"No bootable media found" after moving VM

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"No bootable media found" after moving VM

Postby noremac594 » 6. Dec 2017, 07:32

Background
I created a VM on my hard drive by importing a virtual appliance (.ova) file.
I created a virtual disk for the VM.
I enabled encryption.

What happened
I wanted to move my virtual hard disk to a USB flash drive because it was getting pretty big and I needed space on my HDD.
I formatted my flash drive to NTFS, to support files over 4GB.
I followed the guide at the link below to move the virtual machine disk (.vmdk) file from my VirtualBox VMs folder (in my users folder) to the flash drive: http://dirkstrauss.com/moving-virtualbox-vm/

The issue
When attempting to boot my virtual machine up after following the guide, I get the following error: "FATAL: No bootable medium found! System halted."
I'm also not prompted with the encryption password box at startup anymore.

Troubleshooting
I created a new encrypted VM from the same virtual appliance (.ova) file, and it worked perfectly.
I tried comparing the details and settings of the new machine and the broken machine, but they were all identical, except for encryption. (Also excluding the different location of the .vmdk file, of course.)
I re-enabled encryption in the broken machine's settings with the same password. This made the password box pop up when attempting to boot, but I get the same fatal error after typing in the password.
The only clue I have thus far is that right-clicking the broken virtual machine and clicking "Show in Explorer" brings me to the VirtualBox VMs folder in my Users folder, instead of the root of my flash drive where I moved the .vmdk file to.
I even tried following the guide (at the link above) again to move the .vmdk file back to its original folder in the VirtualBox VMs folder on my hard drive. No difference—I still got the same error.
With the .vmdk file moved back onto my hard drive, the details and settings of my broken machine and new machine are completely identical, yet one works and one doesn't at all.

Thoughts?
It seems like I would be getting that error message if I forgot to add the .vmdk file to my SAS/SATA controller, but I definitely followed all of the steps in that guide.
If additional info for troubleshooting is needed, ask away. Thanks!
Last edited by socratis on 6. Dec 2017, 11:15, edited 1 time in total.
Reason: Fixed obfuscated URLs.
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Re: "No bootable media found" after moving VM

Postby erdeslawe » 6. Dec 2017, 12:12

You used a wrong/out of date source of guidance. Try: viewtopic.php?f=35&t=55003
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Re: "No bootable media found" after moving VM

Postby mpack » 6. Dec 2017, 12:42

Yes, that blog advice was catastrophically wrong on the day it was written. Most of the time the damage would be repairable, EXCEPT if your VM uses encryption and you no longer have access to the original .vbox config file. In the latter case your VM is dead for good (*).

@noremac594: you need to stop believing that the first blog you trip over must be telling the gospel truth! If you want to know how VirtualBox works then first stop is the VirtualBox User Manual, and the next stop is the official VirtualBox Forums. AFAIK no other source of information is worth mentioning, unless you have a direct conduit to the devs.

(*) You can't repair the damage by creating a new VM with the same password, as that password was never used to encrypt the disk. VirtualBox encrypts the disk with a one time data encryption key which is stored in the .vbox file, it is this key which is secondarily encrypted using your password to prevent others being able to read it in the .vbox file.
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Re: "No bootable media found" after moving VM

Postby noremac594 » 7. Dec 2017, 03:31

If that guide was catastrophically wrong on the day it was written, how come there are plentiful "Thank you, this worked" comments below it?
I don't take every first blog I trip over as gospel truth, but I do find real-looking comments all saying the method is valid pretty convincing.

I do have the .vbox file though. Is there a way I can restore my VM using that file?
Last edited by socratis on 7. Dec 2017, 07:27, edited 1 time in total.
Reason: Removed unnecessary verbatim quote of the whole previous message.
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Re: "No bootable media found" after moving VM

Postby socratis » 7. Dec 2017, 07:37

noremac594 wrote:If that guide was catastrophically wrong on the day it was written, how come there are plentiful "Thank you, this worked" comments below it?
I for one, cannot see any comments, maybe I've missed them, but that's not the point; the point is that nowhere in that blog it talks about encrypted VMs. That's a whole different issue. And if you want to do have the latest, high-tech options enabled, then you'd better try them out *before* you actually apply them in your only working copy. You know... try it with a test VM, see if it works as expected/imagined, then move to your real VM.

noremac594 wrote:I do have the .vbox file though. Is there a way I can restore my VM using that file?
Not unless you have the originals, no. A backup of the whole VM folder would do it as well. If you don't have the original matching .vbox and .vdi, then I'm afraid you're out of luck. That's the whole idea of the encryption.
If you obfuscate any information requested, I will obfuscate my response. These are virtual UUIDs, not real ones.
Do NOT reply with the "QUOTE" button, please use the "POST REPLY", at the bottom of the form.
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Re: "No bootable media found" after moving VM

Postby noremac594 » 7. Dec 2017, 08:19

I cut the whole VM folder to my flash drive, and pasted it back in the Users folder after it didn't work, replacing any new files that were created by the failed boot-up.
So, depending on what you mean by "original," I believe I do still have the original files.
I have a .vmdk file instead of .vdi though.
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Re: "No bootable media found" after moving VM

Postby socratis » 7. Dec 2017, 08:30

<off_topic>
I would really love to punch in the face whoever invented cut/copy/paste for files and directories :evil:
</off_topic>

The fact that you have a VMDK instead of the (default) VDI shouldn't be a problem. The procedure that you followed (replacing any new files that were created by the failed boot-up), might be though. I'm not even sure what that means to tell you the truth...

A proper restore does not involve messing with files and the merging process manually. A proper restore is an exact restore from when you made a backup. Period. The contents have to match exactly, not approximately, neither upon end-user intuition.

Schrödinger's Backup
The condition of any backup is unknown until a restore is attempted.
If you obfuscate any information requested, I will obfuscate my response. These are virtual UUIDs, not real ones.
Do NOT reply with the "QUOTE" button, please use the "POST REPLY", at the bottom of the form.
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Re: "No bootable media found" after moving VM

Postby mpack » 7. Dec 2017, 10:21

noremac594 wrote:If that guide was catastrophically wrong on the day it was written, how come there are plentiful "Thank you, this worked" comments below it?

If I was to blog that the best way to cross the street is to close your eyes and dash, then it's quite possible that below my advice might be many "thank you, this worked!" posts. Does this mean it was good advice? I.e. does anything less than 100% fatality make it good advice? If you think so then you must use strange definitions.

Good advice comes from someone who understands the subject. Your blogger on the other hand was clearly a total noob. But hey, he was posting in a public blog and trying to help people so I guess that made him a reliable source.
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Re: "No bootable media found" after moving VM

Postby noremac594 » 8. Dec 2017, 09:46

If you blogged that the best way to cross the street is to close your eyes and dash, you most likely would not have a bunch of thank you posts below it. If there were any, they would be sarcastic in nature because your post was obviously false/satirical. Regardless, I doubt the comments on your blog post would be 90-95% thank yous, with a total absence of "hey, this guide is totally BS", as they are on the post by "my blogger."

I posted on this forum looking for help understanding my issue / restoring my system; I don't see why you have to be such a dick. Is it because I'm a new member with a post count of 3? I chose to follow that guide because it looked realistic from my level of experience with VMs, and because it had 30 convincing comments. Why not just help me out instead of criticizing me for following a misleading guide?
Last edited by socratis on 8. Dec 2017, 11:13, edited 1 time in total.
Reason: Removed unnecessary verbatim quote of the whole previous message.
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Re: "No bootable media found" after moving VM

Postby noremac594 » 8. Dec 2017, 09:47

socratis wrote:A proper restore does not involve messing with files and the merging process manually. A proper restore is an exact restore from when you made a backup. Period. The contents have to match exactly, not approximately, neither upon end-user intuition.

Schrödinger's Backup
The condition of any backup is unknown until a restore is attempted.

So how exactly would I go about attempting to restore my system with the files I have?
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Re: "No bootable media found" after moving VM

Postby socratis » 8. Dec 2017, 11:20

Rename the existing folder to something else. Restore your backup. That means that you shouldn't be "merging" things manually.
If you obfuscate any information requested, I will obfuscate my response. These are virtual UUIDs, not real ones.
Do NOT reply with the "QUOTE" button, please use the "POST REPLY", at the bottom of the form.
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