Fix: VBOX_E_FILE_ERROR (0x80bb0004)

Several users report getting the vbox_e_file_error (0x80bb0004) error when trying to attach a virtual disk to the virtual machine using VirtualBox. Other users report that for them the issue occurs when they try to export a previously created appliance into VM VirtualBox Manager.

vbox_e_file_error (0x80bb0004) error
vbox_e_file_error (0x80bb0004) error

What is causing the vbox_e_file_error (0x80bb0004) error

We investigated this particular issue by looking at various users and the method that they reportedly used to resolve the error message. Based on what we were able to gather, there are several fairly common scenarios that will trigger this particular error message:

  • The .vmdk or .vdi file is corrupt – This particular error is often reported to occur when the user tries to import a virtual appliance downloaded over the internet. This can occur due to an incomplete download or a network issue.
  • vbomxmanage.exe doesn’t have administrative privileges – Another common reason that will trigger this issue is when a component involved in the importing or exporting process is missing admin rights. This is mostly reported to occur when the user tries to attach a virtual disk hosted on a USB drive.
  • The machine configuration needs to be updated – The error might also occur because some manual intervention has corrupted your current virtual machine configuration. Some users in a similar situation have managed to get the issue resolved by recreating the virtual machine from scratch in VirtualBox.
  • The .vdi or .vmdk file contains bad sectors – Several users have reported that the issue was fixed after they used the CHKDSK utility to scan the file for bad sectors. This suggests that the error can also occur due to file corruption.
  • Corrupted VM VirtualBox installation – A corrupted Windows VirtualBox installation can also trigger this error message. Some users have managed to resolve the issue by uninstalling the whole VM VirtualBox client along with all associated components.

If you’re currently struggling to resolve this particular issue, this article will provide you with a list of verified troubleshooting steps. Below you have a list of methods that other users in a similar situation have used to get the issue resolved.

For the best results, follow the potential fixes below in order until you encounter one that is effective for your particular situation.

Let’s begin!

Method 1: Re-downloading the .vmdk or .vdi file

If you’re getting this particular error when trying to import a Virtual Appliance into the Oracle VM VirtualBox Manager, it’s very likely that you’re dealing with some kind of corruption.

Most affected users reported that they managed to resolve the issue after they re-downloaded the Virtual Appliance or after they performed a thorough CHKDSK.

If your situation is similar to the one described above, start by re-downloading the .vmdk file (if you got it over the internet). You might e dealing with an interrupted or partially downloaded update.

Once the download is complete, try to import the Virtual Appliance again into your VM VirtualBox Manager. If the vbox_e_file_error (0x80bb0004) error returns, you’ve just confirmed that the error is not occurring due to a corrupted download.

If you’re still seeing the error or you haven’t downloaded the .vmdk file from the Internet, move down to the next method below

Method 2: Opening vboxmanage.exe with administrative privileges

If the error code is wrapped up in an Access Denied error, it’s very likely that you are encountering the issue because you’re not opening the vboxmanage executable with administrative privileges. Some affected users have reported that the issue was resolved after they opened both VirtualBox and vboxmanage.exe as Administrator.

This is quite a common occurrence when trying to attach a virtual disk (hosted on a USB drive) to a virtual machine. As it turns out, RAW access to the USB device will require Admin rights, which is what might end up producing the error.

So, before trying anything else, make sure that you’re using Admin rights when doing the managing part by right-clicking on vboxmanage.exe and choosing Run as Administrator.

Running vboxmanage.exe as Admin
Running vboxmanage.exe as Admin

If this method didn’t allow you to resolve the issue, move down to the next method below.

Method 3: Creating a new Virtual Machine

Several users that encountered the VBOX_E_FILE_ERROR (0x80BB0004) error when trying to import the Appliance OVA file into VirtualBox reported that they managed to resolve the issue by creating a new virtual machine from scratch.

Here’s a quick guide on how to do this:

  1. Open Oracle VM VirtualBox and press New to create a new virtual machine.
    Creating a new Virtual Machine
    Creating a new Virtual Machine
  2. Name your new virtual machine, then select the Type and Version of the emulated operating system.
    Creating a new virtual machine
    Creating a new virtual machine
  3. Select the allocated memory size using the toggle and click Next once again.
    Allocating memory
    Allocating memory
  4. In the next screen, choose to Use an existing virtual hard disk file, click the folder icon and browse to the location of the .vdi file.
    Browsing to the location of the VDI file before creating the new machine
    Browsing to the location of the VDI file before creating the new machine
  5. Once the new virtual machine is recreated, repeat the steps that were previously triggering the vbox_e_file_error (0x80bb0004) error and see if the issue has been resolved.

If you’re still seeing the same error message, move down to the next method below.

Method 4: Running CHKDSK

Several users have reported that the issue was corrected after they ran a CHKDSK scan on their computer. Apparently, the CHKDSK utility is perfectly capable of finding and correcting errors in the .vdi file.

If the error is occurring due to some bad sectors in the .vdi file, the following procedure should resolve the issue entirely. Here’s what you need to do:

Note: If you’re encountering this issue on Linux, you can use the FSCK (File System Check) utility instead.

  1. Press Windows key + R to open up a Run dialog box. Then, type “cmd” and press Ctrl + Shift + Enter to open up an elevated Command Prompt window.
    Run dialog: cmd , then press Ctrl + Shift + Enter
    Run dialog: cmd , then press Ctrl + Shift + Enter
  2. Inside the elevated Command Prompt, simply run the following command and press Enter to initiate a scan.
    chkdsk X: /f /r /x

    Note: Keep in mind that X is merely a placeholder for the volume letter of the drive holding the .vmdk or .vmi file. Replace it accordingly so it looks like this: chkdsk c: /f /r /x

  3. The command that you’ve just run will scan the volume and attempt to fix any found errors on top of trying to recover any information from bad sectors. Once the procedure is complete, close the elevated Command Prompt and restart your computer.
  4. At the next startup, see if the issue has been resolved by repeating the same procedure that was previously showing the vbox_e_file_error (0x80bb0004) error.

If you’re still encountering the same error message, move down to the final method below.

Method 5: Reinstall Oracle Virtual box

Some users encountering the same vbox_e_file_error (0x80bb0004) error have reported that the issue was only fixed after they reinstalled the whole Oracle Virtual box installation. This seems to suggest that a corrupted installation might also be responsible for this particular error.

Here’s a quick guide on reinstalling Oracle VirtualBox:

  1. Press Windows key + R to open up a Run dialog box. Then, type “appwiz.cpl” and press Enter to open up Programs and Features.
    Run dialog: appwiz.cpl
    Run dialog: appwiz.cpl
  2. Inside Programs and Features, scroll down through the list of applications and locate Oracle VM VirtualBox. Once you see the entry, right-click on it and choose Uninstall.
    Uninstalling Oracle VM VirtualBox
    Uninstalling Oracle VM VirtualBox
  3. Click Yes at the confirmation prompt to uninstall the Oracle VM VirtualBox.
    Confirming the installation of Oracle VM VirtualBox
    Confirming the installation of Oracle VM VirtualBox
  4. Once the uninstallation process is complete, restart your computer.
  5. At the next startup, visit this link (here) and click on Windows hosts to download the latest version of VirtualBox for windows.
  6. Open the installation executable and follow the on-screen prompts to reinstall the software to your system.
  7. Try to attach the Virtual Disk to the virtual machine again and see if the error is still occurring.
Kevin Arrows
Kevin is a dynamic and self-motivated information technology professional, with a Thorough knowledge of all facets pertaining to network infrastructure design, implementation and administration. Superior record of delivering simultaneous large-scale mission critical projects on time and under budget.

Expert Tip

Fix: VBOX_E_FILE_ERROR (0x80bb0004)

If the issue is with your Computer or a Laptop you should try using Restoro which can scan the repositories and replace corrupt and missing files. This works in most cases, where the issue is originated due to a system corruption. You can download Restoro by clicking the Download button below.

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