Technology Tales

Adventures & experiences in contemporary technology

Disk corruption can be virtual too

16th July 2008

It’s the sort of sight that causes you to fear the worst, an unchanging black screen with a flashing cursor. That was what started greet me in recent days when I tried to fire up a Windows XP guest in VMware Workstation. The cause was the corruption of a virtual disk, an ominous thing that affected a supplemental virtual hard drive that I had added to the virtual machine rather than its main one. There might have been some data on there but it was nothing that I didn’t have elsewhere anyway. Removing the broken disk from the XP VM returned the situation to fuller health and I simply tried creating a new one again. So far, this seems to be working fine but I’ll be keeping a watchful eye on things.

I have no idea why the corruption happened but the broken disk files were created without a VMDK extension so that might indicate that something was amiss with the process that created them. It would be better if VMware highlighted the state of its virtual disks but it was when I tried opening the trashed disk with VirtualBox that a warning was given and VMware did the same when I tried I tried it with that afterwards (opening VMware virtual disks with VirtualBox is possible but you need to ensure that no attempt at importation is made or you could end up with a breakage). I may have discovered the fault in a roundabout manner but it’s better to know what’s gone wrong than not to know at all.

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