Host system resets (crashes) when using VMWare or VirtualBox and 64-bit guest systems


I have been trying to install virtual systems on VMWare for a while now and encountered strange behaviour from my PC.

The behaviour is as follows:

  • On "automatic" virtualization mode it either outputs a cryptic error message (can MAYBE give later, if I can reproduce) right on startup (before even the BIOS) or it resets the complete HOST system (blackscreen, bios...)

  • If I install a Windows XP on it it works well on "binary translation" mode.

  • If I try installing Linux on it, in "binary translation" mode it crashes 1 or 2 seconds after I hit enter on the GRUB selection screen (after the first page of kernel messages rolled in)

  • Using VirtualBox it crashes right in the BIOS. It gave me a Bluescreen though! 0x00000101: CLOCK_WATCHDOG_TIMEOUT: a clock interrupt was not received on a secondary processor within the allocated time interval

  • NEWS: I tried VirtualBox again and it did not completely crash the computer this time. It gave me a critical error and a log file:

  • In conclusion, it will crash instantly if VT-x is activated. If not, it seemingly only crashed if I try to install something with 64 bits.

  • Another update: Yes, it ONLY crashes when the guest is 64 bit!

  • On Linux using VirtualBox, it crashes with a Kernel Panic.

What I tried:

  • Reinstalling Windows (my Windows installation was quite broken so it seemed natural. Didn't work though.)
  • New BIOS

What I am certain of:

  • Virtualization extensions are activated in the BIOS

What my computer specs are:

  • ASUS P8P67 LE mainboard, newest BIOS/EFI firmware
  • Intel Core i5 2500k
  • Ati Radeon HD 5770
  • 16 GB Corsair 1333mhz DDR3 RAM, 4 X 4 GB
asked on Super User Nov 8, 2011 by sinni800 • edited Nov 16, 2011 by sinni800

5 Answers


Ensure all your host's drivers up-to-date with the latest version available from the manufacturer(s) (Chipset, RAID, Video, etc.). I'd recommend getting the latest drivers directly from Intel, instead of trusting Asus to have the latest posted.

Clock_Watchdog_Timeouts are often/usually caused by a kernel-level thread (say, in a HDD controller driver) that's gone into a Spinlock. That error in combination with the fact the host is resetting tells me there's either a driver problem for a piece of the host's hardware, or a piece of hardware on the host is malfunctioning.

answered on Super User Nov 15, 2011 by Ƭᴇcʜιᴇ007 • edited Nov 15, 2011 by Ƭᴇcʜιᴇ007

Very odd issues and a wide range of OS's causing errors (and your description of a cryptic error message) would make me want to test the RAM using something like memtest from Hirens Boot CD.

answered on Super User Nov 8, 2011 by HaydnWVN

I see in the log the message :

Installed Extension Packs:
   None installed!

This might relate to the Oracle VM VirtualBox Extension Pack explained here.
Installing it might be useful (I don't like the exclamation point on the message above).

answered on Super User Nov 10, 2011 by harrymc

If you have a spare hard disk laying around you could try install a copy of Linux like Ubuntu. After Linux is installed try installing VMware or Virtualbox and see if the error presists. What this would rule out is hardware malfunction.

Another thing you could try but would be much more complex would be to run a copy of VMware ESXi and make the machine into a temporary server and once again see if the problems still presist.

Something that has just crossed my mind, what is the specs of one of you virtual machines?

Are you allocating all system resources to the VMs or are you holding back?

For example I only use 1 vCPU in my VM(s) so there is still one available for the main system, granted I am only running 1 VM at a time but you get the idea.

answered on Super User Nov 15, 2011 by ianc1215 • edited Nov 15, 2011 by ianc1215

A somewhat incoherent last answer in this thread says for a virtualization problem on same-make board :

i figured now that in bios it was necessary to disable something called "executed bit" or smthng like this

It is hard to know whether this refers to the BIOS of the host or maybe even the guest. But this might apply to your problem.

answered on Super User Nov 17, 2011 by harrymc

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