How to fix E_FAIL 0x80004005 error in VirtualBox?

Some users who use software such as VirtualBox (also Oracle VM VirtualBox) complain from time to time about the problem that occurs when using it in the form of an E_FAIL 0x80004005 error. This error can be encountered during an attempt to start the virtual machine you need. The message includes the following information:

Failed to open session for virtual machine ‘VM NAME’
Error code: E_FAIL 0x80004005

Typically, Virtualbox crashes with an E_FAIL 0x80004005 error due to the fact that for some reason the program was unable to save the state of your virtual machine to a file with a .vbox extension. There are a whole bunch of reasons why this happened. For example, it could have been corrupted or used during state save for some other purpose. In general, VirtualBox tried to load the VM state from the vbox file, but nothing happened and it gave an error.

However, it is worth noting that the virtual machine error E_FAIL 0x80004005 could also occur due to a number of other reasons: an update for the operating system conflicting with VirtualBox, a disabled virtualization feature in the BIOS, or an unstable version of the VirtualBox program itself.

So, I think you are sufficiently familiar with the problem. Let’s now look at how you can get rid of the E_FAIL 0x80004005 error in Virtualbox.

Virtual Machine: Error 0x80004005

Method #1 Rename the vbox file

One small trick helps most users get rid of the problem when trying to start the virtual machine they need. As already mentioned, error 0x80004005 occurs, for the most part, due to the incorrectly saved state of the virtual machine in the vbox file. When this happens, VirtualBox creates another file, but only with the prefix -prev or -tmp. You need to rename this file. Do the following:

  • go to the directory C:\Users\\VirtualBox VMs\ ;
  • find in the folder the files with the name of your virtual machine and the extension  .vbox and  .vbox-prev (or -tmp ), for example, let it be VM.vbox and VM.vbox-prev;
  • delete the VM.vbox file;
  • rename VM.vbox-prev to VM.vbox;
  • then go to the directory  C:\Users\\.VirtualBox\ and do everything described above again, i.e. deleting and renaming files.

Once you’re done fiddling with the files, try restarting the virtual machine you want in VirtualBox. Most users claim that the above process helps them get rid of the E_FAIL 0x80004005 error.

Method #2 Uninstall update KB:3004394

If it wasn’t a failed VM save state, it might be the update  KB:3004394 . It has already been proven by many that this update can create a conflict while running VitualBox. You need to try uninstalling this update and then check for the error code E_FAIL 0x80004005.

You can uninstall this update both through the system’s graphical interface and through the console. However, through the console, the removal process is much faster. Therefore, we will show you exactly this way to uninstall the update. Do the following:

  • press on the keyboard Windows + X ;
  • select “Command Prompt (Administrator)” from the context menu;
  • enter the command  wusa / uninstall / kb: 3004394 into the console and press Enter;

After removing update KB:3004394 from your operating system, restart your computer. Go back to VitualBox, start the desired virtual machine, and verify that the E_FAIL 0x80004005 error has been resolved. If not, then let’s look at other methods.

Method #3 Activating Virtualization in the BIOS

Sometimes, the E_FAIL 0x80004005 error can occur as a result of virtualization technology disabled in the BIOS, which allows you to create several virtual computers on one PC. Unfortunately, the BIOS interface differs from each other, and therefore it is impossible to describe the exact location of this function. You will have to dig into the BIOS settings and find the Virtualization option there, and then activate it. Once you’ve done that, try running VirtualBox again and see if the E_FAIL 0x80004005 virtual machine error occurs.

Method #4 Selecting a working version of VirtualBox

Unfortunately, sometimes the problem described in this article cannot be resolved by the above methods. The truth is that not every version of VirtualBox will run consistently on any given computer. Uninstall the version that is currently installed on your computer, and then install another, preferably the latest version.

If the error code E_FAIL 0x80004005 also appears on the new version of VirtualBox, then you will have to look for the version of the program that will finally work stably on your system. One way or another, you will find it. Based on user feedback, the stable versions are 4.3.12, 4.3.20, 5.0.6 and 5.1.8. Try, run and check for E_FAIL 0x80004005 error.

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