Tuesday, August 05, 2014

Oracle virtualbox Disk UUID issue resolved

Oracle Virtualbox is a desktop virtualization technology used by many developers and system administrators to be able to quickly run a virtual operating system on top of their workstation OS. It is freely available from Oracle and has a widespread adoption. Even though it is a robust solution for running virtual machines on your workstation it can in some situations have some issues. Especially when you change the location of your virtual disks there might be a strange error in the Virtualbox gui.

Due to a running out of diskspace issue I was forced to move some of the virtual disks attached to my virtual machines to another disk on my workstation. Oracle virtualbox allows you to attach (or de-attach) disks to a virtual machine via the GUI. However, if you move a virtual disk to another location and try to re-attach it to a virtual machine the GUI is giving a warning like the one below:

The message reads that virtuabox cannot register the hard disk with a specific UUID because a hard disk with the same UUID is already know. This is due to the fact that virtualbox keep track of virtual disk files with a combination of UUID and location. As you move the file it is seen as a different virtual disk however with the same UUID. Solution for this is to change the UUID in the file so Virtualbox will see it as a new disk and you will be able to attach it to your virtual machine again. On windows (host) systems this can be resolved by executing the below command:

After executing this command you will see that you are able to attach the disk without any issue and can use it again while running at its new location.
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