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VirtualBox: Purge deleted hard disks.


Published Date: 28-JAN-2019

Just some quick notes on when I tried to re-attach a disk that was initially "missing" according to VirtualBox; moved the HDD to a different directory and got a "this disk already exists" error when trying to add it back in.

Found some very straight forward instructions from, and full credit to (reference below). I just wanted to capture my process of this with some screenshots as well.


things you'll need installed to follow along

  • VirtualBox
  • access and know where your VBoxManage.exe is (I'm doing this on my windoze machine) cos we're running some CLI

Missing disk

missing disk

Error: Disk UUID already exists

Ok, so locate the disk and try and add it:

disk error

Get this error

disk error

Fix with VBoxManage.exe

Right, find your VirtualBox binaries and run the following

vboxmanage list hdds

For me in MobaXterm that looks like this: mobaxterm

grab that UUID and delete it from then delete it from VirtualBox

vboxmanage closemedium disk <uuid> --delete

for some reason when I did this, I got an error mobaxterm

But I was able to successfully add it back in anyway, so yea... dunno about that... Anyway, re-tried it with another entry and this is what a successful command run looks like



I know vboxmanage has a tonne of other cool stuff you can do from the command line, e.g. vagrant utilises a lot of this when scripting virtual machine builds which is bloody cool.