Mount .vdi VirtualBox disk image when guest OS is broken

Assume a VirtualBox guest OS Windows 10 VDI disk image mydisk.vdi that you wish to mount without Virtualbox, perhaps because your guest OS crashed.

rescue files from crashed VirtualBox VDI.

VBoxManage clonehd --format RAW mydisk.vdi mydisk.img

cd ~/"Virtualbox VMs/Windows 10"

parted mydisk.img  #not sudo

using options

unit
B
print

look for the “start” column for the biggest partition, that’s probably yours.

Let’s say you saw “12345 B” then type:

mount -t ntfs -o loop,ro,offset=12345 mydisk.img /mnt

Now in your Linux File Explorer you can go to /mnt and see the files. It takes several minutes to unpack.

VirtualBox VDI Dynamic disk clone space utilization

The disk space used by the cloned .img file will be the full expanded size of the dynamic partition if one was used. So if your dynamic partition max size was 100 GB but only 10 GB was used, the clone operation will still use the full 100 GB.

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