VMware Fusion Machines Locked after Clone Recovery

I had been without my MacBook Pro while it was in repair for a power-related issue. Prior to my handing over my system to Apple, I secure wiped the entire disk but some Vaulted users for demonstrating the system malfunctions.

Upon my first system restore, I was unable to run any of my machines as the reported “File locked” in the Virtual Machine list as their state.

The machine packages themselves were not locked at a file system level; however, upon exposing the package contents of each Virtual Machine, there existed a series of .lck files. So, knowing I had a good backup still of course, I proceeded to delete the least innocuous and most likely candidate file first: .vmx.lck.

Presto! Once that file was removed, I reloaded Fusion and confirmed the status had changed to “Powered off” which was its true status. I had a hunch that the machine still would not work though as there were several lock files remaining. Where had they come from? Hadn’t I powered the machines off prior to the last cloning? Then it hit me… I test all my clones by booting directly to them though I don’t use the disks once I confirm they are operational – except once when I launched my XP virtual machine to get access to files I left within it. While this could be the reason for one series of lock files, how could that explain that my Vista, 2008, Ubuntu, RedHat, CentOS, Celerra, and so on were all in “File Locked” state when I know those systems hadn ‘t been accessed subsequent to the clone operation and, therefore, were in a clean state?

For now, I decided to delete all the lock files and confirm each machine’s health. Though I chose to relaunch Fusion for good measure, simply double-clicking the package, using “File | Open…” or “File | Open Recent” would all have worked.

What I need to schedule for a lab now is to test if recovering from a clone is related to the creation of the lock files. Until then, case closed… happy VMing again. :-)

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