I'm on a refurbished Dell M4800 Precision which came with Windows 10. I installed Manjaro 20.2 to replace Windows. Then I installed Virtual Box V6.1 to run Windows 10 as a guest O/S. There are a few wrinkles you need to get through to create a native Windows experience and get the USB drives to enumerate. My steps are below:

1) Go to the Control Center -> Add/Remove Software.
2) Do a search on virtual which will show what's available for VB.
3) Install the following: Note the versions may be different for you.

  • Oracle VM VirtualBox (6.1.18-2)
  • virtualbox-ext-vnc (6.1.18-2)
  • virtualbox-guest-utils (6.1.18-2)
  • linux511-virtualbox-guest-modules (6.1.18-5 Match kernel)
  • linux511-virtualbox-host-modules (6.1.18-5 Match kernel)

You'll need to down load the VB Extension Pack 6.1 to get support for USB 2.0 and 3.0 so USB drives work.

4) Launch VB and navigate to Tools -> Preferences -> Extensions and you should see VNC with a green checked. On the right click on the + icon to reach a file window that allows locating the extension pack you down loaded. Follow the prompts and install the extension pack. This will give you the proper USB support newer versions of Windows requires.

6) You'll need to down load Windows as an iso file which is about 6.5 Mb. VB can install Windows from an .iso file so there is no need to create bootable media.
7) Navigate to the New icon and follow all prompts to create an empty virtual machine to your liking.
8) Find the WIndows iso file and begin the install process which is rather long winded.

You'll notice that the Windows window is shrunken within VB. We'll fix this later with Guest Additions after Windows is installed. VB will create a menu with the following selections:

File Machine View Input Devices Help ........ (Select Devices)

At the bottom you can select the Guest Additions to get this down loaded as a virtual optical drive created with install files on it. This is a Windows side installer.

9) Navigate to File Explore and select the Guest Additions drive. Run the Windows package to install it. Follow the install dialog prompts.
10) You can now go to View and check Full Screen to get a native Windows display.
11) End the Windows session.
12) From VB selection Setting -> USB and check USB 3.0 (xHCI) Controller
13) Plug in your removable storage device.
14) Select + (2nd icon from those listed on right) and add your USB device(s).
15) Unmount the USB device.
16) Start the Guest O/S and plug in the USB device and let it enumerate.

Note: From Tools -> Preferences -> Display I set width = 1920 and height = 1080 for maximum guest screen size.

Regarding activation, my refurbished laptop came with an OEM Windows 10 Pro edition. The 25 character license key was on the bottom of the laptop on a sticker with a rub off security coating. This will get you loaded but not activated. You may get an activation error to the effect that Windows is already associated with another PC. There is an option to activate Windows after a hardware change. The hitch here is you'll need to establish an account with Microsoft which can be done via their virtual assistant. They no longer provide telephone tech support. Your license key will be linked to this account. As for VB, that's effectively different hardware on the same PC so there isn't anything illegal about running Windows 10 this way. I waded through so many screens and options it's impossible to describe here. But I did finally get to the activation screen and got the software activated via the internet. So it is all possible. Expect to poke and hope to get your Windows activated. Just know it can be done. You can start with what's below:

Start - > Settings -> Update & Security -> Activation (From Windows 10)

So this all worked on my Dell and should provide you with a native Windows experience. The trick is keeping Windows 10 on the same PC. Load your Windows applications as required. Happy computing.

Last edited by Muniac; 03/11/21 07:15 PM.

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