VMware issues when copying virtual machines

We at Codice Software use internally VMware for testing purposes; specifically we use VMware Server 2 to run automated tests (both smoke, GUI and integration tests) and VMware Workstation for manual testing, support, test new oportunities, platforms, applications and so on.

We’ve been using this software for several years and we are very happy with it. It performs great, fast, secure and flexible. Nevertheless, sometimes we’ve encountered some problems. My work as builder of the company includes setting up new testing virtual machines and maintenance, so I’m working with VMware almost everyday.

Recently I created a cloned virtual machine from a snapshot in a VMware Workstation 7. After setting it up I moved it to our automated testing hosts (FYI, we have seven hosts that handles between 5 and 20 virtual machines each, all of them for testing purposes). When I tried to start up the virtual machine in VMware Server 2 I got a crash in the web application that I only could solve by restarting the service in the host machine!

Finally I workarounded the problem doing the following:

  1. First, I created a new virtual machine in VMware server with the same hardware features as the original one.
  2. Edit the .vmx file of the new virtual machine changing it to use the disk files (.vmdk) of the virtual machine I want to register in VMware Server. It’s possible to do this from the “New virtual machine” wizard of VMware server or after that by editing the vmx file.
  3. Finally, start the new virtual machine.

This ensures the compatibility with VMware Server.

I hope you’ll find this helpful in the future.

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