[vbox-dev] Hardware Assisted Virtualization Requirement for Windows 8/8.1

Arend Dittmer arend at mypocketxp.com
Thu Oct 24 18:47:39 UTC 2013

Hi All,

I tried to install 32-bit Windows 8.1 on my laptop running VirtualBox
4.3.0. The installation aborted early on with the message:

Your PC needs to restart. Please hold down the power button.
Error code: 0x0000000A

According to https://forums.virtualbox.org/viewtopic.php?f=7&t=56465 this
message indicates that hardware assisted virtualization needs to be enabled
to run Windows 8 (32-bit and 64-bit)  in VirtualBox. My system does not
support HAV so it all makes sense.

Having said this ... Is there a possibility that VirtualBox will be
enhanced to support the execution of at least 32-bit versions of Windows
8/8.1 on systems without hardware virtualization support?

1.  While all current AMD processors support AMD-V there is a number of
current (and older) Intel processors that don't. Right now Intel's Pentium
Processors B940, B950, 957, 967, B970, 977, 987, B980 do not support VT-X.
A quick google search showed that these processors are used in a variety of
laptops from mainstream vendors like Acer, ASUS, Toshiba, Sony.

2. Even if the processor supports HAV the system's BIOS has to support this
feature as well. I assume that most BIOS' do but I am not 100% sure.

3. Even though I lack the detailed knowledge about runtime code patching I
think the problem can be solved in software. With VMware Player 6 Windows
8.1 32-bit installs just fine on my system that lacks HAV support (Using
Player though is not an option).

I have to admit that I am particuarly interested in this feature as I am
working on a VirtualBox based 'consumer friendly' product that 'just works'
on a broad range of hardware platforms. IMHO though one of the most
interesting features of VirtualBox is the support for a wide variety of
host platforms and the HAV requirement for 8/8.1runs counter to the
VirtualBox philosophy.

What are your thoughts?

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