[Win] Oracle VirtualBox: Workaround For Initialization Issue

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VirtualBox is an open source virtualization software. Originally it has been developed by a german company named Innotek, which has been acquired by SUN Microsystems in 2008. SUN Microsystems in turn has been acquired by ORACLE in 2010.

Innotek originally collaborated with Connectix on Virtual PC – a virtualization software targeting the Mac OS platform. Connectix has been bought by Microsoft in 2003. Innotek then decided to develop VirtualBox.

Status Quo

VirtualBox is used by many companies for virtualization and thus developing. Palm for example uses VirtualBox for WebOS development in an emulated environment. Thus allowing either Linux, Mac OS or Windows host systems for development.


After configuring a dual core virtual machine and trying to start you may encounter a message box indicating:


This issue may occur no matter which host operating system you’re using. The reason for this might be:

  • you’re not using a CPU that supports hardware virtualization
  • your BIOS does not support hardware virtualization properly
  • hardware virtualization is disabled in your BIOS settings (check it!)
  • there is a bug in your current BIOS version regarding

Known Workarounds

  • Disable USB for the virtual machine
  • Reduce the amount of CPU cores to 1
  • upgrade your BIOS to the latest version (this might be dangerous)
  • Disable VT-X/AMD-V
  • Disable 3D acceleration
  • Shutdown your host machine, unplug (!) from electricity for say 30 secs, reboot then

As we’re currently using VirtualBox only on the Windows XP platform we categorized this article under Win, anyway it is very likely that the same issue also occurs under Linux or Mac OS, as VirtualBox on all platforms derives from the same source code.

Any suggestions, hints or things need to be added? Don’t hesitate to tell us below…

9 thoughts on “[Win] Oracle VirtualBox: Workaround For Initialization Issue

  1. Phlip

    u suck. I just got a Lenovo Y560 15.6″ notebook featuring Intel Core i7-720QM Processor with 4GB memory and 500GB hard drive

    specifically because it has 8 hardware threads! Now I can only use 1 of them

  2. Ean

    Disable VT-X/AMD-V sorted it for me! Thanks very much, I was about to send this F—ing lenovo and windows “ultimate” 7 back for a refund!

  3. Pingback: [Win] Oracle VirtualBox: Workaround For Initialization Issue Pt. II

  4. Sidharam

    Hi, I reduced the CPU cores from 4 to 1 and disableD VT-X/AMD without shutdown the host system, just stared my Win XP working but performace is very low…

  5. Suren

    I did the above steps now my VM is starting but it does not load windows… It keeps on restarting once the windows files are loaded…

  6. David Singleton

    I have just had the same error message just after I had upgraded the BIOS for my ASUS Z77 motherboard. I therefore checked the BIOS settings and found that the new BIOS had turned Intel Virtualisation off! I turned Intel Virtualisation on – and – low and behold – VirtualBox worked once more without problems.

  7. mtcommy

    Thanks for the post – the last workaround:
    “Shutdown your host machine, unplug (!) from electricity for say 30 secs, reboot then”
    worked for me (but why? ;)).
    My mainboard is ABIT IP35 (newest BIOS) and CPU is Intel Core 2 Quad Q9300.

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