VMware Workstation – “Cannot open one of the virtual disks needed by this VM because it is larger that the maximum size supported by the host file system”

After moving a VMware Workstation VM from one PC to another you may receive the following error message when going to start it:

“VMware Workstation cannot open one of the virtual disks needed by this VM because it is larger that the maximum size supported by the host file system.”

VMware Workstation cannot open one of the virtual disks needed by this VM because it is larger that the maximum size supported by the host file system 

The most common cause is that, as the error message outlines, the underlying file system on which the VM is being run from doesn’t support larger files than 2GB.  Your VMs VMDK disk will, in the majority of cases be bigger than this.  For example a hard disk formatted with FAT32 will throw up this error.

Though not to worry all is not lost as you can tell VMware Workstation to skip checking any underlying disk file size limitations (ie: 2GB) by adding the following line to your VMs VMX file.  Note: The VMX file is generally found in the same directory as your VMs VMDK file.

 diskLib.sparseMaxFileSizeCheck= "FALSE"

If you are going to be moving VMs between PCs that have this 2GB file limitation then you should consider configuring any future virtual disks to use a set of files limited to 2GB per file. This setting is defined at the time of creating the virtual disk with VMware Workstation.

 

Leave a Reply

9 Comments on "VMware Workstation – “Cannot open one of the virtual disks needed by this VM because it is larger that the maximum size supported by the host file system”"


Guest
Ibro
11 months 19 days ago

This is very helpful

Thanks!

Guest
Ibro
11 months 19 days ago

This is very helpful

Thanks!

Guest
NewMount
5 years 2 months ago

Hi Kiwi Si,

The extra line in the vmx file to ignore file size worked fine.
Thanks!

Regards,

NewMount

Guest
Rizwan
5 years 6 months ago

Hi, I came across the same problem. I added diskLib.sparseMaxFileSizeCheck= “FALSE” to vmx file. The system booted fine. But now I ended up with lost data to MAy09 Today is 16Dec09.

Can you explain if it due to this change.

Regards,
Rizwan

Guest
5 years 6 months ago

Hi Rizwan,

Hmmm, that is strange. I don’t know why this would do this – I assume you are talking about lost data on the VM you are running via VMware Workstation.

Did you get to the bottom of what caused this data loss?

Cheers,

Simon

Guest
Ahmad Osman
5 years 8 months ago

Hi Kiwi Si,

Thanks you a lot for your article, it really helps me, the error msg, and the line needed to be edited guided me to solve the issue.

YOUR HELP is SIMPLY PERFECT 😀

Ahmad

Guest
5 years 8 months ago

Hi Ahmad,

Thanks for reading TechHead – glad this helped you solve the problem.

All the best,

Simon