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Windows 8.1 Upgrade Deletes VirtualBox Host-Only Network Adapter

Windows 8.1 was released to the Windows Store last week and aside from having to download the same 3.9 GB update on each machine I've installed it on it's been a relatively easy and smooth update. I did, however, run into one small problem related to Oracle VirtualBox. When you install VirtualBox a "Host-Only" network adapter is installed in Windows to allow guest VMs to communicate with the Windows host, as the screenshot below shows:

Network Connections Window

Unfortunately the Windows 8.1 upgrade process deletes the network adapter. After the upgrade you'll be faced with a warning message in the VM properties window and your VM won't start.

VirtualBox VM Settings Window

The fix is easy - just reinstall VirtualBox. It's not a bad idea, actually, as at the same time as Windows 8.1 went live so did VirtualBox Version 4.3. The latest version has a few nice improvements that make it worth the upgrade, including: Multi-touch support, virtual USB webcam, a new NAT adapter that enables hosts and guests to communicate without requiring a host-only adapter, and the ability to record the entire VM session to video.

As always, if you upgrade VirtualBox it's a good idea to upgrade the guest additions as well.


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