Clone VirtualBox Virtual Hard Drive (.vdi file)

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If you want to make a copy of your existing virtual box virtual hard drive (.vdi) file, you cannot just make a copy and expect VirtualBox to add it via the Virtual Media Manager. If you try doing so, it is going to throw and error saying that the UUID of the drive being added is identical to that already existing in the library. There are multiple solutions to this problem:

Approach 1: Use the clonehd command over existing virtual drive file to duplicate it to a new drive. At the command prompt do the following. While I did test these commands on Ubuntu Lucid, I would expect them to be identical over all platforms (Windows, Snow Leopard etc.)

VBoxManage clonehd <name_of_input_hd> <name_of_output_hd>

You can optionally use the UUID as the input filename, and you must not include “<>” while giving the file name.

Approach 2: For people who already copied the virtual drive (.vdi) to a new file. Use the following command to change the UUID, after which you should be able to add the new drive to your media library.

VBoxManage internalcommands sethduuid <filename>

Now just use the media manager to add the new cloned drive.

Notice the two identical sized drives

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Meditating towards his "nerdvana", lifehacker is a teacher by the day and a nerdy blogger by the night. He lives to learn and yearns to learn living.

One Comment on “Clone VirtualBox Virtual Hard Drive (.vdi file)”

  • d backup wrote on 29 November, 2011, 5:31

    or Windows Vista

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 0 Thumb down 0


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