirtualBox in VMware Player and the other way around. Duplicating or moving an existing virtual disk is way faster than reinstalling OS from scratch. Just try to mimic the same VM settings on the new (copy) VM and the old disk will run there nicely: all new drivers will be installed the first time you boot.
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  9. #9



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    Quote Originally Posted by strollin View Post
    It doubt this is your problem but check out this article: New Windows 8.1 requirements strand some users on Windows 8 | PCWorld
    That was my first thought.

    Quote Originally Posted by broiyan View Post
    • Processor: 1 gigahertz (GHz) or faster with support for PAE, NX, and SSE2 (more info)
    • RAM: 1 gigabyte (GB) (32-bit) or 2 GB (64-bit)
    • Hard disk space: 16 GB (32-bit) or 20 GB (64-bit)
    • Graphics card: Microsoft DirectX 9 graphics device with WDDM driver
    The problem described in the article is listed in Microsoft's system requirements for windows 8.1 which includes this new requirement, for 64-bit only, which wasn't there for Windows 8.0:
    • To install a 64-bit OS on a 64-bit PC, your processor needs to support CMPXCHG16b, PrefetchW, and LAHF/SAHF
    Quote Originally Posted by strollin View Post
    I have VirtualBox VMs that have been upgraded to 8.1 from 8 without issue.
    64-bit or 32-bit? If it's 32-bit, the change in requirements seemingly wouldn't be a problem.
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  10. #10



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    8.1


    I use a 64 bit machine with 64 bit Ubuntu and 64 bit Windows 8. (This will be edited into the original post.)
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