Windows 8 Installation Fails in VirtualBox

We wanted to tinker with the Windows 8 Release Preview, so we tried to install it on our tinkering box.  Having two tinkering boxes, we started with the trashable tinkering box — a Dell Dimension from mid-2005.  Admittedly, we attempted this installation to see if “it will set the drive on fire.”  We tend to throw crazy things at this Dimension, but it keeps on tickin’! Its spec are:

  • Hardware:
    • Dell Dimension 4700
    • CPU: Pentium 4 @ 3.0 GHz
    • RAM: 4 GB (physical)
    • Disk: 1 TB; > 750 GB free space
  • Software:
    • Arch Linux; Kernel: 3.4.6-1-ARCH #1 SMP PREEMPT
    • VirtualBox 4.1.18_OSE r78361

We created a new VM and hooked it up to the 32-bit ISO for Window 8 Release Preview.  After starting the VM, VBox presents an error dialog stating:

VT-x/AMD-V hardware acceleration is not available on your system. Certain guests (e.g. OS/2 and QNX) require this feature and will fail to boot without it.

This dialog gives the user a choice of closing the VM or continuing.  It’s the tinker box, so we chose to continue!  Next the Windows logo appeared, so we got excited that this just might work.  But, after just a couple of minutes, the installer died and gave this message:

Your PC needs to restart.
Please hold down the power button.
Error Code: 0x0000005D

Well, that’s clearly a bad result.  We had no interest in even attempting to push past this kind of problem.  Installing Windows 8 on our tinkering server (Windows 2008 R2, Hyper-V).

After some discussion, we decided that this configuration probably should not work.  So, chalk this up to “Yep, we have demonstrated that what should not work actually does not work.”  Hopefully no one else will be tempted to try Win8 on this kind of config, but maybe this will save them some time if they do.

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