Opened 9 years ago

#13531 new defect

VBoxManage "c:\" argument handling

Reported by: Sobek Owned by:
Component: other Version: VirtualBox 4.3.18
Keywords: Cc:
Guest type: all Host type: Windows


on the Microsoft Windows host I run 'cmd' and enter:
cd %programfiles%
cd Oracle
cd VirtualBox
VBoxManage setproperty machinefolder "c:\"

The quotes are straight. In
VirtualBox -- File -- Preferences... -- General -- Default Machine Folder
this is displayed as:
in the textbox. There is no icon to the left side of the text.

In the file
it is stored as:
<SystemProperties defaultMachineFolder="c:&quot;" ...

This will lead to:
a) wrong folders being used.
New virtual machines created with VirtualBox.exe will be stored in
instead of

The snapshot folder of the virtual machine is wrong as well.

b) errors if you programmatically create a virtual machine.
If you set the machinefolder:
VBoxManage setproperty machinefolder "c:\"

The VM creation/registration command :
VBoxManage createvm --name "%VBOXNAME%" --ostype Windows7 --register

will fail with the error message:
VBoxManage.exe: error: Invalid machine settings file name 'C:\Users\user\"\VB-USER\VB-USER.vbox' (VERR_INVALID_NAME)
VBoxManage.exe: error: Details: code VBOX_E_FILE_ERROR (0x80bb0004), component Machine, interface IMachine, callee IUnknown
VBoxManage.exe: error: Context: "CreateMachine(bstrSettingsFile.raw(), bstrName.raw(), ComSafeArrayAsInParam(groups), bstrOsTypeId.raw(), createFlags.raw(), machine.asOutParam())" at line 275 of file VBoxManageMisc.cpp

Note: the problem applies to the following parameters as well:
VBoxManage createvm --basefolder
VBoxManage modifyvm --snapshotfolder

For example, if you run
VBoxManage setproperty machinefolder "c:\"
VBoxManage createvm --basefolder "c:\"
The settings file will be stored in:
The Snapshot folder will be stored in:

I leave out the example of the snapshotfolder.

The workaround I found is instead of




as argument to machinefolder/basefolder/snapshotfolder parameter.

In "%userprofile%\.VirtualBox\VirtualBox.xml"


is stored as
<SystemProperties defaultMachineFolder="c:\"

c:\ is stored as
<SystemProperties defaultMachineFolder="c:\"

Either workaround will display a folder icon in
VirtualBox -- File -- Preferences... -- General -- Default Machine Folder

on Fedora 20 x86_64 you can use "/" as a machine folder without problem.
I had to start VirtualBox with root-permissions to work with this, though.

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