I take advantage of both VirtualBox and VirtualPC as core parts of my development environment. I keep several sets of Virtual Machines around on both platforms that I use for core development (writing code) and testing on different platforms.

Because of this, I’m constantly switching between the two, depending on which VM I need to use to try something. I’m finding myself using VirtualBox a lot lately because of the need to run a couple of VMs at the same time, which is something that it does quite a bit better than VirtualPC.

I don’t try to run both of them at the same time, nor do I need them to. I take advantage of hardware virtualization support in my desktop machine (which has an Intel Q6600 processor) in both platforms, which can speed things quite a bit.

The problem, however, is that both tools seem to pretty much assume that they are the only ones that will try to probe the processor virtualization support.

Occasionally, I’ll make a mistake and click on the wrong icon in the Quick Launch toolbar and end up starting the wrong application. Sometimes I end up starting VPC when I’m already working on VBox, and sometimes I’ll end up starting VBox when I’ve already got a VM in VPC open.

The end result is almost always the same: Windows crashing right away with a Blue Screen of Death (BSOD), usually with a fault in vmm.sys.

Again, I have no need to use both tools at the same time, but it sure would be nice if accidentally clicking the wrong icon didn’t force me to spend 10 minutes while my machine comes back up and I can setup my environment as it was before the crash, and probably lose some recent work, as well!


Tomas Restrepo

Software developer located in Colombia. Sr. PFE at Microsoft.