I am not sure if this is just specific to my distro's packages or is a vbox limitation. So, any help would be appreciated.

Ok, so I have a network of VMs, with one VM acting as a NAT for the other VMs in the "internal" network. One of those VMs is running a DHCP & TFTP server, and I just need to boot other VMs off of this server, but all I get starting the VMs when booting from the network is "Fatal: Could not read from the boot medium ! System halted".

This is kinda killjoy since vbox is pretty easy to use and to experiment with, but I can't get around this error. Help ?

  • 5
    Just did a bit of more digging and a random forum post revealed that its the Intel adapters that can't boot off of PXE in Virtual Box's open source edition, due to some licensing issues. I just tested this and indeed the other adapters do work...to an extent. – Mohit Chawla Oct 26 '10 at 20:17
  • I had the same issue using the (non-OSE) edition; google'd forever to find the answer, and here it was. Cheers! – John Ledbetter Mar 19 '11 at 14:28

Don't use the emulated Intel cards for PXE boot, choose another, and you're fine.

P.S. Oh, it's already been stated (can't the questions be closed then?)


It appears to require a "bridged" adapter, which then lets you select the type of network card under the "advanced" settings.

If you install the vbox extension pack then you can use an Intel network card to PXE boot.

Other network adapters seem to PXE boot as well, probably without needing the extensions installed.

The Intel card seems to be best supported (compatibility wise) though, for instance for remote windows installs, so I ended up having to use it and the extensions in my case.

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