I'm trying to use my old Windows XP system on Ubuntu 15.10 Host. After having copied the hard drive to a vhd file, I'm trying to boot it:

1) in Normal mode: the windows XP login appears normally for a while, then: black screen.

But... I can still hear the "login" sound, the "new hardware detected" sound etc... When I shutdown, I hear again the "logout" sound. So it appears it's only a problem of black display, the system seems to run.

2) In safe mode, everything is working. with the display normal.

* Host: 

Ubuntu 15.04. 64bits. VirtualBox 5.0.0 with extensions pack

* Guest:

Windows XP 32bits.

  1. Display:

    • 64MB Video memory
    • Enabled 2D acceleration (I've tried to disable it)
  2. System:

    • Base memory: 1024MB (same as my old winxp sytem)
    • Enabled IO APIC (I've tried to disable it and it doesn't boot)
    • Processor: 2 Cores. Execution cap 100%. Enabled PAE/NX (I've tried to disable it too).
    • Acceleration: Enabled VT-x/AMD-V and Enabled Nested Paging (I've tried to disable it too).
  • I haven't done it before but I think the issue is within the realm of preparing the vhd correctly. I hope somebody can answer, and if they don't then do keep us up to date re what works
    – barlop
    Jul 21, 2015 at 6:50
  • have you installed the Guest Additions inside the guest? - i'm not sure but maybe it helps... Jul 21, 2015 at 8:39
  • @DJCrashdummy That was it! I was following a tutorial from LinuxVoice magazine ( linuxvoice.com/issues/004/lv4-virtualbox.pdf ) and it wasn't noted to install that (but the tutorial is a bit old maybe). Everything's working now. Put it as an answer and I will validate your solution.
    – ThePhi
    Jul 21, 2015 at 10:15

1 Answer 1


since the Guest Additions are known for "better performance and usability" i advise you to start your machine in the safe mode and install it inside the guest.
VirtualBox Guest Additions

according to the manual the Guest Additions offer:

  • Mouse pointer integration
  • Shared folders
  • Better video support
  • Seamless windows
  • Generic host/guest communication channels
  • Time synchronization
  • Shared clipboard
  • Automated logons (credentials passing)
  • NOTE: don't forget to upgrade the Guest Additions as well after upgrading VirtualBox. Jul 21, 2015 at 10:50
  • 1
    Thanks for for all the doc and image! By the way, installing by "devices>Install Guest Additions..." didn't work for me and I simply run the virtual CD from inside windows XP
    – ThePhi
    Jul 21, 2015 at 11:06
  • well... that's the way it works! - this menu-entry mounts an iso into your virtual drive. if you have deactivated the autorun in your guest, you have to start the installer/autorun yourself. Jul 21, 2015 at 11:17

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