Solve “The system cannot find the file specified” error in VMware Workstation

If you’ve ever run into this, it’s a real bummer. I encountered it after using rsync to clone a vm.

At the outset, I want to say either using vm -> manage -> clone or file -> export to OVF are both easier options, but if you’ve already copied a vm by hand, you can try this out:

After I rsynced my VM, I wanted to rename the files to differentiate it from the old VM.

For the example, let’s say my old VM’s name was Windows Ent EFI and I wanted to rename it to winInsiders

I use this one-liner just to rename the .vmdk files:

for f in *.vmdk; do mv "$f" "$(echo "$f" | sed s/"Windows Ent EFI"/winInsiders/)"; doneCode language: PHP (php)

and renamed the remaining files {$f.nvram, $f.vmds, $f.vmx, $f.vmxf} by hand (wanted to be careful)

At first, I had forgotten about references in the winInsiders.vmx to old filenames, so when I tried to re-add the hard drive, I ran into the “cannot find the file specified” error

I deleted any .lck directories first (not sure if this is necessary, but it seemed like a good idea)

Then I looked inside the .vmx file with a text editor, and found a few keys that needed new values, because they referenced the old names.

They were:


There could always be more, that’s why instead of editing it by hand, run sed on the .vmx file, as it is faster and far less error-prone (just like the renaming command above, but with the -i flag, meaning inside the file):

sed -i s/"Windows Ent EFI"/winInsiders/g winInsiders.vmx

Then do the same for the .vmxf and first .vmdk file (the first .vmdk in a split virtual disk is just a file descriptor, plain text):

sed -i s/"Windows Ent EFI"/winInsiders/g winInsiders.vmxf
sed -i s/"Windows Ent EFI"/winInsiders/g winInsiders.vmdk

It should work now (at least, it did for me).

Author: averyfreeman

Recovering zfs evangelist. Random tech tip disseminator. React/Next.JS site developer, but currently only in spare time. Previously resided: Oakland, SF, Tokyo. Now near Seattle, loving vote by mail.

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