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  1. #1
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    Problem installing VirtualBox

    I used to think that testing an image to ensure it would work when needed was just a matter of letting Macrium verify it after completion, booting the PC with the rescue disk and opening a few of the most important files to ensure they were OK, plus a picture or two and usually a few bars of a music track.

    However, this changed after reading Fred Langaís recent article saying that the real test is to actually restore the image. I already knew that, but the only time I tried it was some 17 months ago, when this PC was purchased. After installing the updates, my data and preferred programmes, an image was created and then restored. I felt quite pleased with myself for taking the risk, but there wasnít too much to go wrong at the stage.

    Following Fredís instructions as best I can, the whole process leads to a dead end. Itís all too difficult. I started by dividing the C drive to create 55 GB of unallocated space, but am unable to find a way to install Oracle VirtualBox anywhere other than the C drive. It might be possible to cut and paste it to the new space, but I remember my first PC, Win 95 with three 2 GB drives. As the first programme drive filled up I tried to move some to the third drive, but it didnít work, they had to be deleted from the first drive and reinstalled on the third.

    VirtualBox wants to be opened from E drive, which is the DVD writer/reader, whereas flash drives are easier to use.

    Fredís article was written to guide readers in how to set up win 8 preview in a VM, but I already have 8.1 - or is it necessary to reinstall win 8 inside the VM Ė which would be a nuisance as the reinstall disk that came with the PC is only win 8, so another big d/load.

    Although Wikipedia guided me in setting up the unallocated space as V (for Virtual) drive, I am still at a loss as to how to get it VirtualBox there.

    One last question. If I get the thing working and decide to try the win 10 preview, would it be necessary to reinstall Win 8.1 every four weeks to test the new image, then reinstall the w10 preview? Quite a task!

    George

  2. #2
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    Any of the virtual machines use space in your existing disks, not unused space. Restore C: to its former size and then install VirtualBox. When you create a new machine you will be asked where you want to store the virtual disk, let it use space on C: (or D: etc).

    Once the new machine has been created you can load any OS you want. The easiest way I've found is to mount an ISO image of the installation CD / DVD in the virtual machine. The virtual machine will boot from the ISO image and go through the install process. Any disk that you install the OS to will NOT be a disk on your machine, it will be the file where you created the virtual disk.

    cheers, Paul

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  4. #3
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    PaulT,
    Creating the new drive with Partition Wizard was quite easy, but reversing the process was another matter. Unable to find instructions on how to merge drives C and V, I decided to reduce the latter, then hopefully expand C to fill the reclaimed space. It didn’t help that one has to set a new size for V drive in bytes, which bear little relation to GB.

    It took almost an hour, much longer than creating the drive, and it was hair-raising to watch the percentage of data moved increasing all the time, when the now ‘unallocated space’ was supposedly empty. What was being moved? My thoughts were of having messed up again, with the contents of C being moved in the other direction, and the PC being trashed.

    In the end there appears to be little difference, except there is now 55gb of unallocated space, and C drive correspondingly smaller. The first screen shot is of the layout before making any changes, and the second shows how it is now.

    Later I found the instructions for merging two drives, along with a note that they are only for the Pro version, which I could buy, but am deterred by the comment that it’s intended for computer experts – which I will never be. If I have prolems with the free version, what would happen with Pro?

    From your second paragraph it seems that an OS has to be installed on VirtualBox, even though included Win 8.1. This being the case, how can I create an ISO from the installation disk, or better still an ISO for 8.1?

    PS Unable to enter screen shots.
    Last edited by georgelee; 2015-04-28 at 20:00. Reason: PS

  5. #4
    jwoods
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    Quote Originally Posted by georgelee View Post
    how can I create an ISO from the installation disk, or better still an ISO for 8.1?
    If you have a retail product key for Windows 8.1, you can create installation media following these instructions...

    http://windows.microsoft.com/en-us/w...-refresh-media
    Last edited by jwoods; 2015-04-28 at 20:06.

  6. #5
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    The recovery disk that came with the PC is Win 8 and has an OEM product key, but the system has been updated to 8.1. Have just tried the disk in the PC, after some time checking it suggested installing updates - which I declined – then asked what I wanted to save. At this point it seemed best to go back a couple of pages and then abort before everything was wiped out.

    It looks as though it will be necessary to download everything from scratch, which will be a real bind if it has to be done every time I wish to test a new image.

    So far the VirtualBox has not been fully installed, as I’m unsure whether to select:
    VDI VirtualBox disk image,
    VMDK Virtual machine disk or
    VHD Virtual hard drive,
    plus a few others that don’t appear relevant to my untutored mind.

    Any ideas?
    Last edited by georgelee; 2015-04-29 at 13:18. Reason: Typo

  7. #6
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    If you have split your disk into two or more partitions you need to delete the partition you don't want, then expand C into the unallocated space. Windows Disk Manager will expand C as long as the unallocated space is immediately after C.

    As you are testing your image recovery you need to boot the Virtual Machine from the recovery CD/DVD you created - do not convert it to ISO for the test. Then you choose recover and load the data into the disk you created in your Virtual Machine.

    cheers, Paul

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  9. #7
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    Paul T, thanks for that, but unfortunately the unallocated space is immediately before C drive rather than after. Having reached a dead end, I decided there was nothing to lose by reducing the unallocated space and seeing if C could be increased somewhat. After reducing to 8MB, the smallest Disk Manager would allow, it ended up with another partition, New Volume of 8MB, 46% in use – with what? – and the unallocated space 8MB smaller.

    After a couple of days considering how to proceed, I seem to have three options:
    1. Abandon the idea of VirtualBox and continue as at present, letting Macrium verify the images plus making a few random checks,

    2. Buy the Pro version of MiniTool Partition Wizard, which allows merging partitions, but am deterred by the statement it is intended for computer experts. If unable to use the free edition successfully, what sort of problems would I encounter with the Pro version?

    3. Accept the loss of 55GB and install VirtualBox in C drive, which currently has 342 GB free from the 394 GB total. This might well preclude my aim of trying out the WIN 10 Preview later.

    Of course, options 2 and 3 require a decision between VDI, VMDK and VHD, as discussed in #5. My research suggests VDI is for servers, but the other two appear to be suitable, but too technical for me to differeniate.

    Somewhat confused by the second paragraph of #6. As the Virtual Drive will be just a folder on C, is it possible to boot directly to it? Also, my ‘recovery CD/DVD’ is, in fact, the Macrium rescue flash drive, but I remember that when trying to install VB it wanted to boot from the DVD drive. Does this necessitate creating a rescue DVD for Macrium?

    Finally, as it seems necessary to install an OS in VirtualBox, using the Win8.0 reinstall disk from Dell would save a large download, but will that suffice, or do I need to then update to 8.1 in order to check images of a 8.1 system?

    Sorry for the number of questions, but this is proving far more complicated than I had imagined.
    George
    Last edited by georgelee; 2015-05-03 at 09:24. Reason: Place gap between 1, 2 and 3

  10. #8
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    If you delete the unwanted partition in front of C: you should be able to move C: to the front, then expand it to take up the rest. Why don't you post a Disk Manager screen shot - Start > Run, diskmgmt.msc

    VDI, VMDK and VHD mean the same thing, they just refer to different vendor formats. I'd go for VHD as that is the Microsoft format and lots of utilities work with that format.

    A virtual drive is actually a file(s), not a directory. When you create a VM you need a virtual hard disk. You create an empty disk of sufficient size to test your restore, then delete it to regain the space - if required. The VM boots from the CD in the CD drive and uses the empty virtual hard disk as the C: drive.

    cheers, Paul

  11. #9
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    Sorry, screen shot will not load here.

    Also, it is impossible to delete the unallocated space, or to convert it to VHD.
    Last edited by georgelee; 2015-05-03 at 18:26. Reason: changed hot to shot

  12. #10
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    Making a screen shot.
    1. Open Windows Snipping Tool.
    2. Take the pic.
    3. Save as PNG.
    4. In the Quick Reply window, click the 3rd last icon.
    5. Click Browse and select your PNG file.
    6. Click Upload File(s). It's not an obviously clickable place.

    cheers, Paul

  13. #11
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  14. #12
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    That was a long learning experience, even with the steps laid out for me. Everything was difficult, from finding the snipping tool – not to mention understanding it – clicking the 3rd last icon, when there were no icons, just a message which said message too short and posting as soon as i entered OK, until realising that you were referring to the icons under quick reply, something I had not noticed, as I always use ‘post quick reply’. Even the screen shot was hard to find, until I looked in Pictures.

    Must bookmark your instructions, next time I may remember what went wrong today.

  15. #13
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    1. Delete the 8MB "New Volume".
    2. Use MiniTool Partition Wizard to move C: backwards into the unallocated space.
    3. Use Windows Disk Manager to expand C:.
    Note, you may be able to perform steps 2 and 3 in MTPM.

    Don't forget to create an image backup first.

    cheers, Paul

  16. #14
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    Apologies for the delay in responding, but I’m quite busy at present.

    Feeling more confident after creating a new image, as suggested, I was able to delete the 8 MB “New Volume” via the delete button at the top of the screen. Previously afraid to try that, for fear of what else might be deleted, I had only tried right clicking, where there was no delete option.

    Unable to see how to fit C: into the 55 GB of unallocated space, I began shrinking it, hoping to get it small enough to delete, as with the 8MB, but as it shrank a corresponding amount opened after C. Then expanding C: was simple, resulting in 465gb C: and just a 3.55 GB remnant unallocated.

    So thanks to your patience with me the HD is now in much better shape.

    However, after opening VirtualBox and inserting the Win 8 install disk in the DVD drive, it looked to me as though it was going to wipe my HD and install 8.0 instead. I’ve decided to abandon it as beyond my capabilities.

    Thanks for all your assistance, which is much appreciated.

    George
    Last edited by georgelee; 2015-05-06 at 16:10.

  17. #15
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    George, when the Win 8 installer opens on your Desktop, close it.
    Now go to the virtual machine and tell it to boot from the DVD.

    Stick with it, you've come this far.

    cheers, Paul

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