Using Fusion Pro, one Win 7 and one Win10 64 bit. Started work today and neither VM was on my machine. Had to reload from Time Machine backup dated Dec. 15. VMs were dated Dec. 5 and 6. I have no idea what happened. Anyone who has some idea please chime in.
I will check log files later today, but wanted to start the conversation.
Read this, and consider using a different method (such as the Vimalin software) to backup your VMs: https://www.vimalin.com/why-is-time-machine-not-a-good-backup-for-virtual-machines/
Probably not your case, but virtual machines can completely disappear if they are located at the root of the HDD/SSD, in a folder named VM: i.e., in /VM. Recent versions of macOS, after a system update, can replace that folder with a temporary “virtual memory” vm folder with the same name (which anyway can be deleted, afterwards), thus overwriting any previous content. Not likely, but possible, in theory...
Apart from using Time Machine for VM backups, VMs disappearing is disturbing...
As you say.. that should not happen!
A question. When you say "neither VM was on my machine"..
Did you search in Finder and no VM was found or ... ?
Did the VMs still display in the VMware Fusion Library view, but the files where missing or was it something else?
I'm wondering if you have iCloud enabled and if your VMs are located in a location where iCloud is active.
VMware Fusion nowadays puts the "Virtual Machines" folder directly under the user folder whereas in the past the Virtual Machines folder was in the Documents folder. That is one thing to check.. they should not be under Documents in order to prevent iCloud acting on them.
Same story for other cloud backup solutions (dropbox etc..)
FWIW, I am not aware of any cloud backup solution to be compatible with virtual machine bundles (it is fine to run cloud backup _in_ the VM, just don't use it to backup the VM itself)
Let me see if I can answer your questions. First, Fusion launched just fine, but the vm files were gone. Second, re iCloud, are you referring to iCloud drive (actually hosted on the machines hard drive) or iCloud storage (actually in the cloud)? My configuration is a bit odd: 2 tb ssd hard drive (where I keep the vm's), 4 tb external hard drive (where the work gets done).
I did every type of search in every location I could think of. No joy.
Will relocate my vm files immediately. Thanks for that.
Another message in this thread has a link to vm backup solutions. Heading over there next.
Many thanks, Wil (as always),
I'm open for any improvements on that text.
Thanks for pointing out the "Bare" vs. "Bear" spelling issue, it has been fixed.
Learned something new about the English language (it's not my native language, so something silly does slip in at times)
FWIW, me and my wife just had a good laugh about that.
edit: Here's a testimonial of a Vimalin user with another compelling reason on why not to use Time Machine for VM backups: https://www.vimalin.com/must-have-utility/