VirtualBox and Changing Drive UUID

Occasionally I test software in a Windows XP virtualization environment and if the software goes bad with an environment, I need a quick way to recover by purging the environment’s drive and replacing it with a copy: probably the quickest way is to duplicate a virtualized environment’s .vdi file and, should testing go awry, replace the compromised .vdi with the pre-compromised original copy.

Sometimes I simultaneously test two environments or .vdi files. Since the .vdi are copies of each other, VirtualBox sees them with the same UUID and doesn’t allow you to set up the second environment until the .vdi files have differing UUID. To get around this change change your copied .vdi’s UUID, by using, before you attempt to set up the new/second environment. To change the UUID, use the following steps:

  1. Open
  2. Navigate to the folder where you have a .vdi file you’d like to change the UUID on
  3. Execute the following command in while replacing “WinXP_2.vdi” with the name of your second .vdi file:

    VBoxManage internalcommands sethduuid WinXP_2.vdi

After changing the UUID, you can now continue setting up a second virtualized environment that is linked to the .vdi changed above.

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