virtualbox NS_ERROR_FAILURE (0x80004005)

Ask Ubuntu Asked by muclux on November 11, 2020

Yesterday my Virtualbox guests were still running. Today I get the following error for all guests (windows or Linux).

Failed to open a session for the virtual machine win10.

The VM session was closed before any attempt to power it on.

Result Code: NS_ERROR_FAILURE (0x80004005)
Component: SessionMachine
Interface: ISession {7844aa05-b02e-4cdd-a04f-ade4a762e6b7}

I already tried to run sudo /sbin/vboxconfig, reinstalling from Software Manager, reinstalling following Cannot run virtual machines after upgrading virtualbox from 5.0 to 5.1 and upgrading to 5.2.12 r122591 and 5.2.14 r123301. The result was always the same.

My current kernel version is 4.15.0-24-generic #26-Ubuntu SMP.

$ VBoxManage list extpacks
Extension Packs: 1
Pack no. 0:   Oracle VM VirtualBox Extension Pack
Version:      5.2.14
Revision:     123301
Description:  USB 2.0 and USB 3.0 Host Controller, Host Webcam, VirtualBox RDP, PXE ROM, Disk Encryption, NVMe.
VRDE Module:  VBoxVRDP
Usable:       true 

5 Answers

After a long, friendly and fruitful chat with @DavidFoerster, it turned out that Microsoft and its weird update policy was the culprit!

David patiently guided me through the reinstallation of the VirtualBox packages from the Ubuntu repositories and check out the configuration (dkms, extension packages, etc.). At last, he asked me to try a new installation with a live ISO. It was then that I noticed that my "Default Machine Folder" defined in VirtualBox - File - Preferences - General was not usable. I knew that it was on a mounted NTFS used by the dualboot Win10 system. A closer look showed that at present it was mounted read-only, which prevented the virtual machines from starting (with a not very helpful error message).

As I recalled then, shortly after I had last successfully booted the VirtualBox guests, I had not only got Ubuntu updates, but I had also booted for the first time since long my native Win10 system. Apparently, Microsoft had then installed updates AND had reactivated the 'fast startup' option (which certainly had been deactivated before!) - so that later, back in Ubuntu, the NTFS file system was mounted in read-only mode, as Windows had not properly shut down.

Now that I have again deactivated the 'fast startup' option in Windows10, my guest systems are running again.

Thank you, David, for asking the right question which set me on the right track!

Correct answer by muclux on November 11, 2020

Below commands Fixed for me (Ubuntu 18.04)

Reinstall the virtualbox-dkms

sudo apt install virtualbox-dkms

Restart the virualbox

Answered by Ashish Tiwari on November 11, 2020

I have encountered the mentioned issue and I tried all the suggested solutions, but they didn't solve my problem.

In my case, I figured out that the VirtualBox.xml file (which is located under ~/.config/VirtualBox) seems to be empty and there was a file named as VirtualBox.xml-prev. So I moved second file, renamed as VirtualBox.xml in the same directory and my problem is solved.

Answered by serkan kucukbay on November 11, 2020

Just had the same issue and figured out the problem and an easier solution... The problem was the usb settings... if you switched your usb settings back to 1.1 it would boot again... incase anyone else like me finds this post having the same problem... that solved it for me... but thanks for this post it led me to that solution...

Answered by Wizzdome on November 11, 2020

I had similar issue on xubuntu 18.04 where my Virtualbox guests was to run windows 7. Although I had Virtualbox 5.2 installed previously that worked.

  1. I made sure that virtualbox-dkms was installed by running this command:

    dpkg -l | grep virtualbox-dkms
  2. Then I purged it and and reinstalled only dkms:

    apt-get purge virtualbox-dkms && sudo apt-get install dkms
  3. Then I ran the suggested command to rebuild the kernel:

    sudo /sbin/vboxconfig 

This is what worked for me.

Answered by Ismail Yushaw on November 11, 2020

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