A Solution to VirtualBox 2.2.2 Upgrading Problems

By Craig Buckler
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VirtualBoxI’m a big fan of Sun’s VirtualBox virtual machine software. Shortly after my review in April, Sun released version 2.2.2. I’m always keen to stay up-to-date so I downloaded it and launched the upgrade. It bombed. No log files or errors are reported, just a useless “installation ended prematurely” message.

It appears that many others have had the same problem. Fortunately, I found a solution for anyone who has experienced problems upgrading to v2.2.2.

1. Repair the installation
Launch “Programs and Features” (Vista) or “Add and Remove Programs” (XP) from the Control Panel. Click VirtualBox and choose Repair.

If the repair works, you should be able to upgrade without problems. Otherwise, proceed to step 2…

2. Extract the VirtualBox files
Repairing can display a message saying that a VirtualBox installation file could not be found. If this occurs, find your old installer – if you have deleted it, download it again from the VirtualBox old builds page.

Open a command prompt (cmd.exe) and ‘cd’ to the folder where the installer resides. Run it using the “-extract” parameter, e.g.

VirtualBox-2.2.0-45846-Win.exe -extract

After a few moments, a dialog will appear saying that the VirtualBox files have been copied, normally to a temporary folder in the Users (Vista) or Documents and Settings (XP) folder. Make a note of the folder’s location!

3. Complete the repair
Start the repair again. When the ‘missing file’ dialog appears, click “Browse” and navigate to the folder noted in step 2. The repair should now complete successfully.

If the repair still fails, try re-installing the old version. If the normal installer does not work, navigate to the folder above and you will find two files: an x86 and AMD64 version of the VirtualBox installer. Run the version that is suitable for your system – if an error occurs, try the other one!

4. If all else fails…
Uninstall the previous version before upgrading.

Hopefully, your upgrade will go smoothly without needing to do any of this! VirtualBox is still a great product, regardless of any installation issues.

See also: VirtualBox Virtual Machine Software: A Hands-On Review

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  • With VirtualPC MS provide ready to use images for testing older IE versions. These avoid having to do the full installation of the OS in the virtual environment.
    Does Virtual Box provide a similar feature?
    Or would I have to actually install say Windows XP from a CD to get it and IE6 running?

  • I had this same problem recently when I upgraded from Ubunut 8.04 to 9.04 i’m not sure which versions of Vbox I was running either time up a repair of the installation fixed everything except a few applications that I had to reinstall.

  • mmj

    Cranial-bore: as far as I know no such thing officially exists for VirtualBox, probably because licensing the use of a MS operating system, however cut-down, is Microsoft’s own right.

    If you’ve made yourself a VistaPE image, however, you could use that fairly easily in a virtual machine. And of course there are lots of CD images including bootable CDs for other operating systems.

  • Anonymous

    I have been noticed about the new version 2.2.2 but I have not upgraded yet!
    Is there any special in this version compared to the older ones?

  • v2.2.2 is mainly a bug fix release. The full changelog can be viewed at:

  • StuffMaster

    I had this problem. I used a third-party uninstaller to remove the borked installation since Windows couldn’t handle it. I was able to install normally after that.

  • Ciaran

    Legend! Was having that problem & now i’m all sorted.
    Thanks for the solution