[vbox-dev] [VBoxManage internalcommands createrawvmdk] doesn't handle -mbr option appropriately

Erik Leunissen e.leunissen at hccnet.nl
Tue Jan 14 19:17:32 UTC 2014


When instructing VBoxManage to boot into a specific partition, using the 
-mbr option with an appropriate mbr file, that appears not to work as 

My host is a linux system and the raw VM has Windows7. When launching 
the VM I get a black screen that displays the static text "GRUB _" in 
the upper left corner. This indicates that somehow GRUB is accessed 
where it ought be bypassed. Maybe the physical mbr is still used instead 
of the replacement mbr.

When manually overwriting the first 512 bytes of the resulting *-pt.vmdk 
file with the contents of the replacement mbr file, the vmdk file does 
do what's expected.

My system:

VirtualBox 4.3.6 r91406
Host: openSuSE Linux 13.1 (kernel 3.11.6-4-desktop) 64bit
Guest: Windows7 64bit

(Before using Virtualbox 4.3.6, I was using 4.2.18 on openSuSE 11.4, 
with which I didn't experience this problem.)

Note aside:
The observed behaviour occurred regardless whether GRUB2 or the legacy 
GRUB boot loader was used for the physical host machine. I write this 
because several discussion threads, that can be found on internet, 
mention the same symptom in the converse combination: launching a raw 
linux VM from a Windows host. In these discussion threads, GRUB2 is 
indicated as the culprit.

Best regards,

Erik Leunissen

More information about the vbox-dev mailing list