How to enable logging for the .MSI host installer of VirtualBox

There are two logs which are needed for an in-depth analysis: The installer log and the driver installation log of Windows itself. Please provide both logs when asked for them.

Cleaning Up

If you are experiencing installation problems on Windows hosts you might want to run the Microsoft Program Install and Uninstall troubleshooter. It's available for free here: It does not uninstall VirtualBox itself but provides a way to clean the registry from leftover data of former installation procedures.

Installer Log

Automatic activation

To enable logging while installing VirtualBox for Windows, start the installer executable (e.g. "VirtualBox-6.1.34-150636-Win.exe") with the additional parameter "-l". To do that, open a command line window, navigate to the directory which contains the installer executable and run

VirtualBox-<your-version>-Win.exe -vvv -l 

Note: Please make sure you substituted <your-version> with the right version string of your installer executable.

Newer VirtualBox releases also support specifying the log file path with the argument "--msi-log-file <path/to/file>", e.g.

VirtualBox-<your-version>-Win.exe -vvv -l --msi-log-file "c:\temp\installer.log"

Manual activation

To manually enable logging in a persistent manner, do the following:

  1. Click on Start -> Run ...
  2. Type in regedit.exe and press Enter
  3. Navigate to the key HKEY_LOCAL_MACHINE\Software\Policies\Microsoft\Windows\Installer (left pane). If the key itself doesn't exist, just create it.
  4. In the right pane, right click and choose New -> String value
  5. Name the value Logging
  6. Double click on the new created Logging value and set the value to voicewarmupx
  7. Close regedit.exe

How to retrieve the log files

Depending on how you activated the logging (automatically or manually, see above), the installer's log file will be put on different locations, namely:

  • In the directory + file you specified explicitly (in the above example this would be c:\temp\installer.log)
  • In your temporary directory:%TEMP%\VirtualBox\VBoxInstallLog.txt
  • In one of the locations the Windows Installer service puts installation logs, but most like in C:\Users\<your-username>\AppData\Local\Temp. Note that this folder might be hidden by default on most systems.

Driver Installation Log

Enable logging in the registry: In key


set/create a value called LogLevel of the type DWORD and set it to the hexadecimal value 4800FFFF . This will enable the verbose driver logging.

Either in C:\Windows or in C:\Windows\Inf you'll then find some logs called

  • setupapi.log

To be sure that only the needed information for VirtualBox will be in these files, please delete (or rename) them before starting the VirtualBox installation.

After you ran the VirtualBox installer please attach these logs in a compressed format (e.g. ZIP/RAR/...) to your bug report.

Last modified 2 years ago Last modified on May 20, 2022 8:21:00 AM
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