How can I add data to a drive in VirtualBox?

P J July 19, 2013
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Well, I am a newbie to VirtualBox and have set up a Windows 7 VM. However, I am running an issue in sharing a folder on my machine with it. I have noticed that it asks me to install Guest Additions for it. Well, please do tell me if that is necessary.

I also want to access the virtual hard drive directly outside the VM. Is that possible? Please tell me how.

Do note that I am using Ubuntu and have the latest VirtualBox installed a couple of days ago.

Thanks.

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  1. Adam B
    July 23, 2013 at 2:18 pm

    What Susendeep said is Right. However if you want to access the Virtual Hard Disk drive from your host, then easy way is to use "ftp". Filezilla Client on Windows host can be used for accessing your Virtual Hard disk easily. Filezilla Server can be installed on your windows host for accessing your windows drives from Virtual guest. Only thing is to change Firewall settings on both host and guest for the port 14147 - which is used by Filezilla. For this VirtualboxGuestAdditions is not necessary.

  2. Susendeep D
    July 22, 2013 at 4:39 pm

    Installing guests additions is necessary.It sometimes doesn't works properly,especially if you try to drag and drop files from host machine to virtual machine.

    One thing you can do to make easy is to go to Machine -->Settings --> Shared Folders and then click on add button.It will ask you to browse files and then also there would be checkbox option to Make Permanent.This will make sure that files,folders that are shared from host drive will be permanently visible under Network places in Virtual OS.

  3. Bruce E
    July 19, 2013 at 4:42 pm

    I don't know if installing the Guest Additions is necessary for sharing a host folder in your VM, but it certainly does make the entire process easier, just be careful what you are sharing and what access is permitted. You really don't want to allow write access to the Ubuntu root partition, for example.

    As far as accessing the guest drive in Ubuntu, you can use vdfuse to allow you to mount many different types of virtual hard disks in Linux. If virtualbox-fuse is not currently installed, you will need to do that first: 'sudo apt-get install virtualbox-fuse'. Now you can mount the VDI file with 'sudo vdfuse -f /path/to/file.vdi /path/to/mountpoint'. Under this mount point, you will now see entries like 'EntireDisk', 'Partition1', etc. In this specific instance, you will most likely have only a single partition containing all of the files on the disk, so you would now mount Partition1 to gain access to it with 'mount /path/to/mountpoint/Partition1 /path/to/anothermountpoint'. You can now access all of the files stored in that partition in your VDI file.

    • P J
      August 20, 2013 at 5:33 am

      Thanks for the informative reply.

  4. Justin Pot
    July 19, 2013 at 4:18 pm

    Installing Guest Additions will make life much easier for you. Do it.

    As for directly access your virtual hard drive: it's not really possible. But you can go the other way around – accessing your real hard drive from the VM – quite easily once you have guest additions installed. Your entire hard drive will basically become visible to you as a network drive, and you can grab files to your heart's content.

    Lachlan outlined stuff nicely here: http://www.makeuseof.com/pages/how-to-use-virtualbox#chapter-6

  5. Hovsep A
    July 19, 2013 at 3:56 pm

    Chapter 4. Guest Additions
    http://www.virtualbox.org/manual/ch04.html

    set up a network share (not a Virtual Box Guest Additions share) where the shared folder is on the guest drive???

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