Router and Network Assistance [Stuck on Preparing Home Assistant Screen]

I am using an old Windows 8 laptop to setup my Home Assistant server. I have followed the Windows OS installation instructions using Virtual Box and have been getting stuck on the “Preparing Home Assistant” screen, it never pushes through. So far I have attempted the following troubleshooting items:

  1. Uninstall and reinstall HA and Virtual Box (numerous times).
  2. Setup virtual machine and HA as an Ubuntu device instead of “Other Linux” per the instructions.
  3. Try both installation options on a different Windows 10 laptop.
  4. Attempt bridged adapter via Wifi and direct ethernet connection to my router.
  5. Change the router DNS to and and PC DNS to and

Other observations I have made:

  1. When I start HA the boot screen does not indicate any network connection errors, and I can ping the HA IP address from multiple devices connected to my local network.
  2. I brought my laptop to work one day and tried a fresh install and while being connected to our work network, I was able to get pass the “Preparing Home Assistant” screen.

This points to something that might need to be configured with my home network? I just don’t what that could be and what else to try. Any assistance would be greatly appreciated. Thank You!