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Unable to open .vmdk file. One of the disks in this virtual machine is already in use by a virtual machine or by a snapshot


I understand this question has been asked and answered before, https://communities.vmware.com/message/2275732

The accident happened after my notebook run out of space and the *.vmx file was corrupted. Following the instruction found on this site I create a new VM and point it to my existing folder where the *.vmdk files reside. When I start the VM I faced with the error message of "Unable to open D:\Virtual Machines\Windows Win7 VS2008SP1\Windows Win7 VS2008SP1.vmdk file. One of the disks in this virtual machine is already in use by a virtual machine or by a snapshot "

I have followed the instructions by André (excellent answer by the way) and is able to clone a vmdk on my external HD,  However, I have several drivers, C:\, D:\, E:\ and F:\ on my original VM.  After cloning I run WorkStation on the cloned vmdk, lo and behold, it starts.  But I found I can only see C:\ and F:\, and some files in the original F:\ and my Desktop disappeared.  I have a few snapshots and the VM was suspended when it died, I thought Workstation requires to access the other files, so I copy the cloned "Windows Win7 VS2008SP1.vmdk" to overwrite the old one.  When I start the VM, the same error message as above returns. Please help, I hope to recover my original VM.

I attach the VM files.

Thank you in advance for any help.



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4 Replies

I just dealt with this today. All I had to do was move all files in the vm directory the snapshots into another directory except the .vmx and original .vmdk. Started right up after that.

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Thank you for coming to rescue me. I have a about 10 snapshots before the current VM session.  My directory listing is as follow:

The accident happened at about 2:00 pm on 14th Sept.  I ended up with a 0 byte Win7 VS2008SP1.vmx, From the time stamp it seems I was using Win7 VS2008SP1-000011.vmdk and not the main Win7 VS2008SP1.vmdk.

I have tried C:vmware-vdiskmanager.exe -r "Windows Win7 VS2008SP1.vmdk" -t 0 "G:\Virtual Machines\_Rescue\Clone\Windows Win7 VS2008SP1.vmdk" , and

C:vmware-vdiskmanager.exe -r "Win7 VS2008SP1-000011.vmdk" -t 0 "G:\Virtual Machines\_Rescue\Clone\Windows Win7 VS2008SP1.vmdk" - in both cases I lost all the files I was working on when my VM died.

I really need to recover the files in this VM. Any help is most appreciated.

D:\Virtual Machines\Windows Win7 VS2008SP1>dir

Volume in drive D is DATA

Volume Serial Number is 26C8-2F38

Directory of D:\Virtual Machines\Windows Win7 VS2008SP1

15/09/2015  17:45    <DIR>          .

15/09/2015  17:45    <DIR>          ..

14/09/2015  14:06           164,110 vmware-0.log

14/09/2015  11:30           373,748 vmware-1.log

13/09/2015  17:11           148,577 vmware-2.log

02/08/2013  10:15         2,615,029 vmware-vmx-10360.dmp

02/08/2013  10:26         5,894,711 vmware-vmx-10488.dmp

02/08/2013  10:25         5,895,095 vmware-vmx-10528.dmp

27/10/2013  12:07         2,808,000 vmware-vmx-11340.dmp

14/09/2015  14:09                32 vmware-vmx-12464.dmp

14/09/2015  14:06             9,814 vmware-vmx-12572.dmp

07/09/2013  09:01         5,898,551 vmware-vmx-24256.dmp

10/02/2013  16:05         2,825,048 vmware-vmx-4360.dmp

04/02/2013  13:26         2,607,389 vmware-vmx-5076.dmp

18/06/2015  10:29         5,899,371 vmware-vmx-7580.dmp

14/04/2014  13:45         5,897,995 vmware-vmx-9544.dmp

06/08/2013  09:18         5,894,921 vmware-vmx-9804.dmp

28/07/2013  12:33     1,739,587,584 Windows Win7 VS2008SP1-000001.vmdk

28/07/2013  13:10     1,785,331,712 Windows Win7 VS2008SP1-000002.vmdk

28/07/2013  12:33     3,964,862,464 Windows Win7 VS2008SP1-000003.vmdk

28/07/2013  13:10     1,737,949,184 Windows Win7 VS2008SP1-000004.vmdk

28/07/2013  13:10     2,074,607,616 Windows Win7 VS2008SP1-000005.vmdk

28/07/2013  13:10     2,810,839,040 Windows Win7 VS2008SP1-000006.vmdk

28/07/2013  13:10     3,427,598,336 Windows Win7 VS2008SP1-000007.vmdk

28/07/2013  13:10     2,928,607,232 Windows Win7 VS2008SP1-000008.vmdk

28/07/2013  13:10     4,025,221,120 Windows Win7 VS2008SP1-000009.vmdk

18/05/2015  06:44     4,863,557,632 Windows Win7 VS2008SP1-000010.vmdk

14/09/2015  14:09     2,665,873,408 Windows Win7 VS2008SP1-000011.vmdk

24/03/2011  13:17            27,843 Windows Win7 VS2008SP1-Snapshot1.vmsn

21/10/2012  15:58            28,275 Windows Win7 VS2008SP1-Snapshot10.vmsn

18/05/2015  06:44            29,121 Windows Win7 VS2008SP1-Snapshot11.vmsn

29/03/2011  09:09            27,980 Windows Win7 VS2008SP1-Snapshot2.vmsn

10/07/2011  11:36            27,916 Windows Win7 VS2008SP1-Snapshot3.vmsn

27/09/2011  18:01            28,244 Windows Win7 VS2008SP1-Snapshot4.vmsn

28/10/2011  14:25            28,244 Windows Win7 VS2008SP1-Snapshot5.vmsn

17/12/2011  10:03            28,244 Windows Win7 VS2008SP1-Snapshot6.vmsn

10/01/2012  09:44            28,244 Windows Win7 VS2008SP1-Snapshot7.vmsn

18/03/2012  22:12            28,244 Windows Win7 VS2008SP1-Snapshot8.vmsn

03/05/2012  16:30            28,244 Windows Win7 VS2008SP1-Snapshot9.vmsn

14/09/2015  14:09             8,684 Windows Win7 VS2008SP1.nvram

28/07/2013  12:33    21,060,911,104 Windows Win7 VS2008SP1.vmdk

14/09/2015  11:29       536,870,912 Windows Win7 VS2008SP1.vmem

18/05/2015  06:44             4,853 Windows Win7 VS2008SP1.vmsd

14/09/2015  12:01         1,774,956 Windows Win7 VS2008SP1.vmss

14/09/2015  14:07                 0 Windows Win7 VS2008SP1.vmx

17/12/2011  10:11               277 Windows Win7 VS2008SP1.vmxf

              44 File(s) 53,670,849,104 bytes

               2 Dir(s)  37,209,587,712 bytes free

Thank you in advance.  The worst day of my life 😞



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From a look at the VM's files everything except for the configuration (.vmx) and the .dmp files seems to be as it should be.

I recreated the configuration file from the log file you provided. Assuming you have a backup of the VM's files, use the attached .vmx file to see whether this will allow to resume the VM. If it doesn't you could try to delete the .vmss and .vmem files, which will cause the VM to cold boot (i.e. loosing the suspended state). Maybe this helps.

Anyway, what seems strange to me is that you mentioned that you did clone the virtual disk with the "Windows Win7 VS2008SP1-000011.vmdk" as the source (which according to the log files is correct), but still didn't see the latest files!?


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the steps you performed all correct 

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