Troubleshooting virtualbox problems

Your setup seems to be good but what about the number of processors ?
your i3-9100 is about 4 cores, setup it to 4 !

Then you could use more RAM 5 or 6Gb minimum…

Use Host I/O Cache is deafult should be checked anyway.

Hopefully you have all 4 cores set to run in v-box on the processor. It defaults at a single core and you need to have all 4 set. I would also set the ram at 6 GB. You can always work down from there. Start with the default settings in v-box and then change them.

4 Cores on processor
6 GB memory
Set display to use 128 MB and use VBoxSVGA and enable 3D
Before you go to launch the virtual machine after setting it up the final settings on Video Memory can be bumped up to 256 and make sure it is set to VBoxSVGA also on that first page.
Then start your virtual machine.

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Thanks for that idea!
Unfortunately that did not change much. Startup time is still more than some minutes.

I changed the settings to 4 cores and 6GB, but unfortunately that did not help much. The startup time slightly improved but is still more than 90 seconds.

And now something really strange, which is a workaround for now but not the solution.
I have a second PC in my network where I have virtualbox installed too. This PC gets the same VBox configuration via NFS-share over the network.
On this PC the startup time is 20 seconds, even with only one core and 4GB memory and no I/O cache!
But this only works the second time you start the W10 box. The first start is slow as on the other PC. The startup is as fast as I want, even when I reboot the second PC.

As summary: something strange is (mis-)configured on the first PC that breaks the I/O performance.
If someone has an idea where I can search I would appreciate any hint.

I’m sorry i am unable to help much. There are a lot of variables here. It sounds like there is an issue with the configuration as you say possibly with NFS or one of the other services you have set up and running. I guess you are going to have to work your way through it one at a time and find the culprit.


Seems I have a different definition of “solution”.
Might frustrate those seeking help.

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Yes, in this case we can discuss if that what I have found is a solution. I marked it as a solution because sometimes a workaround is a solution too.

I was thinking about that point too. In my opinion my original problem is solved, even if it is a workaround. I will go on searching for the real root cause. If I am able to find it I will then mark this as the real solution, OK?

I made a lot of tests today to find the root cause of that problem.
In the end I am not sure if I have found the root cause, but I changed two things that made the situation much better:

  1. As mentioned from @ricklinux and @Amsterdam4572 I activated Host I/O Cache. This only increased the performance a little.
  2. I moved the .vdi-file temporarily to an other hardrive and back.

Both things together helped to increase the performance to a satisfying level. The first start of the VM is slower than every following.

Thank you everybody for your ideas to solve that problem!

Activating host I/O cache or changing the VM configuration for memory or number of processors only slightlly increased the performance. After rebooting the PC the performance is as poor as before.

I still don’t know why the performance of the disk is that bad. This only happens with Virtualbox. Every other program runs fine.

hello ,what is your hard drive

See above in the inxi-data:

  ID-2: /dev/sdb vendor: Western Digital model: WD20SPZX-22UA7T0 
  size: 1.82 TiB block size: physical: 4096 B logical: 512 B speed: 6.0 Gb/s 
  rotation: 5400 rpm serial: <filter> rev: 1A01 scheme: GPT 

how old is your hard drive

newly bought in december 2019


virtualbox is always slower than other software

A little bit slower would be OK, but in my case it is a lot slower. The W10 in the VBox needs between one to three minutes to boot. That is too much, especially compared to the former PC with an older CPU and hard drive.

w10 is always slow on hard disk in vm or not

I have been searching for the main culprit of my problem during the last weeks. In the end I found out that the problem is the mentioned hard drive where the VM hard drive files are stored.
This hard drive is a 2TB 2.5" WD hard drive, which uses SMR. Last weekend I have found several posts in several forums that SMR and Linux do have performance problems especially with LVM and LUKS what I am using as base for the VM hard drive files. So I bought a 1TB SSD as replacement. Yesterday I copied all the data from the hard drive to the SSD. It was interesting to see that during the copy of the VM hard drive file the output of the hard drive dropped down to 20MB/s while it stayed between 80-100 MB/s the rest of the time.

And hooray: now the VM with W10 boots in approx. 20 seconds even right after the startup of the PC!

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