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VirtualBox Duplicate UUID
VirtualBox Duplicate UUID

VirtualBox – Cannot Register the Hard Drive Because a Hard Drive with UUID Already Exists

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Virtualization is awesome! It really helps when you are a developer.  On my laptop I don’t even have SQL Server installed on the OS directly.  In fact the only thing I have installed on my host is Office, Skype and Chrome.  Everything else gets run on a VM. SSIS package creation using BIDS: VM. SQL Server Management Studio: VM. SharePoint sandbox: VM VPN: VM. One of the advantages of doing this is you don’t have to worry about screwing something up.  I have a snapshot on the VM just before I installed SQL Server.  So if something happens and my install gets corrupted I will just roll it back and reinstall SQL Server rather than the entire OS plus SQL Server. Currently to do all this I am using Oracle’s VirtualBox software.  It works great for those of us who have Windows 7 and allows you to run both x86 and x64 virtual machines.  I recently tried to make a copy of one of my VHDs (Virtual Hard Drive) and create a new VM.  Everything was wonderful until I got this error:

VirtualBox Duplicate UUID

VirtualBox Duplicate UUID

Failed to open the hard disk . Cannot register the hard disk because a hard disk with UUID already exists. I looked all over the place to find what was causing it and finally found a fix. Of course it requires the command prompt, so open that junk up and let’s get started! **Note that I am on VirtualBox version 4.1.6 and from what I’ve read this command used to be something different a few versions ago. I think instead of setdhuuid it was setvdiuuid, but don’t hold me to that.**

  1. Open the Command Prompt
  2. Change the directory to where VirtualBox is installed (Default: C:\Program Files\Oracle\VirtualBox)
  3. Type the following VBOXMANAGE.EXE internalcommands sethduuid

Note that internalcommands and sethduuid need to be lowercase.  I spent more than a couple minutes trying to figure out why things weren’t working.  🙂 Below is the output of me changing the ID of the VHD located at C:\Users\bschacht\VirtualBox VMs\Windows XP (VPN) Copy.vhd





About Nguyen Vu Ngoc Tung

I love making new professional acquaintances. Don't hesitate to contact me via nguyenvungoctung@gmail.com if you want to talk about information technology, education, and research on complex networks analysis (i.e., metabolic networks analysis), data analysis, and applications of graph theory. Specialties: researching and proposing innovative business approaches to organizations, evaluating and consulting about usability engineering, training and employee development, web technologies, software architecture.

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