Virtualbox crashes on host memory too low – this time it IS the third party software to blame

Oracle Virtualbox is a great and convenient VM hosting application under GPLv2, and I use it to run Linux on my Windows laptop.  However, a while back, I couldn’t get it to run for more than 5 minutes — for no apparent reason at all, it would pop out an error message saying host memory too low, and the guest Linux would just freeze, and the only thing to do would be powering off the VM.  But as soon as you boot it up, it would happen again.

Several other people encountered the same problem according to the virtualbox bug tracker.  A similar bug report was filed a few years back and the problem was fixed, besides it was a few versions back and people were running Virtualbox on typical 32-bit Windows XP machines with 2GB of memory.  But things are quite different now since most computers are 64-bit equipped with 6~8GB of memory, and there is no reason the host memory should run low (if it could work on a 32-bit host with 2GB of memory, why would it not work on a 64-bit host with 6GB of memory when the guest OS is 32-bit?).

A couple of folks suggested that changing the BIOS settings to enable hardware virtualization would solve the problem, but it has already been set on mine.  Finally, one comment pinpointed the cause – it was Google Crash Handler.  During the course of updating things, I must have enabled “reporting anonymous usage stats” in Chrome.  As soon as I disabled it, VirtualBox start to function again.

So, just as I said earlier, let’s keep blaming the 3rd party software!


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