Virtual Machine Moving Day

virtual machinesI have an old program on an old Ubuntu OS that I still need. It’s computer died after many years of reliable service. I imaged it’s disk and now it lives on in a virtual machine on a real machine running Mandriva. That story is here.

The Mandriva machine has been popping up reminders to do a distribution upgrade for a while now. I’ve been afraid to do a distro upgrade for fear of the virtual machine not working after. Sure wish the virtual machine was on the box that’s running the new(er) Ubuntu 12.04 Long Term Support distro! (Why didn’t I put it there in the first place? I don’t know!)

Today I decided to try moving the virtual machine.

Installed VirtualBox on the Ubuntu machine. Some concern that the Mandriva machine uses Virtual Box 3.1.8_OSE while the Ubuntu machine uses 4.1.12_Ubuntu, but we’ll see how it goes.

Moved my .vdi file by scp from the Mandriva machine to the Ubuntu machine.

Made a new virtual machine on the Ubuntu machine, choosing the .vdi file as the hard drive. Start it up.

Seems like it’s going to go, old OS splash screen appears, but then it fails with “/dev/hda5 does not exist”. Not happy.

Check md5sums on .vdi files. They don’t match. Probably not surprising… still, just in case, copy the .vdi file again. This takes an hour by scp as the file is nearly 40 Gb. I go shovel dirt. (Isn’t that what everyone does while waiting for things?)

Come back. Check md5sums. They match.
Delete the first virtual machine. Make another. Try to start it. Same error!

Notice the .vdi is attached to the virtual machine’s SATA controller. OK, in hindsight this should have been obvious. The error did say hda. Remove the .vdi from the SATA controller and attach it to the IDE controller. Start the virtual machine and voilà!

The old program I need is running on the machine with long term support! I can upgrade Mandriva! Happy New Year!

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