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Copying a virtual machine from one host to another

This post will explain the process of copying a virtual machine instance from one host computer to another using Oracle’s VM VirtualBox with Windows 7.

Open Oracle VM VirtualBox and select the machine you wish to copy. Ensure that the virtual machine is powered off.

VirtualBox Details Screen

At the top, switch to the Snapshots screen for the machine and click Clone icon.

VirtualBox Snapshots Screen

The Clone Virtual Machine dialog screen will open and you can enter a name for the clone or leave the suggested default. Please read this thread regarding re-initializing the MAC address.

virtualBoxCloneVirtualMachineDialog1

Next, choose Full clone and click Clone.

virtualBoxCloneVirtualMachineDialog2

VirtualBox will begin the cloning process.

virtualBoxCloneVirtualMachineDialog3

Once the cloning is complete, the cloned virtual machine will appear in the machine list.

VirtualBox Snapshots Screen

Find the Virtual Disk Image associated with clone. You can quickly access the folder which the image is located in by right-clicking on the machine and selecting Show in Explorer.

VirtualBox Menu Show In Explorer

You will only want the .vdi or disk image associated with your cloned machine.

VirtualBox Explorer Directory

Destination computer

You can now move the cloned image to your new host. Once your image has been moved to your new host, drop it in the Virtual Machines folder that VirtualBox uses. Then, click New to create the machine based off the cloned image.

Enter a name for the virtual machine and click Next.

VirtualBox New Dialog

In the next screen, select the amount of memory to allocate to this virtual machine and click Next.

Finally, choose Use an existing virtual hard drive file, navigate to the location of the cloned image and click Create.

VirtualBox New Dialog

Norbert Krupa

Technical Consultant

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