Wednesday 28 September 2022

Testing a Ventoy USB drive using VirtualBox under Windows 10/11 (and why it didn't work!)

I usually test Ventoy, Easy2Boot, Rufus bootable USB drives using Oracle Virtual Box 5 under a Windows 10 OS.

To do this I use the VMUB utility (only works with VBox v5 - not v6 or v7). This removes the USB drive from Windows immediately  before running VBox so that VBox will have full rd/wr access to the USB drive and can Lock it for access. If VMUB is not used then strange issues can occur because VBox will snapshot all changes to the USB drive whilst under control of the virtual BIOS\Firmware.

I have always had problems running Ventoy under VBox +VMUB however - usually with Legacy booting which would sometimes fail on VBox but work OK on a real system. However, I did find that some of my Virtual Machines seemed to work better than others with Ventoy.

Today I spend a few hours trying to find out why and it seems that Ventoy does not like Virtual Box 5 when the USB drive is mapped (using a .vmdk) under a SATA Disk Controller! If I configured the VM to have an IDE or SCSI controller then I could Legacy-boot to a LinuxMint .vdi.vtoy file, but if the vdi.vtoy file was under a SATA controller in VBox then it would not boot at all (flashing cursor - no grub2 Mint initial boot menu).

So if you use VBox+VMUB to test Ventoy USB drives, you might try configuring the VM with a single SCSI or IDE controller instead of a SATA controller!

Try IDE or SCSI if testing Ventoy USB drives!

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