VirtualBox VBOX_E_NOT_SUPPORTED Drive Resize Error

by Yves Dagenais on April 4 2012

Need more space for your virtual box? No problem right?  But you’re scratching your head with this VBOX_E_NOT_SUPPORTED … format is not implemented yet! error?

VirtualBox LogoTurns out you’re not alone. I had this very annoying error message when I was trying to resize a VirtualBox virtual drive. It’s nice that VirtualBox included a built-in command for this task but the error left me scratching my head. I was trying to resize a virtual drive to 8 gigabytes using the following convenient built-in command:

VBoxManage modifymedium --resize 8096 <path_to_your_vbox_drive>.vdi

and I got:

Progress state: VBOX_E_NOT_SUPPORTED
VBoxManage: error: Resize hard disk operation for this format is not implemented yet!

Update 2016/02/03: VirtualBox seems to have renamed the command from modifyhd to modifymedium. Therefore, you may need to adapt these instructions depending on your VirtualBox version.

I wasn’t really sure what VirtualBox was referencing. Turns out it’s the VirtualBox drive type that isn’t supported. More specifically, VirtualBox does not support resizing a fixed-size virtual disk. Therefore, you can only resize a dynamically-resizing virtual drive. There is a quick solution if you don’t mind the new drive being dynamic. Turns out that VirtualBox’s virtual drive cloning tool will take your fixed-size virtual drive and when cloning, create you a copy but as a dynamic drive. To do this, simply execute the following commands:
Make sure you’ve made a backup before you attempt these changes.

56 Comments

  1. Hi,

    great, was very helpful. Maybe you should add a hint, that the user has to change the boot image in the Controlcenter. Some users micht not know … 😉

    Thx,

    Maurice

  2. beerslayer |

    Only problem is: what if I want the new, larger drive to be fixed size as well? Is there a simple way to change the cloned drive back from dynamic size to fixed?

    • VBoxManage clonehd [old-VDI] [new-VDI] –variant Standard
      VBoxManage clonehd [old-VDI] [new-VDI] –variant Fixed

      That “–variant Fixed” should do the trick for you.

      Cheers,
      Pete

  3. kima |

    Thanks a lot, it is indeed an easiest thing to do.

  4. G Morgan |

    Thanks Yves! I was stuck on this.

    G

  5. Gustavo Alves |

    Thanks. Was very helpful.

  6. Abdullah Al-Haqbani |

    thank you thank you thank you!! (y)

  7. sinovuyo |

    I am still getting the same error even after i have done this

    • sinovuyo |

      It gives me the following error…. oh i am using ubuntu 12.04(new). Is there anything i have to do first?

      0%…
      Progress state: VBOX_E_NOT_SUPPORTED
      VBoxManage: error: Resize hard disk operation for this format is not implemented yet!

      • Yves Dagenais |

        I just tried it on Ubuntu 12.04LTS and it worked. Perhaps you specified your original file (instead of the cloned file) when you executed the resize command?

    • Ramy |

      This also happens when you try to shrink a virtual disk instead of expanding it. Shrinking is not supported.

  8. Cristian |

    #:VBoxManage modifyhd /home/user/virtualBox/virtualMachine/newDriver.vdi –resize 250000

    I get the same error:
    0%…
    Progress state: VBOX_E_NOT_SUPPORTED
    VBoxManage: error: Resize hard disk operation for this format is not implemented yet!

    Linux: Debian 6.0
    VBox version: 4.1.6r74713

    • seb |

      Same error (ubuntu 12)

    • bhavi |

      use –resize instead of -resize

  9. Athanasios |

    Thank you! Was wondering how to do it!

    Works on windows hosts just as well! 🙂

  10. eric k. |

    works great, thanks for the simple write up on this!

  11. hubbahubba |

    thanks man, most likely saved me from buggering things up 🙂

  12. KM |

    I went through this on Ubuntu 12.10 Virtualbox 4.2.6 and still get

    Progress state: VBOX_E_NOT_SUPPORTED
    VBoxManage: error: Resize hard disk operation for this format is not implemented yet!

    • KM |

      I found my problem. I had to first create a new vdi with dynamic sizing and then do the clone. Letting clone create the new vdi, just made another static one that could not be resized.

    • Ben |

      I was getting the VBOX_E_NOT_SUPPORTED error message when trying to shrink the drive. Expanding worked however without having to clone even.

      • Tanushee |

        Hey, did you find any solution to shrink the virtual disk?

  13. Claudiu |

    Thanks for the solution. +1

  14. Jess |

    Thank youuuu 🙂

  15. Stef |

    Thanks, saved a lot of head scratching!

  16. Dan |

    Worked great, thank you!

  17. Khalid |

    Thanks for this update!

    Is it safe to remove the cloned drive or will it be needed in the future?

  18. Ariovaldo |

    Thanks a lot, solved my problem!

  19. Vinod |

    Thank you! Your recommendation worked great.

  20. pastimer |

    add ‘–variant Standard’ to the clonehd command otherwise the cloned hd will also be fixed

    • Eduardo |

      Many Thanks! Solved to me!

  21. Waleed |

    Thank you so much, that was very helpful.
    worked fine with me in Win8.1 VirtualBox 4.3.10

  22. andreas |

    This should do the trick:


    VBoxManage clonehd mydrive.vdi newdrive.vdi --variant Standard
    VBoxManage modifyhd --resize 8096 newdrive.vdi
    VBoxManage clonehd newdrive.vdi newdriveFixed.vdi --variant Fixed

    right?

  23. andreas |

    Aaarrrrggghhh.

    It did do a clone, but that clone contained the oldest snapshot, not the newest snapshot. What a stupid default/bug. Oracle sucks.

    I was so angry, that I gave up on it, and tried it “from the outside”, through linux: http://www.giannistsakiris.com/2007/11/25/how-to-enlarge-a-virtualbox-disk/

    … which -of course- resulted in new problems, which I couldn’t solve.

    In the end, I am back here, deleted/merged all the old snapshots before I started, then cloned. And I succeeded, finally. It’s long past midnight now.

    There is an old GUI tool called “cloneVDI”, but my antivirus warned about a “MalSign.Generic.834″ – so I didn’t touch that.

    Now, half a bad computer karma day later … I have solved it, but
    I hate hating to HATE ORACLE for making this simple thing so artificially difficult.

  24. andreas |

    But don’t get me wrong, all this is not your fault.

    Thanks a million for your tutorial, it helped me a lot.
    Perhaps you want to add a warning about the old-snapshots problem.

    I wish you all the best. Now I have a larger HD, and can finally work on what I wanted to do this afternoon 😉

    Yves, good luck with everything you do!

  25. VBoxManage clonehd newdrive.vdi newdriveFixed.vdi –variant Fixed
    works perfect!
    But you need to put the original file “mydrive.vdi” in a subfolder because of the UUID.

    • It is important to keep the UUID!
      Otherwise you need to activate your Windows 7 again
      Check out “VBoxManage internalcommands sethduuid”

      VBoxManage.exe internalcommands sethduuid newdriveFixed.vdi

  26. You can find the UUID in the .vbox file. Just open it with Dreamweaver or notepad or notepad++ 😉

    This article helped me allot.
    The resize works only with “variant Standard” otherwise you get this ERROR Message:
    “VBoxManage.exe: error: Resize hard disk operation for this format is not implemented yet!”

  27. Bert |

    BRILLIANT!!! ABSOLUTELY BRILLIANT!!! This is so easy to follow, your directions! I’ve spent untold hours pouring over blogs, etc. on how to do this, and most of them got so convoluted one lost track. And others I knew would probably not work. Then others said it was impossible to go from fixed to dynamic allocation. I knew it could be done, I just needed to find someone to explain the simple and easy way, THANKS! I can’t begin to thank your enough. Your tutorial should be a part of the vbox menu. Many many users fall into a restricted disk space allocation. THANK YOU! THANK YOU! THANK YOU!

  28. Simon |

    Worked a treat on a Mac. Thank you for saving me a lot of time!

  29. Ritz |

    Thank you so much. This worked like a charm. 🙂

  30. Bruno |

    Thaaaaaank you, you save my life, You are the best! short and concise gold info. YUJUUU 🙂

  31. Eduardo |

    Great!
    Thank you a lot!

  32. eisuke |

    Anton, thank you!!!!

    I worked with option ‘–format VDI’. if not attach option ‘–format VDI’ not work.

    my environment, Windows8.1 and VirtualBox5.0.0

  33. Mike |

    Hi, many have struggled with this, so I created a video tutorial that shows step by step how to successfully resize a Fixed .vdi drive. Here is a summary of each step I walk you through.

    http://apptutor.com/courses/how-to-virtualbox-video-training-course/lectures/413794

    01 Introduction – Yes you can re-size a fixed VDI drive
    02 Review 6 Steps to re-size successfully
    03 Release and remove (don’t delete!) the Fixed VDI Drive you want to re-size.
    04 Use command line CMD (run as administrator) Navigate to VboxManage Directory.
    05 Clone the drive with VBoxManage clonehd.
    06 Resize the VDI Drive with modifyhd.
    07 Start Virtualbox, add new cloned VDI drive and extend partition.
    08 If your OS does not have a Partition tool what can you do?

    Thanks,
    Mike

  34. Jeff |

    Thanks very much for posting this, your really saved me a lot of time!

  35. Dim |

    Hi,
    Nice solution but still does not work. After following every step, I still get the error message:

    C:\Program Files\Oracle\VirtualBox>VBoxManage modifyhd “DC2008.vdi” –resize 25000
    0%…
    Progress state: VBOX_E_NOT_SUPPORTED
    VBoxManage.exe: error: Resize medium operation for this format is not implemented yet!

    Is this a bug, or what?

    Thanks!

  36. Nandu |

    Resize a VirtualBox guest Linux VDI Disk under Windows Host
    My Linux VirtualBox guest OS often runs out of space – I never learn that to build anything in Linux, you need about 10 times the amount of space that you think you need. Also, VirtualBox recommends very small default values, so it is easy to be caught out.
    Anyway, here are the current steps to re-size a VirtualBox disk, where Linux is the guest OS and Windows is the host OS.
    In this example I am using VirtualBox 4.2.6 (The approach is valid with more recent versions also). The host OS (the one that is running VirtualBox) is Windows 7 and the guest OS that I wish to re-size is Ubuntu. Please backup everything before continuing as something could always go wrong.
    Step 1. (Optional) Move the VDI file in Windows
    If you need to move the VDI file to another location/physical drive with more space, you can do the following.
    • With VirtualBox shut down, using Windows Explorer move your vdi file (e.g., “c:\MyLinux.vdi“) to its new location (e.g., “d:\MyLinux.vdi“)
    • Start  Oracle VM VirtualBox Manager -> choose File-> “Virtual Media Manager”
    • Under the “Hard drives” tab, choose your disk (e.g. “MyLinux.vdi“) and press the “Release” button at the top.
    • Now with the disk selected press “Release” (this should remove the last location)
    • Close “Virtual Media Manager”, choose your VirtualBox instance (e.g. MyLinux which should say “Powered Off” underneath) and press the “Settings” button at the top.
    • Press”Storage” on the left-hand side, and under Controller remove the current drive by pressing the red minus. Then Press the + with the hard drive platters.
    • It should ask “You are about to add a virtual hard disk to the controller IDE Controller”, pick “Choose existing disk” and browse to the location to which you moved your VDI image (e.g. “d:\MyLinux.vdi“). Press “OK”
    • Check that your image boots before you go any further.
    Step 2. Resize the VDI file
    • Shut down VirtualBox again.
    • Make a copy of the VDI file – just in case (“MyLinux.vdi” -> “MyLinuxCopy.vdi“)
    • Go into the Windows command prompt (Start->type “cmd” into the box)
    • cd to the location of the VDI file that you wish to resize, e.g., “d:\MyLinux.vdi“
    • At the Windows command prompt, type:
    D:\>VBoxmanage modifyhd MyLinux.vdi –resize 100000
    this will re-size the drive to 100 GB. Pick a value that suits you. Note, your vdi file will not change in size at this point. The output should look like:
    D:\>VBoxmanage modifyhd MyLinux.vdi –resize 100000
    0%…10%…20%…30%…40%…50%…60%…70%…80%…90%…100%
    D:\>
    Unfortunately that was the easy part!
    NOTE: You only can increase size, cannot decrease disk size. Eg: If Mydisk.vdi is 8GB to increase 2GB you have to say 10GB.

  37. sushma |

    awesome !!! it worked for me .:)

  38. Miro |

    Thanks a lot, it works as expected I see the size of the vdi has changed but when I login to VM it sees the old size. Any ideas ?

  39. Vaibhav Patil |

    Not worked for me, on version 5.1.22

Leave a Comment

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *