Super User is a question and answer site for computer enthusiasts and power users. Join them; it only takes a minute:

Sign up
Here's how it works:
  1. Anybody can ask a question
  2. Anybody can answer
  3. The best answers are voted up and rise to the top

I created the virtual machine on a host running OS X. I then moved the machine to a FAT32 partition on an external drive. It moved the first time without error. Then I moved it from the external drive to a host running Ubuntu 9.10. I had to move to a FAT32 partition first because Ubuntu doesn't recognize Mac OS Extended partitions on the drive. So, the virtual machine (vm) ran on the ubuntu host for a while and then I moved it back to the FAT32 partition and from there back to the OS X host. I worked on the vm for a while on the OS X host and then attempted to move it back to the FAT32 partition. I get the following system error: The Finder can’t complete the operation because some data in “my-virtual-machine” can’t be read or written. (Error code -36)

Interestingly, I can move the file to another OS X partition, just not FAT32. I also perused VMware's forums and found advice to set permissions on all files and folders to 777. I did this, but have had no success. I notice the the files within the vm package are 777 now, but there is an extended attributes symbol on their permission details "rwxrwxrwx@" Since I can copy the vm between OS X partitions, but not to non OS X partitions, and all files and folders withing the vm package and the package itself have permissions of 777, I speculate that the "@" is the problem.

How can I remove the "@" or is there something else I need to modify to allow me to copy/move the vm to other hosts?

share|improve this question
I would read the VMware documentation and see if the VMware Server requires transactional support on the file system. I believe FAT32 does not have this feature, and you may be shit out of luck. Also FAT32 doesn't support files over 4GB. – Mar 31 '10 at 3:42
Thanks! I bet the 4GB limit is the problem and not the extended attributes. I set the vm to split at 2GB files, but if I understand what I'm seeing those files are all within the package and that package is a single file now larger than 4GB. – Michael Prescott Mar 31 '10 at 3:49
Unlikely. You've set the virtual disk to split files at 2GB. The package they're in is a directory, not a single file > 4GB. So unless you have other files > 4GB I doubt what you've described is your problem. – Steve Folly Mar 31 '10 at 19:33
Well darn. I created a non-journaled OSX partition on the external drive and like the other Mac OS Extended partitions, I can move the virtual machine to this new partition. I made it non-journaled because I read somewhere that Ubuntu could not write to journaled OSX partitions. I got Ubuntu to mount the new partition and could copy the machine from the partition, but not back to it. I need a format on the external drive that both osx and ubuntu can read and write. – Michael Prescott Apr 1 '10 at 0:21
This is completely twisted in a way but I think NTFS is your best bet. Both Ubuntu and OSX can be configured to read and write ntfs in a stable way. – Console Apr 3 '10 at 0:17

Try to copy the file using the terminal. In the terminal, type:

cp -r /path/to/vmx/folder /Volumes/NAME_OF_FAT32_DRIVE

If you do not know the UNIX paths of the vmx folder or the drive, just type cp -r (be sure to have a space after the -r) and then drag and drop the VMX file on the terminal window. Type a space and drop the Fat32 volume from the finder on the terminal window.

Run the copy command in the terminal and see if that is able to copy the files. If not, please edit your question and post the error.

share|improve this answer

Sometimes, it's the ._* files that are causing troubles.

Try to ls -la and remove those files. They're not useful for the Virtual Machine. It's only used by the Finder. I've often heard it happen for the NTFS file system, but maybe that does it too for FAT32.

share|improve this answer

Actually it’s caused by some cache files being locked in the VM package itself; the locks are system-wide, so a simple reboot doesn’t fix them.

  1. Right-click (or Ctrl+Click) the VM file
  2. Select Show package contents
  3. Delete the appCacheList and applications folders, as well as any logs files you see, so that only .vmx and .vmdk files are left (technically any file whose extension starts with .vm).

After this you’ll be able to copy the file with no problems.

share|improve this answer

You must log in to answer this question.

Not the answer you're looking for? Browse other questions tagged .