Can’t start Virtualbox VM – Error VERR_VD_IMAGE_READ_ONLY

Error description

Failed to open a session for the virtual machine win7.
Failed to open image 'G:\Virtual Box\grac41.vdi' for writing due to wrong permissions (VERR_VD_IMAGE_READ_ONLY).

Root cause

  • A non killable VirtualBox.exe is running holding a open file handle to grac41.vdi
  • Note this process may not killable – either with task manager or process explorer



Start DOS BOX with ADMIN rights
Start process Explorer ( V16.02 ) 
C:\tools> procexp
Use process explorer and find 
Find Handle or DLL supstring : grac41.vdi
VirtualBox.exe    VirtualBox.exe        136.112 K    100.040 K    1972    Oracle VM VirtualBox Manager    Oracle Corporation
  VirtualBox.exe    5068    File    E:\VM_HOME\GRAC11204\grac41.vdi
    File    E:\VM_HOME\GRAC11204\grac41.vdi
In the file Handle window press right mouse button and select : CLOSE HANDLE

6 thoughts on “Can’t start Virtualbox VM – Error VERR_VD_IMAGE_READ_ONLY”

  1. This made me realize there was a hidden process holding my file open. You can do as OP says or you can run the command con console to terminate the process

    taskkill /IM vboxsvc.exe /f

    this command will kill any process with that name. Killing the hidden process that is grabbing the file we need

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