When I set the amount of RAM to 4 GB, that virtual machine apparently becomes unstable. Write errors would occur on the virtual hdd (root partition remounted read-only), applications would crash.
A reliable way to reproduce an error would be the installation process of Fedora 17. I'm sure installing a different operating system or maybe building something complex like KDE would be equally appropriate to trigger some error. Anyway, the Fedora installation failed every single time (usually with a error message box, sometimes the download (network installation) stopped and the downloading tty would show error messages, other times it just froze) in a VM with 4 GB of RAM.
So I've set all the virtual machines to 3 GB of RAM or less, because that works reliably. I've never had those errors in a VM with 3 GB of RAM or less. ONLY with 4 GB!
Here's why I think the physical memory (16 GB) is okay and not the problem:
- memtest86+ says so
- I usually run 3 - 5 VMs (max 3G RAM) simultaneously all the time and they never crash (sure, Adobe Flash crashes but that's normal).
- I took a test computer (physically a different machine, memtest says it's ok too), installed another host operating system, installed the same version of VMware Workstation, set up a VM with 4 GB of RAM and installed Fedora on there. It randomly crashes in the exact same way. Reset this VM's RAM to 3 GB, wipe virtual hdd, restart installation, it works.
I'm convinced that the mass storage where the virtual hdds are is not the problem either. On this machine, it's a ZFS file system. The pool is healthy and scrubbing doesn't find an error.
Is that an actual problem with VMware Workstation 8.0.3 (it seems rock-solid otherwise)?
What else could be the cause of those 4G errors?