Ask OnSoftware: What is the Windows Logo test?

After reviewing the improved snapshot management functionality in the latest version of VirtualBox, OnSoftware reader Mark contacted us with an interesting question:

I’ve become an avid reader of your weekly newsletter and look forward each week to explore your recommendations. I was interested in VirtualBox after reading about it on your site. I’m running Windows XP. I tried downloading the file “VirtualBox 3.0.6 for Windows hosts x86/amd64” from www.virtualbox.org but during the installation a warning came up suggesting that I should not continue as the software  is not recognized as being approved with “Windows Logo” and went on  to say that completing the download could corrupt my system. Should I be concerned?

The Windows Logo testing error message Mark refers to is not something that just happens in VirtualBox. It may appear when installing other applications as well, but as long as you trust the software developers and the application you’re about to install, you don’t have anything to worry about.

Ask OnSoftware: What is the Windows Logo testing error?

This error means that some components – usually drivers –  inside the program you’re installing couldn’t be properly tested by Windows during installation. It doesn’t mean that the program is dangerous, or that it’s going to crash your system, erase your hard drive or any of those horrible things you may have thought about… well, not necessarily. It’s just that Windows wasn’t able to complete the test on those particular items. Our advice for Mark then, in this particular case of VirtualBox, is to ignore that message and go on with the installation. I did, and my Windows XP is perfectly fine!

Once again, this message should be ignored only in those cases when you’re installing a trustworthy application, coming from a reputable developer. In case of doubt, do some Google research. It may help you decide whether you should continue with the installation or not.

Don’t forget to keep on sending all your problems, questions and doubts to ask@onsoftware.com so that we can provide handy solutions for you and the rest of our readers!

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