I'm pretty new to using vmware virtualization (been a virtualbox user) so I'm hoping you guys can help me out. I recently got an external usb disk containing a vm for a client, downloaded vmplayer, set it up with "Open a Virtual Machine", ran it, easy as pie.

After working with it a bit this morning, I shut the VM down and now trying to start it back up again I get this: Failed to open virtual machine: Dictionary problem.

I tried removing the vm from my library, now it happens whenever I try to add it back in. In the meantime, I can still access other virtual machines so it seems like the problem might be with the virtual disk.

So two questions:

  • This is obviously not a very helpful error message. Where can I go to get more information? My Application EventLog doesn't contain anything from VMWare.
  • What steps can I take to fix the problem?

Edit: A couple more pieces of information.

  • I did not take any snapshots. I don't think VM Player even has that ability.
  • I have a zip file of (what I assume) is the state of the VM when it was sent to me. I cannot unzip it as it is huge and simply requires more HD space than I have available but I did extract the vmx file and examine it. Other than the UUIDs and the fact that mine reads cleanShutdown = "FALSE" they are identical.
  • The log contains the following lines

    Jun 23 10:11:18.080: vmx| SNAPSHOT: SnapshotConfigInfoRead: Unable to load dict from 'E:....\MachineName.vmsd'.

    Jun 23 10:11:18.080: vmx| SNAPSHOT: SnapshotConfigInfoRead failed for file 'E:....\MachineName.vmx': Dictionary problem (6)

    Jun 23 10:11:18.082: vmx| SNAPSHOT: Snapshot_TimeStampTiers failed: Dictionary problem (6)

Have seen this in relation to snapshots creatiung this error. There are several threads in VMware community sites. VMware community Another thread here speaks to it as well VM Discussions

  • Hmm, I have not taken any snapshots, I was not even aware that with Vm Player you could do this – George Mauer Jun 23 '11 at 21:06
  • I was thinking the VM you received may have had one with the VM – Dave M Jun 24 '11 at 13:14
  • It might have, but I haven't done anything with them! – George Mauer Jun 24 '11 at 14:14
up vote 1 down vote accepted

For the record I got this fixed by taking backups of my caches directory, vmsd, vmxf, vmx, nvram files and copying them over the files that I had. I guess some of them had been corrupted.

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