Today I went to start Windows as guest in my Ubuntu install of VMWare and, boom, VMWare has broken itself during one of the prior kernel updates (because it doesn't use DKMS or release patches quickly enough).
There had recently been a good thread on this on the Manchester Linux User Group's mailing list, so I decided to give migrating to something that more sensibly works a go.
Installing VirtualBox was a snap - one line to add to Apt's sources list and it's off. A few quick questions were asked during the install, where it told me to add my normal user to a new group, which I did.
Started VirtualBox fine, pressed 'new', and attached it to the VMWare .vmdk file, easy.
Now the problems, none of while were too serious.
I had, respectively, a hang at start up (safe mode hangs at agp440.sys listed) and a blue-screen (listing intelppm).
The fix is to boot from a .ISO of Windows that contains the recovery console (mine didn't, so I had to borrow one from here).
Press 'R' when told too and then type 'disable intelppm' and 'disable agp440'. Reboot and we're good.
See also [node:1581] to save needing the rescue ISO, as long as you have VMWare still installed.
If safe mode hangs at 'mup.sys', you need to toggle the 'IO APIC' setting in the VirtualBox properties.
However, I found that gave horrible guest hard disk performance, as seen by a max'ed out host CPU, almost all of which was 'system' time, until I did the first step from http://www.vernalex.com/guides/sysprep/video.shtml then shut down the guest and turned 'IO APIC' back off in the guests settings. This is the known issue #638 which has existed since version 2.
Windows moans about old VMWare hardware (just remove in device manager) and the VirtualBox replacements install fine from the menu.
Now Windows wants to 'reactivate' or some such nonsense so I'll have to locate a patch to shut that up. Stupid operating system, and all just to use my sat. nav. !
I also had to use device manager to 'update' the network card drivers from VMWare ones to 'AMD PCNet' to make them work. No biggie.