How to Fix 0x80004005 Error When Starting Virtual Machine in Oracle VM VirtualBox (Windows 7, 8, 8.1 and 10)


Oracle VM VirtualBox is one of few programs most commonly affected with 0x80004005 error. En error occurs when starting a session for the virtual machine, saying something like:

Failed to open a session for the virtual machine.

Although this error message may be different, there will always be Result Code: E_FAIL (0x80004005) within the error details.


If you’re experiencing this error under entirely different circumstances, click HERE to see the list of all possible scenarios including 0x80004005 error code.



Descriptions for VirtualBox 0x80004005 error:

  • Failed to open a session for the virtual machine. Result Code: E_FAIL (0x80004005)
  • The virtual machine has terminated unexpectedly during startup with exit code -1073741819 (0xc0000005)
  • Failed to create the VirtualBoxClient COM object. The application will now terminate. Result Code: E_FAIL (0x80004005)
  • Failed to uninstall the Extension Pack Oracle VM VirtualBox Extenson Pack. Result Code: E_FAIL (0x80004005)
  • Failed to open the hard disk. The medium can’t be used as the requested device type. Result Code: NS_ERROR_FAILURE (0x80004005)
  • Failed to create the host network interface. Result Code: E_FAIL (0x80004005)
  • Failed to open session for the virtual machine. VT-x is not available. (VERR_VMX_NO_VMX)



What causes VirtualBox 0x80004005 error?

In the most number of cases (but not always), the source of VirtualBox 0x80004005 error is related to the file name conflict between particular virtual machine configuration files.

Follow the rest of this page to see how to determine if 0x80004005 error is caused by this particular situation or if not, what else you can do to FIX 0x80004005 error in VIrtualBox.



How does this file name conflict happen?

To better understand the situation, we’ll explain how VirtualBox handles creating and running a new virtual machine. Let’s say you’ve created a new virtual machine named “winxp

During the creation of winxp virtual machine, VirtualBox also creates winxp.vbox configuration file to store settings related to winxp virtual machine.

When winxp virtual machine session is started, VirtualBox renames winxp.vbox file to “winxp.vbox-prev“. At the same time, the another copy of winxp.vbox is created within the same folder, named “winxp.vbox-tmp”. As you may assume, winxp.vbox-tmp will be used as the working version during session, while winxp.vbox-prev stays there as the backup version. When winxp virtual machine session ends, VirtualBox renames winxp.vbox-tmp to “winxp.vbox”. At the next session start, the described procedure repeats and winxp.vbox-prev gets overwritten with a newer version.


Virtual machine folder while session isn’t running. winxp.vbox-prev presence means that winxp virtual machine was running at least once.
Virtual machine folder while session is running.


This implementation of virtual machine configuration file was designed to always keep the backup version of configuration file, in case something goes wrong during virtual machine session.

BUT… If VirtualBox process is interrupted and unexpectedly closed during the session, winxp.vbox-tmp file will not be renamed to winxp.vbox and VirtualBox will return 0x80004005 error during the next session start because it will not detect existing winxp.vbox file required to run winxp virtual machine.



How to fix x80004005 error caused by wrong configuration file name?

Follow these steps to determine if this is the cause of 0x80004005 error in your version of VirtualBox, and how to fix it. Again we will assume that you virtual machine’s name is “winxp” :

1  Close VirtualBox completely. To make sure no VB service is still running, press ctrl + shift + esc and check if there are active processes called VirtualBox.exe and VBoxSVC.exe. If so, right-click on both and select End Process.

2  Navigate to your virtual machine folder. By default, virtual machines are located at:

C:\Users\<USERNAME>\VirtualBox VMs\

If there’s no winxp.vbox file but there are two files named “winxp.vbox-tmp” and “winxp.vbox-prev”, this procedure will solve 0x80004005 error doubtless. 

3  Backup both files (winxp.vbox-tmp and winxp.vbox-prev) somewhere on your hard disk, to restore them in case this solution doesn’t help you.

4  Rename winxp.vbox-prev file to “winxp.vbox” and try running winxp virtual machine again. If you’re still getting an error, restore its name to “winxp.vbox-prev” and try renaming winxp.vbox-tmp to winxp.vbox”. If none of these two combinations work, proceed to the other possible solutions below.


Note 1: In the older versions of VirtualBox (prior to version 4.0), “.xml” was used instead of “.vbox“, so the procedure is same, except the extension.

Note 2: If winxp.vbox file was already present in virtual machine folder, you can try deleting it proceeding with steps above. Just make sure to backup original winxp.vbox along with everything else. 



Other possible solutions on to fix 0x80004005 error in VirtualBox

If your problem is not related to wrong configuration file name, there are couple of more solutions which you can try…


Solution 1:  Check if your CPU supports virtualization (VT-x/AMD-v)

If your 0x80004005 error in VirtualBox includes VT-x and/or AMD-v terms within the error description, this solution will help you fixing your version of VirtualBox.

In order to work, every virtual machine software needs CPU virtualization feature. Enter your BIOS settings (keep pressing DEL key after turning on your PC) and seek for this feature among settings. 

For INTEL based systems, virtualization feature is called VT-x, while AMD uses term AMD-v.


Solution 2:  Run virtual machine from outside the VirtualBox 

There’s been a number of cases where VirtualBox returns 0x80004005 error if you try to run virtual machine from within the VirtualBox, but if you close the program and try running virtual machine file, it works without any problem. Before trying this method, you’ll have to remove your virtual machine from the list of virtual machines within the VirtualBox first.  Follow these steps to try this method:

1  Open VirtualBox and remove your virtual machine from the VirtualBox machines list on the left side of program interface, but do not let it remove related VM files.

2  Open up virtual machine folder. Default location: C:\Users\[USERNAME]\VirtualBox VMs

3  Right click on the .vbox file named the same as virtual machine and select Open. On the older versions of VirtualBox (prior to version 4.0), .xml extension was used instead of .vbox

4  Your virtual machine session should start immediately, if .vbox file extension is associated to VirtualBox application. Otherwise choose Select a program from a list of installed programs and choose VirtualBox Manager. If there’s no VirtualBox Manager within the offered list of programs, select Browse and choose VirtualBox Manager within the VirtualBox installation folder.

Default VirtualBox installation folder location: C:\Program Files\Oracle\VirtualBox


Solution 3:  Configure virtual memory usage

Sometimes 0x80004005 error in VirtualBox occurs if specific virtual machine has been configured to use more RAM memory than Windows pagefile is able to supply. This situation occurs when you try to start a virtual machine session while your physical RAM memory is exhausted by running applications and the only remaining memory resource is Windows pagefile. In this situation, if maximum allowed memory usage for virtual machine exceeds maximum allowed pagefile size, you’ll probably end up with 0x80004005 error.

To solve this problem, increase maximum allowed pagefile size or turn on System managed size option within Windows Virtual Memory settings. If you’re not familiar with configuring virtual memory usage in Windows, follow THIS link for detail instructions. 


Solution 4: Downgrade VirtualBox to older version

Although this might sound degrading and unacceptable for some users, switching to older VirtualBox version proved to be the most effective way of solving 0x80004005 error. But if you’ve tried everything and 0x80004005 error is still there, this might be the only solution. 

Follow THIS link and choose between older VirtualBox releases. The most stable version, known as “Working like a charm” is 4.3.12