I recently did a full clone of a virtual machine on another computer and then transferred it to my other computer, but there are some problems.

It says "Unable to open file: '...\x.vmdk": The system cannot find the file specified." even though the file is clearly there as shown in the screenshot.


Extra details:

  • Windows 10 (both computers)
  • Settings have not changed when I moved cloned virtual machine to the second computer.
  • I have access to the first computer where I cloned it.
  • VMWare Workstation 14
  • I did not run the cloned virtual machine on my first computer before copying it over to the new computer.
  • 1
    It might be the case the location on the new computer is different from the one you copied the file. Can you check the file .vmx opening it with notepad or other text editor and see if the location set for the file x.vmdk is pointing to the wrong folder? – Ronaldo Aug 12 '19 at 2:57
  • @Ronaldo This is the vmx config file, but I don't know where the location is in the config. All I see is folder sync location and iso file name? i.imgur.com/OsKJeGz.png I don't think this is it either? scsi0:0.fileName = "Duelit-cl5.vmdk" – CreativiTimothy Aug 12 '19 at 21:11
  • 1
    That's it. I was misled to think the whole path would be specified cause I was not in my computer when I asked you. Now that I am I noticed something about your vmdk file: It's a split disk. I created a VM and was able to reproduce the same error of yours by removing one of the "slices" of my disk. I removed my slice of disk Ubuntu 64-bit-s001.vmdk and instead of complaining about the missing Ubuntu 64-bit-s001.vmdk the error message would say it can't find the file Ubuntu 64-bit.vmdk without the -s001. You seem to be missing a Duelit-cl5-s001.vmdk. Do you have all the disk slices? – Ronaldo Aug 13 '19 at 2:15
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    You did not run the cloned VM on the first machine before copying it. Have you tested running it there yet to be sure there was no problem on the original clone all along? – Ronaldo Aug 18 '19 at 1:56
  • 1
    Then try copying it once again. Maybe there was some problem on the first time you copied it. And if it doesn't work, you could try cloning it straight to the second machine in order not to have the VM copied from one place to another. (Although it's not a problem since I've copied VMs from one place to another dozens of times and had no problem playing the them afterwards) – Ronaldo Aug 18 '19 at 2:36

1st Option

The error in the screenshot could be related to a file corrupted during the copy of the VM to the second machine or a failed clone itself. To test if the clone is ok it would be a good ideia to play it on the first machine since it's still available. If it's ok, then try copying the cloned VM again to the second machine.

2nd Option

Alternatively you could use VMware vCenter Converter Standalone which is a free tool capable of converting P2V and V2V (the latter would be like cloning a VM from one place to another).

VMware vCenter Converter Standalone

Now you just have to browse for the .vmx file of the VM you want to convert.

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Chose the location in which the VM will be converted to (like a shared folder on the second machine).

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Next you'll see the current specifications of the VM and you can change them if you want by editing each option.

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Done. Click next and if you're ok with the summary, click finish to begin the convertion.

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Once it finishes you can add the VM to the Workstation on the second machine and play it. VMware vCenter Converter Standalone is a very helpful tool and I suggest you check the other options, like converting P2V, since it might be useful some times.


Workaround if you want to copy one virtual machine from one computer to another:

  1. Copy the virtual machine using Windows File Explorer into a removable file storage, not VMware's built-in cloning function. Make sure the virtual machine is turned off when copying to prevent .lck locking issues.
  2. Take your removable file storage, plug it into the other computer, and copy the files over.
  3. File > Scan for Virtual Machines > Select your folder of the newly copied-over virtual machine.
  4. Click "Take Ownership" if that dialogue pops up. VM should work exactly the same as on the old computer.

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