K3B: Restorin’ them data files

I had burned a backup of all our word processor files onto a CD-R, and armed with how to get the CD drive to show up in the Windows 95 virtualbox I popped that backup CD in to restore the data files onto the virtual hard disk.

I could pull up a directory listing for the backup CD, but only the first (oldest) backup folder appeared.  Oops, maybe Windows 95 didn’t support multisession CDs out of the box?  Mandriva can see the word processor data file backup directory on the CD, but Windows 95 can’t.

I had the idea, what if I could “burn” just the data files I wanted to their own .iso image file and then mount that in virtualbox to present to Windows 95 as the CD-ROM to copy from?

In the Mandriva application launcher menu search box I typed burn and found a program called k3b.  Here’s how I used the options to get the result I was looking for:

  1. I copied the files to the hard drive (in retrospect I don’t think this was necessary)
  2. I dragged the folder of backup data onto the what-to-burn area on k3b’s main window.
  3. I clicked the Burn button.
  4. On the Writing tab, I chose Only create image:
  5. On the Image tab I chose where the .iso image file should be created (or rather, took note of the default):
  6. After clicking Start and creating the .iso image, I was able to set that up as a CD-ROM image in virtualbox, mount that image, and copy the files into my virtual Windows 95 box.  Woohoo!

Why virtualbox couldn’t see my CD-ROM

I was trying to install a program onto my Windows 95 virtual machine in VirtualBox, but the CD-ROM drive kept not being able to be read.  What was up???

Apparently the CD-ROM drive isn’t auto-mounting in Mandriva when I put a CD in.  If I go to the new device notifier, though, I can see the title of the CD there.  If I double-click it there to get a directory listing, then the CD mounts and the Windows 95 virtual machine can see it.

Locked out of virtualbox

I was trying to set up my wife’s Windows 95 installation as a virtual machine in VirtualBox on my Linux box, but when the VBoxManage clonevdi command didn’t work (which I am now pretty sure was just because I didn’t give the full path to the virtual hard drive .vdi file I was trying to clone) I did a bunch of things without writing down what I did, trying to get things to work.

When the dust settled, when I tried to run VirtualBox from my user account, I got this error:


Running VirtualBox worked fine from my wife’s account though.  I was baffled.

After another sleep or two though, I thought I’d try starting VirtualBox from the command line, since sometimes you get debug output to the console that way.  Sure enough, when the error box popped up I also saw these two lines on the console:

Wrong owner (0) of '/tmp/.vbox-dmeyer-ipc'.
Wrong owner (0) of '/tmp/.vbox-dmeyer-ipc'.

Ah!  I probably ran VirtualBox as root a time or two.  Looks like there’s some kind of a stale file owned by root out there.

Yep, all I had to do was

chown --recursive dmeyer  /tmp/.vbox-dmeyer-ipc
chgrp --recursive dmeyer  /tmp/.vbox-dmeyer-ipc

so my dmeyer user owns that directory and its contents, and now I can get back into VirtualBox!