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How To Fix VirtualBox Machine Booting to EFI Shell

Ubuntu 17

VirtualBox is a popular open-source virtualization software that allows you to run multiple operating systems on your machine. However, sometimes you may encounter an issue where your VirtualBox machine boots to the EFI Shell instead of the operating system. This article will guide you through the steps to resolve this issue.

Quick Answer

To fix VirtualBox machine booting to EFI Shell, you can try disabling EFI from the system settings of your virtual machine. If that doesn’t work, you can edit the EFI startup file through the EFI Shell and specify the desired EFI file to boot from.

Understanding the EFI Shell

The EFI Shell is a command-line interface used in the UEFI (Unified Extensible Firmware Interface) system. It provides a prompt where you can execute commands to manage and control UEFI-based systems. While it can be useful for troubleshooting, it’s not where you want your VirtualBox machine to boot by default.

Method 1: Disable EFI from System Settings

The first and simplest method to fix the EFI Shell booting issue is to disable EFI from the system settings of your VirtualBox machine. Here’s how you can do it:

  1. Open VirtualBox and select your virtual machine. On the main VirtualBox interface, you’ll see a list of your virtual machines. Click on the one that’s booting to the EFI Shell.
  2. Go to the machine settings. Click on the “Settings” button, usually found at the top of the VirtualBox interface.
  3. Navigate to the System tab. Inside the settings window, click on the “System” tab to access the system settings.
  4. Disable EFI. Under the “Motherboard” section, you’ll see a checkbox labeled “Enable EFI (special OSes only)”. Uncheck this box to disable EFI.
  5. Save changes and reboot. Click “OK” to save your changes, then try to boot your virtual machine again.

This method should resolve the issue for most users. However, if your machine still boots to the EFI Shell, you can try the next method.

Method 2: Edit the EFI Startup File

If disabling EFI from the system settings didn’t work, you can try editing the EFI startup file through the EFI Shell. Here’s how:

  1. Boot to the EFI Shell. Start your virtual machine. If it boots to the EFI Shell, you’re in the right place.
  2. Open the startup file. In the EFI Shell, type the command edit startup.nsh and press Enter. This command opens the EFI startup file in a text editor.
  3. Add a boot command. In the text editor, add the following line: FS0:\EFI\Path\To\Desired.efi. Replace “Path\To\Desired.efi” with the actual path to your desired EFI file. This command tells the system to boot from this file.
  4. Save and exit. Save your changes and exit the text editor. The exact commands for this may vary depending on the text editor, but they’re usually displayed at the bottom of the editor.
  5. Reboot the machine. Reboot your virtual machine. It should now boot from the EFI file you specified.

Remember, the path to your desired EFI file will depend on your operating system and configuration. For example, if you’re running a Windows system, the path might be \EFI\Microsoft\Boot\bootmgfw.efi.

Conclusion

Booting to the EFI Shell instead of the operating system can be a frustrating issue, but the methods outlined in this article should help you resolve it. If you’re still experiencing problems, it may be worth checking out the VirtualBox forums for further assistance. Remember, the key to troubleshooting is patience and persistence. Good luck!

What is VirtualBox?

VirtualBox is an open-source virtualization software that allows you to run multiple operating systems on your machine. It creates virtual machines that can be used to test software, run different operating systems, or create isolated environments for various purposes.

What is the EFI Shell?

The EFI Shell is a command-line interface used in the UEFI (Unified Extensible Firmware Interface) system. It provides a prompt where you can execute commands to manage and control UEFI-based systems. It is useful for troubleshooting purposes but not where you want your VirtualBox machine to boot by default.

What should I do if the methods mentioned in the article do not resolve the issue?

If the methods mentioned in the article do not resolve the issue, you can try seeking further assistance on the VirtualBox forums. The forums have a community of users and experts who may be able to provide additional troubleshooting steps or solutions specific to your situation.

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