I'm working on a Linux mint virtualbox image hosted on Windows 10 where I accidentally deleted the /etc/share directory and subdirectories.

Now my Image can't boot and I have sensitive data that I want to recover.

How can I do so?

2 Answers 2


OK.. ok.. the problem you are going to have here is that the file system is probably ext4 (or similar) and even if you can open the VDI from windows, you probably won't be able to see the files.

There are windows drivers for some linux file systems but this is the PAINFUL way to solve this (IMHO).

I myself would:

  1. Make a new Linux VM with a new VDI (or use an existing VirtualBox Linux image).
  2. Add your existing VDI to the settings (as another HDD) for the VM in step 1.
  3. After booting the new VM, mount your partition/volume from the VDI in step two into the folder of your choice. To figure out your disk ID, try this.
  4. Copy off the files you need.
  5. Collect Underpants
  6. ?
  7. Profit
  • This did work for me. I created a new Linux VM and mounted the old VDI. I was able to recover my lost data and copy it to the new VM. Jan 5 at 14:45
  • AWESOME!! :) Glad to help sir. Jan 5 at 14:48

It depends on how you created the VM in first place. If you chose to have all the machine in one file (.vdi file) or have separated file for configuration and for virtual drive in it (ie .vhd file).

Either way you want to mount the file as a virtual drive so that if it can't boot as it is for you, you will be able to read the data inside the file.

  • You might want to try opening .vdi file with 7zip.
  • Try using ImDisk if you have .vhd file and your host is windows.
  • The data inside the file (say through 7zip) will be shown as a few files, one per faked partition in the drive. These partitions are stored in their actual file formats (like Ext4 and Linux Swap). How is the OP supposed to view and or copy those using this method? Jan 5 at 14:18
  • It is nice that you are showing ways to open VDI and VHD files though. :) Jan 5 at 14:53

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