Need help with VirtualBox v3.2.10 - Restore vdi files

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Need help with VirtualBox v3.2.10 - Restore vdi files

Postby doncell6 » 1. Aug 2021, 21:00

I have a Dell 980 computer running Windows 7 pro which died. I have to restore files to another computer.
I have the original exe file so I can install version 3.2.10 to the new computer.
The guest operating system is Windows 2000.
I have all the files necessary to install v3.2.10 to the new computer and install Windows 2000.

My concern is about the vdi files created by Virtualbox version 3.2.10. This is an old version of Virtualbox All the vdi files from the original computer were backed up to a disk drive using a 3rd party backup program (Macrium_) I need to restore these vdi files so my client has access to the data.

The manual seems to indicate I cannot just restore the vdi files and make them work on another computer. The manual says: “Do not make copies of virtual disk images. If you import such a second copy into a virtual machine, Virtualbox will complain with an error, since Virtualbox assigns a unique identifier (UUID) to each image.”

The original computer died so I did not have a chance to release any vdi files nor make any snapshots. I really need this data.
Q1.)What can I do to successfully get access to the vdi files once they are restored from the backup?

Q2.) How could I manipulate the UUID so the vdi files could successfully be used?
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Re: Need help with VirtualBox v3.2.10 - Restore vdi files

Postby granada29 » 1. Aug 2021, 22:25

I would suggest restoring the entire folder rather than just the .vdi file. This will include your VM settings, which can then be added to the newly installed VirtualBox on your host. You should have no need to change any disk UUIDs if you do this although you may need to modify networking settings if the interfaces are different on your new machine.
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Re: Need help with VirtualBox v3.2.10 - Restore vdi files

Postby doncell6 » 2. Aug 2021, 01:40

I want to be sure I understand your instruction. Please tell me in detail what you mean by "entire folder". I'm not sure what folder I should be restoring.
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Re: Need help with VirtualBox v3.2.10 - Restore vdi files

Postby BillG » 2. Aug 2021, 03:50

This one.

VMFolders.PNG
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Re: Need help with VirtualBox v3.2.10 - Restore vdi files

Postby mpack » 2. Aug 2021, 11:41

Note that VirtualBox v3 did not have the concept of a VM folder.

Howto: Move a VM.

VDI files created by VirtualBox v3 remain fully compatible with the current version of VirtualBox (6.1.26).

However. If you transfer only the VDI file of a Win7 VM then Win7 will lose activation. It may do so anyway since I assume the CPU has changed.
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Re: Need help with VirtualBox v3.2.10 - Restore vdi files

Postby doncell6 » 3. Aug 2021, 03:50

Hello mpack:

You wrote: "However. If you transfer only the VDI file of a Win7 VM then Win7 will lose activation. It may do so anyway since I assume the CPU has changed."

The host operating system is Windows 7. The guest is Windows 2000. I assume I must install the guest operating system before I try to attach any vdi file. I need to get access to the pdf files in the vdi file.
Can I just attach a vdi file? I assume Virtual box will complain and tell me the UUID of the .vdi file is not compatible.
So what do I do then? How do I avoid the UUID problem?
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Re: Need help with VirtualBox v3.2.10 - Restore vdi files

Postby BillG » 3. Aug 2021, 05:10

In your situation, I would try an alternative strategy. Rather than trying to get the Windows 2000 vm to boot under VirtualBox version 3, I would try to read the files on the .vdi by attaching it to a working vm. Windows 2000 files are readable by Windows 7 so I would create a Windows 7 vm and attach the .vdi from the Windows 2000 as an additional disk.

I can't see any reason why you would not be able to read (and copy) the files from the virtual disk. I can certainly read the files on my Windows 2000 vm from my Windows 7 vm, and I can also read them when I attach the Windows 2000 .vdi as an additional drive. It appears in the Windows 7 vm as E: .

W2kinWin7.PNG
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Re: Need help with VirtualBox v3.2.10 - Restore vdi files

Postby mpack » 3. Aug 2021, 10:32

doncell6 wrote:The host operating system is Windows 7. The guest is Windows 2000.

Ah, I see. I misread the opening paragraph.

There's no need to worry about the UUID stuff in the user manual. That only applies if there is more than one instance of that UUID known to VirtualBox, which will not be the case here.

What is more of an issue is the decision to stick to VirtualBox 3.x, which is frankly a bad decision. The main problem is the notorious difficulty in properly backing up 3.x VMs. We wouldn't even be having this discussion if it was a 4.1 (or later) VM.

You have a backup, your scenario can hardly get much worse. IMO you should take the opportunity now to install VirtualBox 6.1.26, then build a new VM around your VDI. The new VM will be centered on a single VM folder - make sure the VM references the VDI in that folder.
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Re: Need help with VirtualBox v3.2.10 - Restore vdi files

Postby doncell6 » 5. Aug 2021, 04:52

Thank you for your help.
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Opening a 3.2.10 vdi file using version 6.1

Postby doncell6 » 14. Aug 2021, 03:39

Running Virtual box version 6.1 on a Dell 7010 computer running Windows 10 pro.
I have a bunch of vdi files created using version 3.2.10
At the time these vdi files were created the guest operating system was Windows 2000. The host operating system at the time was Windows 7 Pro.

Q1.) What would I have to do to enable version 6.1 to open a version 3.2.10 vdi file? I need to retrieve some pdf files.

Yes, I know version 3.2.10 exists and I could download it. I did this. it will not run on Windows 10 Pro.
If version 6.1 will not open the vdi file then what older version would open it without having to install Windows 7?

I tried opening the vdi file using 7 zip. None of the folders shown by 7 zip contain the data i need.

Suggestions? Ideas welcome. Thank you for your help.
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Re: Opening a 3.2.10 vdi file using version 6.1

Postby BillG » 14. Aug 2021, 07:41

Did you ever try the suggestion I gave you last time? Create a new Windows 7 vm under a current version of VirtualBox and add the old .vdi file to it as an additional disk. Then simply find the files you want to retrieve and copy them to some other folder in the Windows 7 vm. From the Windows 7 vm you can copy them wherever you want.
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Re: Opening a 3.2.10 vdi file using version 6.1

Postby mpack » 14. Aug 2021, 11:07

Your new topic seems to be a cross post of your previous one. Please note that cross posting is contrary to forum rules, therefore I have merged the two topics.

doncell6 wrote:Q1.) What would I have to do to enable version 6.1 to open a version 3.2.10 vdi file? I need to retrieve some pdf files.

You don't need to anything to the VDI. The VDI format has not changed. This was already mentioned to you above.

You will have to build a new VM around the VDI, or attach it as a second drive to any Windows VM (NT era, not WinDOS).

An archiver such as 7zip is also an option. If 7zip is able to open the VDI then it will also be able to show all the files it contains. If your file exists and is named as you remember then it will be there. In my experience 7zip doesn't always understand guest filesystems, but I expect it to be happy with all Windows filesystems including the NTFS filesystem used by Win2k. But ultimately we are not here to support 7zip.
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Re: Need help with VirtualBox v3.2.10 - Restore vdi files

Postby doncell6 » 15. Aug 2021, 03:52

Thank you for your help.
To install Win7 as a vm as far as know I would have to have a retail version of Windows 7 pro. I have the Windows 7 pro OEM install disk. I assume this would not work because it is licensed as an OEM product , correct?
so I guess I'd have to install Win2k as the guest and proceed from there?
What are your suggestions?
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Re: Need help with VirtualBox v3.2.10 - Restore vdi files

Postby BillG » 15. Aug 2021, 09:16

Yes, you would need to have the installation media and a valid product key to install a Windows OS in a vm (and not an OEM version which is installed on a physical machine) but it would need to be the Pro edition.

To see the files directly you would need to create a new W2K vm (preferably in VIrtualBox 6.1) using your existing .vdi as mpack suggested.

I just created a new Win2k vm under VirtualBox 6.1.26 using an existing .vdi from a previous vm I have backed up.

Win2k.png
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This will allow you to see the files you want, but you still have the problem of how you transfer them from the Win2k vm to where you want them. Do you still have a PC running Windows 7?
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Re: Opening a 3.2.10 vdi file using version 6.1

Postby mpack » 15. Aug 2021, 16:51

mpack wrote:You will have to build a new VM around the VDI, or attach it as a second drive to any Windows VM (NT era, not WinDOS).

I'd like to make one correction to this statement that I made above. In fact it doesn't need to be a Windows VM, it can be any VM that can read NTFS drives. It's true that NTFS is the native filesystem of NT era Windows, but NTFS is also available as an option in some Linux distros. Some will provide read-only support only, but that's not a problem if you only need to copy some files into a host shared folder.
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