Windows 7 VM not booting correctly after installing QWT


I have been fighting with this for many hours.

I followed all the documentation to install 64-bit Windows 7 (SP1) in a TemplateVM (with the goal to have AppVMs based on it later). I did not update Win 7 itself as updates are no longer available for that OS. Just made some optimizations from the default settings (change visual appearance, disabling some services, and similar, including the ones mentioned in Qubes OS documentation). I did not install any software in the VM whatsoever.

Then, I followed the documentation to install QWT. I unchecked the Xen PV drivers sub-tree because of the note that it will create problems if Win 7 is not updated. The result is always a failure. After rebooting the Win 7 VM I either get a black window with zero visible activity even after waiting for a long time. xentop shows less than 10% CPU activity and only from time to time.

In another try I also unchecked the “Move user profiles” option. After rebooting the VM the Windows self repair utility shows up and fails.

IOW, the result is always a failure and I have no idea what to do. The hardware is powerful enough - 64 GiB of RAM, 32 of them set for the Windows VM. So, there is no lack of resources.

What would you advise, please?

The updates are indeed available. It’s just that in the beginning one might have some trouble with the ‘initial updating’ due to Windows Update errors.
I did install some with WSUS Offline located on C:\ and later on with regular Windows Update.

Some of them, at least the ‘initial ones’, are required for QWT:

Install all windows updates. Installing QWT on a fresh windows install breaks it, and updating windows fixes that problem. Once you’ve installed updates, it makes sense to back up your windows template in case it breaks during the QWT installation

Please use this guide and try again. Good luck! :smiley:

And after that you can search for


ESU patch. It is not clear if it’s not legal since the assumption is that you have the right to set your system’s services the way you are able to legally. and this is just about to change specific setting in regedt32


I didn’t know about WSUS Offline before reading your reply. Although it could probably work, such approach seems inappropriate in regards to security for the following reasons:

  1. My plan is to have an isolated Windows VM which never connects to the Internet. For that reason, I also uninstalled Internet Explorer. So, any implication or requirement that I must connect to the internet, download updates or 3rd party software seems inappropriate.

  2. Even if we ignore 1 for the moment, the suggestion to download 3rd party software in order to update the guest OS is quite questionable in regards to the safety of such approach - especially, considering Microsoft says it is not something officially supported by them.

QWT’s requirement that such procedure is necessary is really strange. It practically ties the user to unsafe practices and denies the possibility to have a network isolated Windows VM which uses QWT.

Please use this guide and try again. Good luck! :smiley:

The only difference between this guide and the documentation is that it suggests using maximum 4 GiB of RAM, video-model cirrus and debug mode for the template. I ignored the first one as my VM is set to use 32 GiB. I ignored the last one too, as I don’t see how it may help. I set video-model to cirrus and the result of that was extremely slow redraw of the content inside the VM’s window and maximum resolution of 1024x768. Anyway, I tried installing QWT with that and the result is the same - black window, a practically broken guest.

Considering the above, could you suggest another procedure?

Unfortunately the requirement is there and there’s nothing we can do about it.

I would be happier if it wasn’t there so I would not have wasted some time with broken installations before I knew about it, but still - that’s the way it is.

Unless you’re willing to trust the creators of unofficial Windows 7 ISOs which have all the updates already enrolled or if you’re able to cook such an ISO yourself. I have no experience with these, though; this is just a suggestion.

Unfortunately the requirement is there and there’s nothing we can do about it.

Can’t QWT be reworked not to require that? Has that been suggested/discussed?

That’s an interesting concept: would that work if one was to compile QWT successfully on a fresh Windows 7 install.

We really should ask Qubes developers that or try on our own - I don’t know yet, how to do that and where to even begin.

We really should ask Qubes developers that


SP1 is not the last official update. Last update has to be from January… which year it was, 2020? And in the manual it says you have to update it to that date in order to properly work. These can be downloaded and passed to offline Win qube, I’d say so.

Also, you don’t have to use 3rd party software for that. If you searched for that term from my previous post, it is clearly stated how to get to the January 2020 point, and all other packages are also from Microsoft. Not a single non-MS linkl or package.