Q&A HELP! VirtualBox runs slow

SumTingWong

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Apr 2, 2018
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Hello,

Windows 10 V21H1.iso
Guess addition installed
Virtualbox 6.1.26 r145957

My Virtualbox vm runs hella slow on SSD like changing settings and the settings tab won't change until I minimized then open it up. For example, open up settings then go to Update & Security tab will get stuck in the open tab until I minimized the tab then open it up then I will see the security and update tab. It so weird as heck. idk what to do to solve my problem.

System specs: Ryzen 7 3700x, 32GB DDR4 @ 3200mhz, AMD RX 590 8GB. 256GB SSD use for virtualbox. Virtualization is enable in the BIOS.

Virtualbox settings as follow

--General tab--
Name: xxxx
Type: Microsoft Windows
Version: Windows 10 64 bit
Shared clipboard: bidirectional
drag n drop: bidirectional

--System tab--
Based memory: 8048MB
Processor: 4
Execution cap: 90%
Extended features for "Enable PAE/NX" and "Enable Nested VT-x/AMD-v": uncheck
Paravirtualization interface: default
Hardware virtualization: check enable nested paging

--Display--
Video memory: 256MB
Monitor count: 1
Graphics controller: vboxSVGA
Enable 3d accleration

--Storage--
Check my ssd as "Solid State Drive"

Everything else below storage tab leave default.
 
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SumTingWong

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Apr 2, 2018
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Do online search or go to Virtualbox forum. Virtualbox has many reported issues with AMD processors.
I found out install guess addition cause my virtual machine to experience lag like switching and changing settings tab on Windows settings. I have to minimize then reopen it again
 
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shmu26

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First of all, decrease the number of processors to 2. More processors means more overhead and that causes lag.

Second of all, I don't think you told us what the host OS is?
In my experience, Windows 10 host + Windows 10 guest is always slow.
Linux host runs Win10 guest much faster.

Third of all, I don't think you told us where the VM is stored -- the same partition as the host, the same disk, a different disk?

If you have a linux host and the guest is on a NTFS partition, that can cause slowness. Also, if the disk with the guest on it has a slow connection, such as a USB device, that is surely going to effect speed. If it is a network connection, I haven't tried it personally, but I heard from IT workers that it causes lag.

Fourth of all, try disabling "Enable 3d accleration".

If all else fails, try VMware Workstation Player. It works better out of the box and is much more user-friendly.
 
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SumTingWong

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Apr 2, 2018
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First of all, decrease the number of processors to 2. More processors means more overhead and that causes lag.

Second of all, I don't think you told us what the host OS is?
In my experience, Windows 10 host + Windows 10 guest is always slow.
Linux host runs Win10 guest much faster.

Third of all, I don't think you told us where the VM is stored -- the same partition as the host, the same disk, a different disk?

If you have a linux host and the guest is on a NTFS partition, that can cause slowness. Also, if the disk with the guest on it has a slow connection, such as a USB device, that is surely going to effect speed. If it is a network connection, I haven't tried it personally, but I heard from IT workers that it causes lag.

Fourth of all, try disabling "Enable 3d accleration".

If all else fails, try VMware Workstation Player. It works better out of the box and is much more user-friendly.
Tried 2 processors, and still experience the same thing.
Windows 10 home host
VM is stored on secondary ssd. I also tested on my primary ssd as well and still experience the same thing.
VMware Workstation Player is free?

The problem is when I try to navigate "Settings", the windows tab will froze, stuck in preview, stuck, unstable, and crash. It will not change to whatever I click like "Update & Security" until I minimized "Settings" then open "Settings" again.
 
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SumTingWong

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Apr 2, 2018
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I would make a report to Virtualbox forum or bug tracker.

Also try installing (it is a long-shot, but it might fix your issue):

VirtualBox 6.1.26 Oracle VM VirtualBox Extension Pack​

Support for USB 2.0 and USB 3.0 devices, VirtualBox RDP, disk encryption, NVMe and PXE boot for Intel cards. See this chapter from the User Manual for an introduction to this Extension Pack. The Extension Pack binaries are released under the VirtualBox Personal Use and Evaluation License (PUEL). Please install the same version extension pack as your installed version of VirtualBox.

How to install VirtualBox Extension Pack:

The problem is when I try to navigate "Settings", the windows tab will froze, stuck in preview, stuck, unstable, and crash. It will not change to whatever I click like "Update & Security" until I minimized "Settings" then open "Settings" again. Do you think this will fix my issue?
 

shmu26

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Tried 2 processors, and still experience the same thing.
Windows 10 home host
VM is stored on secondary ssd. I also tested on my primary ssd as well and still experience the same thing.
VMware Workstation Player is free?

The problem is when I try to navigate "Settings", the windows tab will froze, stuck in preview, stuck, unstable, and crash. It will not change to whatever I click like "Update & Security" until I minimized "Settings" then open "Settings" again.
It's a weird problem that you are experiencing. If you haven't done so already, you could post on the VirtualBox forum, maybe they can help you. I can't say they are always helpful, but sometimes they are.
 

SumTingWong

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Apr 2, 2018
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It's a weird problem that you are experiencing. If you haven't done so already, you could post on the VirtualBox forum, maybe they can help you. I can't say they are always helpful, but sometimes they are.
I do not know if it will fix your problem. You are dealing with multiple third parties that might or might not be the cause of this problem and that makes it a difficult situation to troubleshoot, diagnose and fix. You have to do online research and try everything that you can find that has worked for others. You have to keep trying until you find the fix. There is no other way. An immediate, definitive fix simply is not possible.

As I said your best bet is to file a report on the Virtualbox forum or bug tracker and seek assistance there. A resolution to your problem might take a few weeks up to months. That is just the way it is.

If you do not want to do all of that, then switch to VMWare Player as @shmu26 suggests.

VMWare Workstation Player is free. The key limitation is that you cannot make snapshots and you can only run a single VM at a time. Those have always been the primary limitations, unless VMWare changed them.

What Is VMWare Workstation Player?

Another alternate is a 12 month free Azure cloud account (you do have to supply a payment method) that will permit you to create VMs with certain limitations that are actually not a deal breaker for most light use cases. You create the free Azure account, select the VMs option, and then you (most people do it this way) access those VMs via remote desktop or via the web portal.

Azure free account FAQ

Students can get an even bigger, better free deal with Azure. I am not sure what the eligibility requirement is, but probably you have to have an .edu email account.

How to connect and sign on to an Azure virtual machine running Windows
What I find interesting is if I untick "Enable 3D Acceleration" then I can navigate "Settings" easily and "Settings" tab no longer stuck in preview mode when I click something like "Privacy", "Update & Security" or "Personalization". Do you know how to fix this?
 
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shmu26

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Win10 guest is a challenge and our friends over at VirtualBox still haven't figured everything out.
 
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SumTingWong

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Win10 guest is a challenge and our friends over at VirtualBox still haven't figured everything out.
No. I do not know how to fix it, but it is a common problem. That's why @shmu26 recommended that you disable 3D accleration.

To get the reasons that 3D acceleration causes problems your best source of information is likely to be the Virtualbox community forums and to submit the issue to the Virtualbox bug tracker:

Virtualbox Bug Tracker

You can create and submit a ticket directly to Oracle via the bug tracker. You have to register an account to do that. Just be aware that the path to resolution will be a long one and you will have to jump through multiple hoops, if you get any response at all.

All I can tell you is that there are annoying bugs that come-and-go with Virtualbox over time. Since it is a freeware, Oracle has a slow cadence of bug fixes and there are issues that have been reported for years that obviously have not been fixed for all users. In that regard, Oracle is no different than say Microsoft or even VMWare. Although Virtualbox is less user-friendly and more problem-prone than VMWare.
Update: One of the mods at r/virtualbox took a look at my virtualbox log and cannot found hyper-v interfered with my virtualbox vm. One of his suggestions is to turn off "Transparency Effect" in "Personalization" via regedit or Windows settings itself. Fortunately, this solved my problem. Weird, I don't remember in the past this setting caused issue with Virtualbox vm. I asked him why this "Transparency Effect" caused this weird issue, he told me this "There is a bug in Virtual Box Guest Additions Graphics Driver, for the VboxSVGA vGPU with regard to accelerated transparency effects. This is documented in the bug tracker that was linked."

Disable transparency effect fixed my issue.
 
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shmu26

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Update: One of the mods at r/virtualbox took a look at my virtualbox log and cannot found hyper-v interfered with my virtualbox vm. One of his suggestions is to turn off "Transparency Effect" in "Personalization" via regedit or Windows settings itself. Fortunately, this solved my problem. Weird, I don't remember in the past this setting caused issue with Virtualbox vm. I asked him why this "Transparency Effect" caused this weird issue, he told me this "There is a bug in Virtual Box Guest Additions Graphics Driver, for the VboxSVGA vGPU with regard to accelerated transparency effects. This is documented in the bug tracker that was linked."
Thanks for the update.
 

shmu26

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If anyone can figure out how to get seamless mode working for a Win10 guest, please share!!!
The problem is that the wallpaper of the guest is displayed, so that ruins the whole seamless effect.
 
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SumTingWong

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Apr 2, 2018
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Yes. For now. But Virtualbox workarounds have a funny way of only working for a short while or intermittently. So don't be disappointed if the fix stops working. Hopefully it will be a permanent fix until such time that Oracle fixes the vGPU bug.
The mod on r/virutalbox said this
"Well it's been an open issue for 18 months on the bug tracker. But it's one with a usable work around, so I don't think it's a big concern for Oracle.
If I had to speculate, most of Oracles paying customers dont particularly care about it."
 
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