Virtualbox just died, great.

Virtualbox is my go to application when I need to intentionally infect a computer with malware, or test drive new software for bugs.

But what happens when VirtualBox itself starts buggin’ out?  That’s not supposed to happen right?  I remember the one time I received the arcane VirtualBox Guru meditation error and had to really dig deep to figure that one out.

This is the thing, Virtualbox errors tend to engender a particular breed of rage inside me for several reasons.

I usually assume the software that lets me break other software shouldn’t break.  I should be doing the breaking, not Virtualbox!

But I’m here to tell you today that you don’t have to wig out.

Whenever VirtualBox dies, it usually regurgitates an abstruse error about why it died.  And even though the error might be barely intelligible we can still make some sense out of it with a little bit of patience and common sense.  Let me tell you the quick story how I fixed my latest Virtualbox error:

Error relaunching VirtualBox VM process: 5

That makes as much sense as telling me to slit my wrist in Klingon.  Can mortals construe what this means?

Here’s what happened…

I went on a VirtualBox hiatus for a few days because I had to survive the maelstrom of Christmas and family.  Well, after returning from family stuff, I blithely powered up my PC and decided now was a good time to tinker with a few Virtual Machines.

I hadn’t changed anything on my host OS.  Sure a few updates were probably installed but other than that my PC was dormant.

I mindlessly clicked my Windows 10 Virtual Machine but then was unceremoniously greeted with an uncouth error that had me snorting like a congested dragon.

It incensed me not because of what it said but because any instant pop-ups after trying to start a machine means I need to troubleshoot the problem.  It means I need to figure out how to fix it before I can get on with what I really came there to do: break stuff in Windows 10.


The full error read as follows:

Error in supR3HardenedWinReSpawn

Error in super hardened respawn? okay… is there a double entendre in there or do I just have a perverted mind?  Who knows.  All I know is that at this point, I was fuming.

And then it barfed up the following cryptic characters all over my monitor:

Error relaunching VirtualBox VM process: 5  Command line: '81954AF5-4D2-31EB-A142-B7AF187A1C41-suplib-2ndchild --comment "Windows 10" --startvm 101232ab-a6d1-43fb-aa62-3e3a3fc01b3a --no-startvm-errormsgbox' (rc=-104)

Oh yeah! I know what that means.  2nd child? Is this stupid application about to give birth to its second child?  Am I the illicit father?

Error relaunching VirtualBox VM Process 5

The first thing I did was click Abort in the bottom right corner because… well that’s the only permitted action.

Thanks for letting me view a log VirtualBox… oh – but that would be too convenient.

The next thing I did was kick open Google and click the first few links in the search results (I didn’t even bother scrolling down).

I needed an answer and I needed it fast.  I didn’t have time to monkey around with trial and error and quite frankly didn’t feel like perusing logs or methodically solving the problem.  I was in an impetuous mood and needed a quick fix.

Using Google to find out what error relaunching VirualBox VM means

Some people were saying that antivirus sometimes debilitates Virtualbox and causes this error, others were saying you need to reinstall the app.  I also saw there was a ticket open with Oracle concerning this issue but I didn’t see a resolution.

So I scratched my head, pounded my fist (we’ll I didn’t really pound my fist but I felt like it) and decided to scrap Google.  My antivirus was disabled so that was germane to the discussion.

I quickly minimized the browser but instantly saw another error trying to woo me with its beauty:

Failed to open session E Fail Virtualbox

Here we go.

E_FAIL (0x80004005)

Yup, I know what that means too.

This time, instead of going to Google again or leaping into my logs, I decided to see if updating the software would fix the problem.

Check for VirtualBox updates

And guess what?

That did the trick.

Thank God!

Applying the update resulted in a re-install so I don’t if it was the update or the act of reinstalling the software that fixed the problem.  Ultimately, the moral of the story is that if you ever get that Error Relaunching nonsense try updating VirtualBox to the latest release.  If it’s already current, reinstall the app and try to kick start your unruly VM again.

I hope that helps.

That’s it for now; man I feel like taking a nap.  It’s one of those days.  The post-holidays fallout can really wear you out man. See you tomorrow.


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Posted in Windows, Windows 10, Windows 7, Windows 8, Windows 8.1 Tagged with: , ,
  • Aenima

    Hi, my situation is, I´m using virtual box to test some vms with some Microsoft browsers like IE 10, IE 11 and Edge, so whenever I tried to launch my Virtual Machine, I got this screenshot rror, I tried update VB like you did, but it didn´t worked out. Any help will be appreciated.

  • Harsh Buch

    Hey thanks….. After wasting a lot of time to find solution, I found your this post & the solution was just simple….
    But I would like to add one thing here that you’ve shown to update by inbuilt auto-update feature, while I would prefer manually finding update because inbuilt auto-update will find only major updates (e.g., 4.3.0 to 5.0.0), not maintenance updates (e.g., 5.0.4 to 5.0.8) & this is also important as I’ve solved this issue only by updating from 5.0.4 to 5.0.8………….