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If it is a Virtual PC .vhd file, then I can make a copy of it so that if the .vhd goes bad for any reason (catch a virus or installed undesirable software), then I can use that old .vhd and start a new machine as if nothing happened.

Can I do that with a .vdi used by VirtualBox too?

the .vdi is about 3GB and comes from a fresh installation of Win XP from DVD-ROM.


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If you're simply replacing a .vdi for an existing VM, it will work. Otherwise you have to be cognizant of the fact that .vdi files have embedded UUIDs. To avoid clashes, make sure to use the vboxmanage.exe clonehd command.

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If you want a portable backup that you can restore, use the export and import commands.

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Of course. But it would be easier to use VirtualBox's snapshot feature. First take a snapshot of your original, known-good machine.

example known good

If you later mess it up, right-click the machine and click "Restore Snapshot":

restore snapshot

Alternatively, you can close the running VM and select the option to revert to the current snapshot.

This method will also save disk space on the host, because only disk sectors that have been changed need to be stored in the snapshot image.

You can also use the feature to clone an entire VM. This will take care of updating the disk UUID.

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