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After restarting VirtualBox on a hard drive almost full, the VM I was using in "unaccessible", with this error message:

Start tag expected, '<' not found
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2 Answers 2

up vote 9 down vote accepted

Check the files of the VM in the VirtualBox VMs folder.

If the .vbox file has size zero, then copy the .vbox-prev file on it.

Restart VirtualBox, it should be repaired.

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On Windows XP, I found the file in "C:\Documents and Settings\username\.VirtualBox\Copy of VirtualBox.xml-prev" and copied it to "C:\Documents and Settings\username\.VirtualBox\VirtualBox.xml" . –  ChrisGuest Sep 2 '13 at 0:04

It seems that the configuration file where the machine settings are stored is screwd up.. The easiest thing to try is to create a new machine whith the same settings as the one not working; but when it asks for creating a new harddrive, select use an existing image and select the image for your virtual machine's harddisk (probably work.vdi)..

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