FIX Error- VirtualBox cannot Register the Hard Disk

Hello readers, we all know that Virtual machines are gaining popularity with time. But there are many errors associated with them that the users have to face. One of the errors is “Failed to open the hard disk file <Nameofvirtualdisk.vdi> because a hard disk with the same UUID already exists” or “VirtualBox cannot register the hard disk ”. Here, we will come across methods about how we can resolve it. 

Another error “Failed to open the disk Image File – Cannot Register Hard Disk” which is faced because the VM Disk Image File that we try to open has the identical UUID with other Virtual Disk Image file. The error is displayed in the following way. virtual box error

“Failed to open the hard disk E:\VirtualBox VMs\Windows 8 \Windows 8 Enterprise2.vhd.

Cannot register the hard disk ‘E:\VirtualBox VMs\Windows 8 \Windows 8 Enterprise2.vhd’ {ca2bdc6a-a487-4e57-9fcd-509d0c31d86d} because a hard disk ‘E:\VirtualBox VMs\Windows 8 Enterprise\Windows 8 Enterprise2.vhd’ with UUID {ca2bdc6a-a487-4e57-9fcd-509d0c31d86d} already exists.

Result Code:

E_INVALIDARG (0x80070057)




IVirtualBox {3b2f08eb-b810-4715-bee0-bb06b9880ad2}

Callee RC:


Methods to FIX Error- VirtualBox cannot register the hard disk / Failed to open virtual hard disk file (.VDI) because hard disk already exists

We will be discussing some easy Troubleshoot methods for this error. Follow the complete steps. 

Fix 1 – Using Virtual Media Manager remove Missed Virtual Disks

The error that we are discussing generally appears if we move the virtual hard disk to another location and then try to re-add the virtual hard disk (from the new location) to an existing or new virtual machine, without having previously removed the missed disk from VirtualBox. Now in this situation, using the VirtualBox Media Manager, we have to release the missing virtual disk file. For that

1. Firstly, visit the VirtualBox File menu and open the Virtual Media Manager.

2. Now, Highlight the missed Virtual Disk (Having error sign)* and click on Release

Note-  If no missed disk is visible, continue to method-2 covered ahead. 

3. Hit on Remove option to remove the missing virtual hard disk.

4. Exit the Virtual Media manager and highlight the VM where you wish to add the Virtual Hard Drive file (.VDI) and click on the Settings option. 

5. Now, select the Storage option and then click the ‘Add hard disk‘ icon.

6. Hit on Choose existing disk and then choose the virtual hard disk file that you want to add and click on Open.

7. Now exit the Virtual Machine settings by clicking OK and start the virtual machine. 

Fix 2 – Cloning Virtual Disk using Virtual Media Manager

To avoid the “Failed to open the disk Image File, Cannot Register the Hard Disk” or “VirtualBox cannot register the hard disk” error from happening,  we can clone Virtual Disk image files (VDI, VHD, VHDX, etc.), using the VirtualBox Media Manager by following the below steps. 

1. Firstly, Go to Virtualbox’s File menu and select Virtual Media Manager or press ctrl+D.

2. Now, select the Virtual Hard disk for cloning and click on Copy.

3. Now, decide regarding the “Disk Image File Type” & “Size” (or leave the default settings) and provide a name for the new disk image.

4. Hit on Copy and wait for the new disk image creation completion. 

5. Lastly, When copy completes, use the copied disk image to create a new virtual machine in Virtualbox.

Fix 3 – Reset the Virtual Disk UUID

Another solution to solve “VirtualBox cannot register the hard disk ” or “VirtualBox UUID already exists” problem, is to change the UUID of the Virtual Disk file (VDI). For that.

1. Firstly, Open Command Prompt and select Run as Administrator. 

2. Now, simply Copy & Paste in the command prompt the following command and hit Enter:

  • cd C:\Program Files\Oracle\VirtualBox

3. After that type the following command and press Enter

  • vboxmanage internalcommands sethduuid “%Full_Path_To_VHD_File%”

Note- In “%Full_Path_To_VHD_File%” fill the complete address of the virtual disk image file that you want.

4. Now, we will get a message that the UUID has changed.

5. Lastly, exit from the command prompt and try to attach the virtual hard disk to a new Virtual machine.

Hopefully, after following the above methods you would be able to overcome the VirtualBox cannot register the hard disk error. But still, if you are unable to recover from the error then there are chances that the VHD files are corrupted or damaged. 

If VHD files are corrupted or damaged?

There is no need to worry if you are facing VHD files corruption or damage. You can simply use the VHD recovery tool. The tool is developed with highly advanced technologies that will recover the damaged files. The tools hold an interactive GUI that allows even the non-technical persons to use it. 

Final Verdict 

In this technical guide, we have provided many solutions to troubleshoot VirtualBox cannot register the hard disk error. Even after following the methods, if you are not getting the solution it means that the VHD file is corrupted. For that also we have mentioned a solution. So, we hope after reading this guide you will be able to recover from this situation.