[Solved] Dell XP Physical to Virtualbox SLP Issue

Discussion in 'Virtualization' started by Fire Ant, Feb 2, 2018.

  1. Fire Ant

    Fire Ant MDL Novice

    Aug 26, 2017
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    I am attempting to convert an old Dell with preactivated Windows Home-XP PM (physical machine) into a VirtualBox VM. My VM boots correctly, but then stops with the message that says I must activate XP before logging on.

    After searching various forums, I first tried to modify the VM using information I obtained from the PM using dmidecode. I used VBoxManage to setextradata as follows:
    "VBoxInternal/Devices/pcbios/0/Config/DmiBIOSVendor" "Dell Computer Corporation"
    "VBoxInternal/Devices/pcbios/0/Config/DmiBIOSVersion" "A03"
    "VBoxInternal/Devices/pcbios/0/Config/DmiBIOSReleaseDate" "12/07/2001"
    "VBoxInternal/Devices/pcbios/0/Config/DmiSystemVendor" "Dell Computer Corporation"
    "VBoxInternal/Devices/pcbios/0/Config/DmiSystemProduct" "Dimension 8**0"
    "VBoxInternal/Devices/pcbios/0/Config/DmiSystemSerial" "88***11"
    "VBoxInternal/Devices/pcbios/0/Config/DmiSystemUuid" "44***4C-3800-1**4-8**6-*****63131"

    This attempt did not resolve the license issue, so it appears that the Dell is looking further into the machine bios for additional SLP information. I then ran a OEMBIOS test, which resulted in:
    F: DELL Inc OEMBIOS.CAT CRC32=B6F0EEFD
    F: DELL Inc OEMBIOS.CAT CRC32=63875D1F

    At this point, I am not sure what to try next:
    1) I can extract the DELL bios using Uniflash. Is there someway to use SLP data from the DELL Bios to modify the VirtualBox Bios with: "VBoxInternal/Devices/pcbios/0/Config/BiosRom"
    2) Will XP reactivate if I provide the Key obtained from the Dell XP Registry. (I wouldn't think so since this was a preactivated XP.)
    3) I can't be the first guy to virtualize an existing Dell XP machine ... is this just a Virtualbox issue? Maybe use a different VM Host that can use the existing Dell Bios image?
     
  2. Tito

    Tito Super Mod / Adviser
    Staff Member

    Nov 30, 2009
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    @Fire Ant

    1. No.
    2. No, as that OEM:SLP key still requires a proper SLP string from firmware (that the VM is lacking) and corresponding OEMBIOS fileset (the VM should already have it).
    3. The problem is Dell's SLP string is pretty much restrictive in terms of memory location, this simply putting it in DMI won't work.

    It would be better to manually mod the firmware to insert Dell SLP string in the particular locations (way complicated) or choose another less restrictive OEM and use corresponding OEMBIOS set.
     
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  3. Fire Ant

    Fire Ant MDL Novice

    Aug 26, 2017
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    thanks Tito. I had a feeling that would be the answer to the first two questions.
    I'm not sure of how to use another OEMBIOS set.
    1)Do I replace the files on the PM and then recreate the VM? Seems like this would invalidate/deactivate the existing machine.
    2)Or do I replace the OEMBIOS set directly on the VM? VM will not boot normally .... maybe boot in Safe Mode, but then how do I get the OEMBIOS into it?
    thanks
     
  4. Tito

    Tito Super Mod / Adviser
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    Nov 30, 2009
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    @Fire Ant

    For example, HP & COMPAQ (OEMBIOS.CAT CRC32=CD4E1902) covers the whole memory range. So you need to do the following:
    1. Edit the DMI info with something like this.
    2. Grab corresponding OEMBIOS fileset from here.
    3. Boot the VM in Safe Mode, optionally check the existence of SLP string using this, then use this to swap the OEMBIOS fileset.
     
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  5. Fire Ant

    Fire Ant MDL Novice

    Aug 26, 2017
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    #5 Fire Ant, Feb 3, 2018
    Last edited by a moderator: Feb 3, 2018
    (OP)
    @Tito -- thanks for the excellent instructions! I got my Dell VM up and running without any problems .... 'cept it probably thinks it's an HP now.

    The OEMBIOS changer took a little to get going (my VM registry did not have a HKLM\SYSTEM\Setup\Pid key, so I added a key there for XP-Home and I was good to go).

    Thanks again for the help. I was spinning my wheels and would not have figured this one out on my own.
     
  6. Tito

    Tito Super Mod / Adviser
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    Nov 30, 2009
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    @Fire Ant

    Welcome and thanks for the feedback,

    :)
     
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