I use VMWare Fusion 3.1 on OS X 10.6.4 on a MBP 17 2.6Ghz Core 2 Duo with 4GB of RAM. I run two VMs for work, one is Umbuntu and one is Windows XP.
Every month or two it seems, I encounter some form of problem with the VM image. It manifests as total system hang for several minutes until VMware puts up a message saying something like: "Operation on file "/Users/mcrprodea/Documents/Virtual Machines/Ubuntu/Ubuntu-000004.vmdk" failed."
This problem has poked its head up repeatedly over two different laptops, and two different VM images (old one was Debian Etch.) Sometimes there is an explanation, the hard drive failed on this computer early on, and it happened repeatedly when I was almost out of disk space. But I currently have 14GB free, SMART diagnostics report the drive is fine, Apple Disk Utility and the 10.6 version of DiskWarrior give the drive a clean bill of health. While DW file scan picked up a few preference files with possible problems, they were in another user's account on this machine.
I had a total corruption of this VM a month ago and while I faithfully backed up with Time Machine, I had no complete set of disk parts without going back to March. So I had to start there and bring it back up to date again. I kept a snapshot from the initial recovery, and after I had updated everything. Today when I started having problems, I took one and installed all the pending Umbuntu updates... all of which installed with no complaint. Yet, after when I tried to use Code Collaborator to commit some updates, it hung again.
The logs seem to paint a picture of massive disk corruption, but none of the utilities indicate a problem. Running disk cleanup appears to work aside from the fact that it still says "Cleanup recommended" afterwards. According to the log however, it fails due to an I/O error. In part, I would expect it to fail because I have snapshots, but I hate to delete the snapshots to run a cleanup that may or may not succeed. Though nothing says the snapshots are any good either.
This is extremely frustrating... the other Mac users at work have gone to Virtual Box, maybe I should consider that. But then I read here that it can corrupt existing files, so I can't until I can attempt to backup what I have, since I don't have an extra 37GB to duplicate it locally.
I did touch /forcefsck and restarted, it was on step 2 of the check when it failed about 77% in with the same hang issue. The drive segment Fusion complains about is #4. However, if I run the command line utilities, I get nothing:
No errors were found on the virtual disk, '/Users/mcrprodea/Documents/Virtual Machines/Ubuntu/Ubuntu.vmdk'.
No errors were found on the virtual disk, '/Users/mcrprodea/Documents/Virtual Machines/Ubuntu/Ubuntu-000004.vmdk'.
No errors were found on the virtual disk, '/Users/mcrprodea/Documents/Virtual Machines/Ubuntu/Ubuntu-000006.vmdk'.
But aside from single user mode, I can't boot unless I remove the forcefsck check. And if I do that, then it's not going to try to fix whatever the problem is. The drive is EXT3 so I can't mount it with Fusion's disk mounter, even with the ext2-fuse plugin.
I love VMs... except for this part, which seems to happen way too frequently...