Modern IE: New IE9 Win7 Won’t Start Up in VirtualBox

I download a brand new IE9 Windows 7 virtual machine for VirtualBox from Modern IE, and after I imported it, it wouldn’t start up.

Short answer: Download The Unarchiver as recommended by Modern IE and extract the zip using that instead of Mac OS’s built-in archive utility. Then double-click the .ova file, it will import, and the machine will start up properly.

Longer answer:

Host OS: Mac OS Sierra 10.12.3

1TB hard drive on host OS with > 700GB available

Guest OS memory 512MB

Error messages from VirtualBox Machine logs:

VMMDev: Guest Log: BIOS: int13_harddisk_ext: function 43, error 04 ! 

Write at offset [...] (4096 bytes left) returned rc=VERR_INVALID_PARAMETER

The machine kept trying to start up, showing the “Starting Windows” screen, then would briefly display an error screen (too fast to read) then try to restart… infinitely.

Researched and researched and researched… people saying the host might not have enough memory — not my problem — or that it could be a permissions problem. Compared permissions in the downloaded and unzipped (using OS’s built-in archive utility) files with an IE11 Win 7 machine (which works!) I had downloaded and unzipped the same way: no diff. Compared permissions of VirtualBox generated files in /username/Virtual Box VMs: no diff.

Finally saw someone else who said they solved it by not using the OS’s built-in archive utility to unzip. Not sure what the difference is, but that worked for me.

Still don’t know why the IE11 VM was fine when unzipped using the built-in archive utility, but the IE9 (and 10, for that matter) was not.