After reading various tips on how to increase performance with VirtualBox, I am attempting to switch from an IDE disk to SATA disk (in my particular case VirtualBox w/ an IDE disk is an order of magnitude slower than VMWare when compiling a small application with Visual Studio).

I had hoped that Windows 7 would handle this without issues, but instead it boots into the 'Startup Repair' screen and is unable to "solve" the problem. Changing the SATA port does not help - ports 0 to 4 boot into the repair screen, and anything above that fails hard.

Looking tips on converting without major OS surgery on the guest...

Edit - Clarifications suggested by hotei

Both the guest and host OS are Windows 7 x64, using a virtual disk. The host has 8GB of RAM, with 4GB allocated to the guest, and a i7-620 CPU (4 cores @ 2.67ghz). I have been using the 3.2 series of VirtualBox, currently working with 3.2.8.

In any case, I'm more curious about why Windows 7 is failing to switch from an IDE to SATA device than performance (switching to VMWare or VirtualPC alleviates the perf. issue).

  • You need to clarify the question somewhat. Please specify host and guest os and VBox version number. Also it's unclear if the IDE and SATA disks you refer to are physical or virtual disks. Performance issues like this are very hard to resolve even with specifics but this might give you a chance that people can suggest something that will help.
    – hotei
    Commented Sep 12, 2010 at 2:50

2 Answers 2


Add a new SATA controller to your guest VM. Boot up your guest VM again and make sure it sees the new drive/controller.

If the OS sees your new drive/controller then shutdown and switch your image over to the SATA controller.

  • Wish I still had the files to test this out. Hopefully this answer will prove useful to others : ) Commented May 1, 2012 at 23:20

It sounds like you switched your physical machine from IDE to SATA... Your question is very vague and unclear. I am also assuming that you imaged the IDE drive to SATA.

Unfortunately, this wont work by itself. Make sure you install the SATA drivers on the IDE machine before the image. If that doesnt work, I hear running Sysprep on the IDE machine before image helps, because it forces Windows to check for new hardware at boot.

  • This was a switch from a VM IDE drive to a VM SATA drive. At this point I no longer have the original image so I can't test the suggestion, but subsequent installs no longer exhibit this perf issue, so perhaps it was a bug with VirtualBox that has now been resolved. Commented Aug 22, 2011 at 16:27

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