How to Add SATA Hard Disk to Virtual Machine in VirtualBox

Adding SATA storage controller in VirtualBox is very simple. Sometimes, you have to attach SATA hard disks to some virtual machines. This post explains how to add sata hard disk to virtual machines in VirtualBox console mode and command prompt.

VirtualBox supports Intel AHCI type sata controllers. By default virtual machines are created with IDE Controllers. Before start the virtual machines you can change this controller in console view or command view.

To Add SATA Controllers in VirtualBox – Console View

1)      Go to Storage settings

2)      You may have to remove existing storage controller and hard disk by clicking controller removal button as shown below.

Note – Keep IDE Controller for CD/DVD drives. CD/DVD drives cannot be added to SATA controllers in VirtualBox

SATA Hard Disk VirtualBox

3)      Now, Click on Add controller button and select SATA controller.

SATA Hard Disk VirtualBox

4)      As I mentioned earlier, it supports AHCI type only, so you can’t play with it. Add hard disk button front of SATA controller and select the hard disk.

SATA Hard Disk VirtualBox

5)      That’s it. We successfully added SATA controller.  Whenever you get booting errors from ‘Physical to Virtual’ converted disk files, then you can change these controllers and try.

For example, when you convert a physical machine which is running in SATA controllers, to Virtual as mentioned in my earlier post, you can try it with sata controllers in VirtualBox.

To Add SATA Controllers in VirtualBox – Command View

1)      First add the controller with following command

VBoxManage storagectl OSX --name “SATA Controller” --add sata   --controller IntelAHCI

OSX – in Virtual Machine Name. (UUID also applicable)

2)      Add the hard disk to controller with following command

VBoxManage storageattach OSX --storagectl “SATA Controller”    --type hdd --port 0 --device 0 --medium D:/MAC/OSX/OSX.vmdk

D:/MAC/OSX/OSX.vmdk – Location of Hard disk.

VBoxManage createhd --filenameD: /MAC/OSX/OSX.vmdk --size 10240 to create Hard disk.

Do you want to try the same command to add CD or DVD drive? I tried and got following error.

error: The Attachment is not supported by the Storage Controller: ‘SATA Controller’

SATA Hard Disk VirtualBox

I’m not sure whether these SATA controllers work better than IDE controllers, but I’m sure something will be there. If you have any idea, just share it here.

Feel free to drop a command, if you stuck somewhere.


  1. Michalis Michaloliakos says


    However what I’d be most interested in is if I can add a ‘real’ sata connected drive to the virtual box.

    Meaning ,

    I have an OpenSolaris host with a SATA drive (ext3 formatted) connected to it. I want it to be accessible in my linux Virtual-Box guest . Would that be possible?