[vbox-dev] Can vbox run host bios?

Huihong Luo huisinro at yahoo.com
Tue Dec 2 05:07:18 GMT 2008

I did some more experiments on bios, and found a big issue to activate OEM XPs, however it can be easily fixed bychanging the memory layout of the default bios. I wonder if you would consider it.
if the 64k bios can be loaded to e0000,  and leave f0000 to be used as DMI table (rather than the current f0000 for bios code, e0000 for DMI), then all OEM XPs can be activated easily, as most oem require a string above f0000 area.

--- On Sun, 11/30/08, Huihong Luo <huisinro at yahoo.com> wrote:

From: Huihong Luo <huisinro at yahoo.com>
Subject: Re: [vbox-dev] Can vbox run host bios?
To: "VirtualBox developer's list" <vbox-dev at virtualbox.org>
Date: Sunday, November 30, 2008, 1:24 PM

Hi Frank,
Thanks for the quick response. If vbox bios is uniquely hooked to vbox vmm, then it will have problems using host bios. I will try to experiment it a bit more.
I tried to modify the current bios, if inserted the following code to rombios.c: (OEM SLP strings)
.org 0xe076
.ascii "Dell System"
then after i move a Dell physical machine to a vbox vm, activation works very well, no need to reactivate it.
This is obviously a hack, if we can copy and paste host bios (dump out the 1MB host bios physical memory, and load into vbox physical ), then it would 
be a much better solution.

--- On Sun, 11/30/08, Frank Mehnert <Frank.Mehnert at Sun.COM> wrote:

From: Frank Mehnert <Frank.Mehnert at Sun.COM>
Subject: Re: [vbox-dev] Can vbox run host bios?
To: vbox-dev at virtualbox.org
Date: Sunday, November 30, 2008, 1:05 PM


next time please open a new thread when you start a new subject. Don't
press 'Reply' in you mailing application.

Regarding your question:

On Sunday 30 November 2008, Huihong Luo wrote:
> I was wondering if vbox can use host bios directly? rather than the vbox
> specific version. 
> Is there any reason why host bios wouldn't work? if it's fully
emulated, I
> guess it might work, right? 
> I am trying to migrate some physical machines to vbox vms, if host bios
> be used, vm will be auto activated from most oem-ed machines.

This is theoretically possible but not that the VBox BIOS contains some
hooks making it easier to communicate with the VM. And using the host's
BIOS would not make much sense since the VM has different devices: All
guest devices are virtual devices provided by the VMM to the guest and
they have not much in common with the real devices. As the BIOS is quite
device-specific, a special BIOS is required to operate properly on the
virtual VBox devices.

Kind regards,

Dr.-Ing. Frank Mehnert    Sun Microsystems    http://www.sun.com/
vbox-dev mailing list
vbox-dev at virtualbox.org
vbox-dev mailing list
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