[Solved] The VM Session was Closed Before Any Attempt to Power it on, VirtualBox Error

For some reasons, if the Oracle VirtualBox is giving this error while powering on a virtual machine, this simple trick will be useful. While powering on a VM, I got this error message; “The VM session was closed before any attempt to power it on“, then closed by itself. It is strange behavior. Finally, I managed to fix with the following methods.

I tried the following methods but did not work.

1) Tried several snapshots to restore back to the previous state which gave me the same error.

2) Restarted the host computer.

3) Stopped all VirtualBox services and restarted. It is almost identical to restarting the physical computer.

All failed, finally, Google helped me to find out this thread from the VirtualBox website.

If you get The VM session was closed before any attempt to power it on message and Virtual Machines cannot be started, don’t panic. Do take a snapshot of the virtual machine to protect the current state.

The working Method

Go to Storage option of VM; remove hard disks and CD drives.

Remove Storage

Once all storage removed, it will have no attached storage. Start the Virtual machine now. You could see Oracle VirtualBox screen, but as expected boot medium error will appear because no bootable CD or hard disk attached.

Shut down VM and add storage disks as it was earlier.

Now switch on the virtual machine, that will start normally.

Other Possible Cause

Also, the possibility of the corrupted or broken stored state of VM could cause this issue. That meant you haven’t shut down the guest VM properly, you just saved the VM while the guest OS was working. When you try to start the same VM, you may get this similar error.

In this case, discard the ‘Saved State” and start the Virtual Machine.

Discard State - vm session was closed before

VirtualBox may come up with some fixes for this issue.  But, I can confirm this method worked for me. This method can work on any host such as Windows or Mac.

Dinesh is the founder of Sysprobs and written more than 400 articles. Enthusiast in Microsoft and cloud technologies with more than 15 years of IT experience.

31 thoughts on “[Solved] The VM Session was Closed Before Any Attempt to Power it on, VirtualBox Error”

  1. Had the same error after upgrading. CD was still pointing to the Virtual Box Guest Additions CD (from the previous version). I changed it to empty and it booted. So little bit faster than removing and re-adding all the drives – maybe it will work for you!

  2. Hi there, I clicked change and then changed the sort order of the boot-steps and have set the HD first. Then it worked as well.

  3. It did not fix ANYTHING!!!!! I removed ALL storage devices in the VM, tried to boot, and I got the message again. The only workaround is to create a NEW VM and reinstall everything! What is the point of giving false information? This is getting me extremely MAD! I cannot rely on anything on the Internet, because EVERYTHING is FALSE and OUTDATED!!!! Before I got stuck with this, the VM was extremely slow. I took ages just to install something in the virtual Ubuntu, which was periodically hanging. I know that Ubuntu itself is a possible cause for the problem, but now, that is VirtualBox that refuses to start the VM with my Ubuntu, so I would have to restart the installation again. It’s been almost TWO HOURS I am trying to install the Ubuntu guest, and now I would have to start again.
    What can I do to install a virtual machine if VirtualBox does NOT work at ALL?

  4. Hi, I encountered the same error. I tried the solution but the error still comes up.
    Just rebooting the host PC, starting VB solved the problem…

  5. Thanks for the tip. What worked for me and is worth trying first, if you have a saved machine state, is just discarding it — Machine – Discard.

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