Top 8 Methods to Fix VBOX_E_FILE_ERROR (0x80bb0004) [2021 Update]

Ariel Mu
9 min readAug 1, 2021

Possible Reasons for the VBOX_E_FILE_ERROR (0x80bb0004)

After investigating extensive user reports on forums, we found the VBOX_E_FILE_ERROR (0x80BB0004) error code usually appears in two situations. The first situation is when they were trying to attach a virtual disk to the virtual machine using VirtualBox. The other is when they failed to export a previously created appliance into VM.

According to user reports, the several common scenarios below will trigger the result code: VBOX_E_FILE_ERROR (0x80BB0004).

  • The .vdi or .vmdk file gets corrupted or missing. A lot of users encounter the error when they failed to import a virtual appliance that was torrent files downloaded via a brave browser. This error could occur due to an incomplete download or a network issue.
  • The path of the created appliance doesn’t exist in the current laptop. It often occurs when importing a virtual machine that contains multiple appliances into a new laptop. For instance, some users find that the original VM path was “drive I:” which doesn’t exist on the new laptop. In this case, you can fix it by changing its path to a C drive.
  • The vbomxmanage.exe lacks administrator privileges. This situation is mostly reported to happen when trying to attach a virtual disk hosted on a USB flash drive.
  • The .vdi or .vmdk file is saved on a drive that has bad sectors. If the vdi file contains bad sectors, the error can occur due to file corruption.
  • The VM disk image format is incorrect. Some users find the “failed to import appliance VirtualBox” error can occur when the image became other formats like “.qcow” or “.vhd”. The error can disappear after converting it to VDI.
  • The saved state file inside .vbox is invalid. Some users get the error 0x80BB0004 in the log file after VM refused to start. This can occur due to an invalid saved state file.
  • The virtual machine configuration gets outdated or corrupted. It is also responsible for the VirtualBox failed to import appliance error. For that, you can create a new virtual machine.
  • The VM VirtualBox installation is corrupted. Some users have managed to fix the error by uninstalling the whole VirtualBox client.

How to Fix the VBOX_E_FILE_ERROR (0x80bb0004)

Based on the above analysis, we summarize several effective ways to fix the VBOX_E_FILE_ERROR. Let’s try them one by one.

Solution 1. Re-download the .vmdk or .vdi File

If download the .vmdk or vdi file via a brave browser instead of a torrent client, then the file may get corrupted or incomplete. That’s why you receive the “result code: VBOX_E_FILE_ERROR (0x80BB0004)” error when importing a virtual appliance into VM. In this case, you need to re-download the file using a torrent client like QBitTorrent or download via HTTPS directly.

Solution 2. Change the Path of the Created Appliance to C Drive

A lot of users get the error 0x80BB0004 after exporting a virtual machine into a new laptop. This is because the drive path of the VM doesn’t exist in the laptop. In this case, you need to change the path of the VM to C drive. Also, you can create a new partition and assign a correct drive letter to it, and transfer the VM into the new partition. Once done, you can reboot the virtual machine from the drive and check if the error code disappears.

Solution 3. Run Vboxmanage.exe File as Administrator

If the VirtualBox failed to import appliance error stuck on an Access Denied error, it is possible that you are not running the vboxmanage.exe file with administrator privileges. This is because accessing a virtual disk hosted on a USB drive requires Admin rights. To avoid the error code, we recommend you run both VirtualBox and vboxmanage.exe as administrators.

Step 1. Right-click the VirtualBox shortcut on your desktop and select Properties.

Step 2. In the Properties window, navigate to the Compatibility tab and tick the checkbox next to Run this program as an administrator. Then click on OK to save the change.

Step 3. Press Win + E keys to open the File Explorer, and then find the vboxmanage.exe file and run it as administrator by following the above 2 steps.

Solution 4. Check Bad Sectors on the Hard Drive

Another common reason for the “failed to import appliance VirtualBox” error is that the .vdi or .vmdk contains bad sectors. To fully check hard drive errors, we highly recommend you use the professional utility — MiniTool Partition Wizard. It is a reliable multifunctional partition manager that can help you convert MBR to GPT, recover lost data, migrate OS, etc.

Step 1. In the main interface of this program, select the hard disk that contains the vdi/vmdk file and click on the Surface Test from the left pane.

Step 2. Click on the Start now button in the pop-up window. After that, this program will scan the whole disk immediately and show you the test result.

Step 3. Once any bad sectors are tested, you will the red blocks in the disk map. To mark the bad sectors as unusable, you can utilize the CHKDSK utility. Specifically, you can run Command Prompt as administrator, and then type chkdsk /f /r command and hit Enter in the elevated command prompt.

Once done, you can reboot your computer. Then re-download the .vdi file and use it to create a VM, and check if the error is fixed.

Solution 5. Convert the Virtual Disk Image into VDI

In some cases, users get the “result code: VBOX_E_FILE_ERROR (0x80BB0004)” accompanied with the “file not accessible or erroneous file contents” message. If you find the virtual disk image inside the VM is .vhd or .qcom instead of the .vdi format, then you may encounter the issue. To fix it, you need to convert the disk image into .vdi. For that:

Step 1. Navigate to the VirtualBox installation that is mostly located at C:\Program Files\Oracle\VirtualBox, and then find the .vhd file inside the VirtualBox folder and write down its path.

Step 2. Type cmd in the search box, and then right-click the Command Prompt app and select Run as administrator.

Step 3. In the elevated command prompt, type the following command and hit Enter. Here make sure you change the correct path of the .vhd file. For example, the file path is C:\Program Files\Oracle\VirtualBox\Windows 8.vhd.

VBoxManage.exe clonemedium disk “C:\Program Files\Oracle\VirtualBox\Windows 8.vhd” — format vdi

Solution 6. Delete the Saved State Value in the .vbox File

Some users get the VBOX_E_FILE_ERROR (0x80BB0004) error after VM refused to start. In the log file, they find the “VM cannot start because the saved state file is invalid, VERR_FILE_NOT_FOUND” error message. If you are in this situation, you can try deleting the saved state file and restart VM. This method has been proven by some affected users to be helpful.

Step 1. Open the File Explorer and navigate to the C:\Users\me\VirtualBox VMs\ Snapshots path.

Step 2. Open the Snapshots folder and find the .vbox file (its XML) inside it. Then right-click it and select Open with Notepad.

Step 3. Find the Variable LastStateChange and delete it. And also delete the stateFile= Snapshots value.

Step 4. Press Ctrl + S keys to save changes and restart the VM.

Solution 7. Create a New Virtual Machine

Some users managed to resolve the VirtualBox failed to import appliance error by creating a new virtual machine. Here is a full guide on how to do that:

Step 1. Launch your Oracle VM VirtualBox as administrator, and then select the New button from the top toolbar and select an OS that you want to create.

Step 2. In the pop-up window, name your virtual machine, and select the Machine Folder from File Explorer, and then select the Type and Version of the operating system. After that, click on Next to go on.

Step 3. Select the allocated memory size for the VM by using the blue toggle and click on Next to continue. Here the recommended memory size is 1024MB.

Step 4. Now, you need to select a virtual disk for the VM. Here we take the Use an existing virtual hard disk file option for example, and then click on the Folder icon and browse to the location of the .vdi file. Then click on Create to confirm it.

Step 5. Wait for the process to complete. Once done, you can repeat the steps that you provoke the error 0x80BB0004 and see if it has been solved.

Solution 8. Reinstall Oracle VirtualBox

If all the above methods can’t help you fix the error, then you may have to consider reinstalling Oracle VirtualBox Manager. To do so, follow the steps below:

Step 1. Press Win + R keys to open the Run dialog box, and then type appwiz.cpl in the box and hit Enter to open Programs and Features.

Step 2. Scroll down the list of installed programs to find Oracle VM VirtualBox, and then right-click it and select Uninstall. Click on Yes/Uninstall in the confirmation prompt and follow the on-screen to complete the uninstallation.

Step 3. Once installed, restart your computer and click here to re-download the VirtualBox manager.

Step 4. The VirtualBox packages vary from different operating systems. Make sure you select the correct one.

Step 5. Open the executable file in the installation folder and follow the on-screen instructions to reinstall the program on your computer.

Now, you can try attaching the virtual disk to the VM and check if the error code disappears.

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Have a Try Now

How to fix VBOX_E_FILE_ERROR (0x80BB0004)? The top 8 solutions have been told to you. Now, it’s your turn to have a try. If you have any other ideas on this topic, you can leave them in the comment area below. For any difficulties in using MiniTool Partition Wizard, you can send us an email at [email protected] .


Position: Columnist

Fall in love with the hardware technology in early 2008. Now, Ariel has been a professional columnist for partition management publications. Graduated from Purdue University in 2010, Arial has about 10 years of working experience in the field of hardware technology. As a columnist on MiniTool, Ariel has provided numerous solutions ranging from data backup, disk management, and data recovery. These solutions helped millions of users fix all kinds of tricky problems. Ariel was born in Pennsylvania and lives with her husband and a lovely dog. She always says “Life is full of magic, but writing means the world to me.”

Originally published at on August 1, 2021.