VirtualBox is a powerful x86 and AMD64/Intel64 virtualization product for enterprise as well as home use. Not only is VirtualBox an extremely feature rich, high performance product for enterprise customers, it is also the only professional solution that is freely available

VirtualBox is being actively developed with frequent releases and has an ever growing list of features, supported guest operating systems and platforms it runs on. VirtualBox is a community effort backed by a dedicated company: everyone is encouraged to contribute while Oracle ensures the product always meets professional quality criteria.

Several VirtualBox users are encountering the “Virtual machine has terminated unexpectedly during startup with exit code 1 (0x1)” error whenever they try to open a virtual machine. Affected users report that this error occurs with multiple virtual machines (including any new ones that they try to create). This particular issue is confirmed to occur on Windows 7, Windows 8.1 and Windows 10.

What is causing the “Virtual machine has terminated unexpectedly during startup with exit code 1 (0x1)” error

  • The VirtualBox kernel driver is not installed (or is corrupted) – A couple of users have managed to get the issue resolved by reinstalling VirtualBox along with the VirtualBox kernel driver.
  • 3rd-party antivirus is interfering with VirtualBox – In a couple of reports, affected users were able to get the issue resolved by temporarily disabling the real-time protection of their 3rd party AV.
  • A bad Windows Update is causing the error – There’s one particular update that is confirmed to be causing this particular error. So far, this issue is only confirmed to occur on Windows 7.

If you’re currently struggling to resolve this particular issue, one of the methods below will enable you to resolve the issue. Below you have several fixes that other users in a similar situation have used to ge

t the issue resolved.

Since the methods below are ordered by efficiency and severity, follow them in the order that they are presented until you find a fix that successfully resolves the issue in your particular scenario.

Solution 1. Discard Saved State.

If you have closed the Virtual Machine abnormally and you have chosen to save the machine’s state, then maybe the VM’s state is corrupted. So, proceed and delete the saved state and then see if the “Failed to open session for Virtual Machine” has resolved. To do that:

1. Right click on the Virtual Machine and select Discard Saved State.

Discard Saved State Virtual Machine

2. Then try to start the virtual machine. If the problem persists, continue to the next method below.

Solution 2. Uninstall and Re-Install VirtualBox.

The next method to solve the most common method to solve the “Failed to open a session for the virtual machine” problem in VirtualBox, is to uninstall and then to reinstall the VirtualBox application, especially if the problem appeared after a Windows Update.

1. Go to Control Panel & Uninstall VirtualBox. (Don’t worry, the VMs will stay untouched).
2. Reboot your computer.
3. Download latest version of virtual box
4. Right click on the downloaded file and click “Run As Administrator”.
5. Follow the on screen prompts to install VirtualBox.

virtualbox vm fails to start

6. After installation, reboot your computer.
7. Open VirtualBox manager and start your Virtual Machine.
8. If the Virtual Machine opens fine, then proceed to install the Guest Additions and the

fix Failed to open a session for the virtual machine - virtualbox

That’s it! Let me know if this guide has helped you by leaving your comment about your experience. Please like and share this guide to help others.

Solution 3: Restarting your system

If you haven’t already done this, start simply by rebooting your machine. Several users have reported that after they rebooted their computer, VirtualBox was able to open virtual machines without being interrupted by the “Virtual machine has terminated unexpectedly during startup with exit code 1 (0x1)” error.

If a restart is not effective or you’re looking for a more permanent fix, move down to the next method below.

Solution 4: Disable the antivirus while running the virtual machine

Another frequent culprit that will trigger the “Virtual machine has terminated unexpectedly during startup with exit code 1 (0x1)” error is an external antivirus suite ( a security option different than Windows Defender).

Several users that were using a 3rd party security suite have reported that the error doesn’t occur if the real-time protection of the AV is disabled. The steps of disabling the real-time protection are specific to each 3rd party antivirus, but you can typically disable it by right-clicking the taskbar icon and using the context menu.

Disabling the real-time protection on Avast Antivirus
Disabling the real-time protection on Avast Antivirus

An alternative would be to uninstall the security suite completely by removing the 3rd party security suite from your system.

Once the antivirus has been taken care of, open VirtualBox and launch the virtual machine again. If the AV was interfering with VirtualBox, you’ll no longer get the “Virtual machine has terminated unexpectedly during startup with exit code 1 (0x1)” error.

If you’re still seeing the error despite disabling your 3rd party security suite, move down to the next method below.

Solution 5: Installing the VirtualBox kernel driver

Several users have managed to resolve the issue by reinstalling VirtualBox along with the VBoxDrv.inf (the VirtualBox Kernel driver). This approach seems to have helped a lot of uses to resolve the issue for good.

Some users have reported that just installing the VBoxDRV.inf driver was enough, but you’re better off re-initiating all of VirtualBox’s components.

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