VMWare player failed to load virtual OS image

VMWare player failed to load virtual machine image that was originally created from another computer. When the .vmx (VMWare configuration) file is opened from the VMWare player and the VMWare Player display, an error message appeared: “The configuration file was created by a VMWare product that is not compatible with this version of VMWare player and can not be used.” In this article, learn how to solve this problem and load Windows 7 virtual machine images using VMWare player.


What is the error?


VMWare player failed to load virtual OS image:


The configuration file [.vmx file path] was created by a VMWare product that is not compatible with this version of VMWare player and can not be used.

Cannot open the configuration file [.vmx file path]

VMWare player failed to load virtual OS image

Reason:


The .vmx is a primary configuration file generated by the VMWare player (or VMWare workstation) and used to stores virtual machine settings chosen while creating the new virtual machine. The .vmx configuration file can be opened using a notepad to see the virtual machine configurations. Here is the .vmx file quick look opened in notepad. The .vmx configuration file stores one important configuration parameter called virtualHW.version.

VMWare player failed to load virtual OS image


VMWare players do not have power on the virtual machine if the virtual machine’s hardware version is higher than what is supported by the installed VMWare player.
Here is the table which shows the mapping between virtualHW.version and VMWare player product version.

VMWare player failed to load virtual OS image

Also, the VMWare player power on the virtual machine if the virtual machine hardware version is lower than what is supported by the installed VMWare player.

Solution:


When you receive this error, verify whether the virtual hardware version (virtualHW.version) of the virtual machine is in line with the VMWare player (or workstation) version concerning the table provided above. If you observed any miss match, then take the below-suggested actions accordingly.


Let me take you through an example. Assume that your virtual hardware version (virtualHW.version) of an image is 12, and you have installed the VMWare player version is 7.x which is not compatible. It means that you cannot use VMWare Player 7.x for the virtual machine with the virtualHW.version higher than 11. Otherwise, you will receive an error.

VMWare player failed to load virtual OS image

You can choose either one of the solutions mentioned below with reference to the mapping table in such situations.


1
Solution1: Upgrade/downgrade to VMWare player (or work station).

Considering the above exampe, upgrading VMWare player (or workstation) from 7.x to 12.x. Will solve the problem. Once upgrade is done, you will be able to power on the virtual image with hardware version 12 without any issues.



2
Solution 2: Modify .vmx configuration file.

This is something like a quick workaround solution. Here you are not upgrading the VMWare player, instead, you are modifying the .vmx configuration file by downgrading the virtual image hardware version and making it compatible with your current VMWare player or workstation version. For the above case, you need to change VirtualHW.version from 12 to 11, where 11 is compatible for 7.x VMWare player.

VMWare player failed to load virtual OS image

This is a quick workaround solution, and no additional installation effort is needed. Once the modification is done, you will power on the virtual image with VMWare player 7.x  without any issues.



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If you have any questions, please feel free to share your questions or comments on the comment box below.

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