I'm very new to Virtual Machine concepts. I copied a VM that is working on a machine to an another machine, and I wasn't able to start the copied version.

When I tried to open it up, I get this error:

Trying to open a VM config /media/New Volume/vm/a.vbox which has the same UUID as an existing virtual machine

What went wrong here? What can I do to start the copied VM?


When you opened a moved vm, you should be asked , 'Did you move or copy it' - you selected move instead of copy. You might be able to simply edit the UUID (though the proper command would be VBoxManage.exe internalcommands sethduuid "C:\path\to\new\vdi" according to this site

  • This is Virtualbox... Not VMware... (Nonetheless, the problem is the same...)
    – ppeterka
    Oct 19 '12 at 7:04
  • thanks, edited to reflect that. Annoyingly I have tabs for both open ;p
    – Journeyman Geek
    Oct 19 '12 at 7:24

VirtualBox does not allow you to have multiple Virtual HDDs with the same UUID.

The error messages means that the virtual HDD is already being used in an another VM.

Two solutions are possible:

  • Unmount the virtual HDD you are not using: In VirtualBox Manager, File -> Media Manager ( or the sortcut Ctrl + D) and unmount the HDD you are not using.
  • Change the UUID of the virtual HDD. (I don't know how to do that and I don't think it is even possible)

Based on this:

Trying to open a VM config /media/New Volume/vm/a.vbox which has the same UUID as an existing virtual machine

What's happened is that the UUID (Universally Unique Identifier) of the VM which you've copied is the same as the UUID of another virtual machine which you have on the destination PC.

You can edit the "a.vbox" file, which is an XML file to change the UUID so that there is no conflict.

You may also have an issue with the VDIUUID of the virtual disk, an example of changing that can be found in this blog entry:


  • VirtualBox VM - Do a hard copy:

NOTE: I know that VirtualBox has its own procedure for this process, but I do not like it and so I prefer what I explain here.

Copy the virtual machine folder.

Change the disk UUID value...

VBoxManage internalcommands sethduuid "/path_to_disk/path_to_disk/disk_name.vmdk_vid_etc"

Open the file (inside of the virtual machine folder)...


... and change the <Machine uuid= value to a new UUID and replace the <HardDisk uuid= and the <Image uuid= values with the uuid obtained with the VBoxManage internalcommands sethduuid command above. Change the MACAddress= attribute value inside of <Adapter to a new value.

Add the copied virtual machine in VirtualBox.


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