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The setup in question is as follows: Windows 7 64bit host running VirtualBox. The guest machine is running Windows XP 32bit.

After a power failure on the host box, the guest machine cannot boot and complains that

inconsistency between grain table and backup grain table

Any help to boot the guest machine without reinstalling it appreciated.

PS: What is a grain table anyway?

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up vote 4 down vote accepted

Can't really help, but I found what the grain tables are here: (page 16)

Like the user mailq says, looks like your virtual drive is broken. Maybe check the vmdkck tool (on this page ) to double check it's broken?

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Thank you too. I accepted your answer because it provided links to locate what a grain table actually is. One can request the virtual disk format specification here – adamo Oct 24 '11 at 14:47

VMware has a tool called vmware-vdiskmanager. On Mac OS X with Fusion, it's hidden in "/Applications/VMware". You can use this tool to repair VirtualBox VMDK disks as well. Run vmware-diskmanager -R <your_disk>.vmdk. It saved me a couple of times already.

The good news is that you can download this utility if you don't have vmware. It's at

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The name of the tool has a v in it: "vmware-vdiskmanager". I tried to edit the answer, but it only added 2 characters, and edits have to be at least 6? :) – Ned Batchelder Mar 15 '15 at 10:44
This worked great, it just saved me after my Mac crashed and left a vagrant virtualbox in a dirty state. Thank you! – Fred Nov 20 '15 at 18:13

I used CloneVDI to solve this problem. I made a clone and the new file works very well.

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I can attest to this. This saved my life. Whew. – Ardee Aram Apr 1 '14 at 4:28

Your virtual hard drive is broken. Grain tables are some internal stuff of virtualization environments.

Googling for the exact term reveals that there are not many possibilities to recover:

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Thank you for the prompt reply. I had googled prior to asking at SF. I asked hoping for a long-shot answer not already covered by the VirtualBox fora. – adamo Oct 24 '11 at 14:21

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