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Each time I close virtual machine in VmWare Player I see extensive use of HDD in my system. Basically, whole system becomes unresponsive for about 5-7 minutes.

Host system is Windows 7 Utimate x64 SP1 with 6 GB of memory, i3-M350 processor. Virtual machine is Windows XP SP3 x86 (2GB of memory allocated for VM).

What can be the cause and what can I do to solve the issue?

UPDATE: I am not shutting down the VM, I just close Player window and VM saves it's state. System becomes unresponsive right after VM have saved it state (as indicated by Player) and Player itself have closed.

UPDATE 2: As M'vy suggested I used Resource Monitor to find out that it's the System process who is responsible for disk I/O. This process saves VM memory file with about 500 Kb/s speed.

I'm still amused why host OS becomes unresponsive. After all, I can watch video (about 2500 Kb/s read speed) or copy files with comparable speed and do not see any problems.

  • Are you shutting down, or you are saving the machine state as well? – M'vy Mar 13 '11 at 15:45
  • @M'vy I'm saving the machine state as well. Please read update to the question. – Bobrovsky Mar 13 '11 at 15:58
  • I have a similar problem with a i3 2100 + 8 GB Ram Windows computer using WMWare Player runing OSX Lion with 2Gb RAM. My system does not hangs, but gets very slow for about 7-10 minutes after sleeping the VMWare Machine. The performance application shows the VMWare image written to the disk by the System process. Yes, this is too slow compared with other disk operations.... – Alex Angelico Sep 7 '12 at 15:31
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Not a real answer, but rather a way to diagnose this: Windows 7 has a good monitoring GUI . To open it:

Start Task Manager > Performance > Resource Monitor

The disk I/O tab should give you a hint if it's still the VMware Player that is using disk access, and on which file.

I bet that the 2GB of memory that has to be saved will take a while to write to disk, but I'm still surprised about the freezing effect.

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If the virtual machine state is saved (virtual machine suspended instead of fully shutting it down), the contents of it's memory are persisted on disk. This tends to be rather IO heavy and take some minutes (unless you have an SSD or fast RAID).

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There is a setting in the config.ini file for VMWare player or workstation that might solve your problem.

Add the following line:

 mainMem.useNamedFile = “false”

to either of the following depending on which version of VMware you are using:

C:\ProgramData\VMware\VMware Workstation\config.ini
C:\ProgramData\VMware\VMware Player\config.ini
  • 3
    What does it do? – Anders Jul 25 '12 at 1:56
  • its found a lot this solution in the web, its works – Enrique San Martín Nov 15 '17 at 14:43
  • I think the setting will cause the opposite of what OP actually wants. Upon each VM suspending, VMWare backs VMs memory into a file in VM folder. With useNamedFile set to true the file is already there. With useNamedFile set to false the file may be in some other place, like Windows swap, or /tmp. In this case there might be huge amount of disk I/O needed to place the file back. Setting this to false is usually recommended to speed up VM when it's running, in cost of slower suspending. – Alex Che Apr 20 '18 at 18:00

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