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I'm using VirtualBox 3.1.2 (on Windows 7, as my host OS) to experiment with an ArchLinux install. I use the Save Machine State option when powering down my VM so that it can be restored as it was. If I try to restore it immediately, the restore state works fine. However if I attempt to do the same after couple of hours or the next day, on launching VirtualBox, VirtualBox behaves as if the machine state was never saved, and starts the VM akin to a cold-boot.

Why is this so ? Has anyone else faced this ?

Edit: To clarify: All changes made to my had disk do remain - just that the Save previous state feature does not work - it doesn't restore the VM to the state it was saved, rather it acts as the system was switched off

Apparently, this is a known bug. I had filed a bug, but this has been closed since it is a duplicate of previous bug. This bug affects only those installations which have been installed in non-standard locations.

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More information please. Windows 7 host with Arch Linux guest, right? Is the previous state not saved--that is, do changes to the virtual hard drive made in your last session remain? Is it just booting wrong, or is it also losing these changes? – CarlF Jan 9 '10 at 19:57
@CarlF - Added the details – Sathya Jan 10 '10 at 6:08

Please check if you have full write-access to the directory where the VM is saved. Please also answer these questions:

  • Are the VM-Files all on your local harddrive or on a network-sharing?
  • What File-System is the partition formated with?
  • Try running VirtualBox as administrator - does this fix your problem? Also check for information about archlinux&VirtualBox
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1. The VM files are all on my external hard disk. 2. NTFS partition 3. I am running it as admin. 4. Thanks for the link Will scan and see if I can get something. – Sathya Jan 11 '10 at 3:43
I just tested it on my external harddrive formatted as ntfs and i wasn't able to reproduce your problem. (i just had to run virtualbox as administrator... -and i tested ubuntu instead) more questions :D - before you try to resume your virtual machine: does virtualbox show you as state "power off" or "saved"? - in the main windo under the name of the virtual machine - if you go to the settings of your virtual machine, then to the system -part; are any of the extended features boxes checked? and what about the checkboxes in the section graphics? - or try to remake a clean virtual machine – BasisBit Jan 14 '10 at 4:25
@BasisBit 1 - It says power off :(. I can resume it as long as I have not closed virtualbox, the moment I close VirtualBox, it loses that state. 2 - External features are not checked. In graphics, however Enable 3D Acceleration is cecked – Sathya Jan 16 '10 at 19:11
then please look in the log of virtualbox (rightclick at virtual machine and the show log) and search for something like failes to load file something.vdk or file permission error. Also it might even be a virusscanner that "quarantines" a snapshot file. I searched in the virtualbox-bugtracker and the only problem i found that is similar to yours is caused by not working pae/nx You can deactivate it by opening the settings-windo for the virtual maching, then go to System, there go to processor and make sure that Enable PAE/NX is not checked. – BasisBit Jan 17 '10 at 9:58
@BasisBit - I checked the logs, no signs of permission error. I don't have a Virus scanner running either. PAE/NX was enabled, disabling it was of no help. I thank you for your time and patience in assisting me.I'll open a ticket with VirtualBox Support. Marking this as +1 accepted -as this is the least I can do :) – Sathya Jan 19 '10 at 11:27
up vote 1 down vote accepted

This bug has been fixed on VirtualBox versions 3.2.6 and above - and happened because I had installed VirtualBox to a non-standard location

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