How to recreate a VMware Workstation VMX file from scratch

This morning I was having some home desktop issues so as a good little Windows user I decided it might be time for a reboot.  I suspended a work Win7 VM in VMware Workstation and then went about powering down everything else.  Once my desktop rebooted I went to fire up my work Win7 VM and received the following error: Line 1: Syntax Error on my .VMX file.


That’s not a really great way to start my day !!  So, I did a little googling as well as “Tweeting” around to see what I could dig up on the error.  Jase McCarty once again provide an invaluable resource and just continues to impress the hell out of me. He made some great suggestions as well as helped me through the process.  First thing he recommended was to stop using Windows Notepad, he suggested Notepad ++ to help with the editing.  So I opened up my .VMX file and this is what was in it:


Essentially the .VMX file had a ton of Twitter / Tweetdeck garbage in it.  I have no idea why, but this was not going to be a simple Editing of the file, this was going to be a complete new one !!  Once again Jase came to the rescue and we both jumped on ShowMyPc.Com and he took me through a quick way to get me back up and running.  I thought I would share it with others that may run into a similar issue.

First, open up VMware Workstation and create a new Win7 VM.

1) In VMware Workstation go to File – New – Virtual Machine

1 - Create New VM

2) Choose Custom

2 - Choose Custom

3) – Pick the defaults and click next

3 - Choose Default

4) To make this easy – just click “Install OS later”

4 - Choose Install OS later

5) Pick the OS that has the corrupted VMX file – in my case it was Windows 7 64bit

5 - Choose the OS

6) You can either name it the same as the old VM, or leave it and edit it later.

6 - Name the OS

7) Change this if you happen to remember what you originally set it to, if not go with defaults

7 - number of procs-cores

8) Same thing here – I happen to remember giving it 2GB so I adjusted it from 1GB to 2GB

8 - Adjust the memory

9) Choose the network settings

9 - Change networking info

10) Just click on Create a new Virtual Disk

10 - Create new Virtual Disk

11) Choose the type of disk – just pick the default

11 - Type of Disk

12) Just adjust this to 1GB – to keep the process quick.

12 - Make the disk 1gb

13) Final step is to review – and then click Finish

13 - review choices and done

14) – once it’s good to go, open up Windows Explorer and go to the Virtual Machine folder (its typically in your documents folder) – then open up the new VM Folder you just created, copy/paste the new VMX file into the old folder location

14 - Copy-paste new VMK into old folder

15) Once you have copy/pasted the new .VMX file into the old folder – right click on it and edit with Notepad ++

15 - Right click - edit with Notepad plus

16) last but not least, do a “Find” on the VM’s name and edit it to match the old VM’s name.  Once you are done, right click on the VMX file and open with VMware Workstation.  It should load Win7 and be good to go.  My VM came up like a CHAMP !!  Right size Disks, right size everything.  Easy Peasy just the way I like it.

Thanks again goes to Jase for helping !!


14 thoughts on “How to recreate a VMware Workstation VMX file from scratch

  1. Jesus Christ! Thank you sooo much. You and your wisdom may have saved me from having a heart attack! My machine crashed while working on a heavily used member server, and I thought I was straight assed out. If you find a way to turn a beer into a .vmx file, I’ll send you one!

  2. Great info… Thanks a lot 🙂
    But i lost my D drive when i started by VM. But then i added from VM –> Settings — > Hardware Icon –> Add and selected my D drive VM from the VM ware files 🙂

  3. Great post!!.

    I had a different scenario. VMware created on linux and moved to windows. when you try to open de vmx it throws an error. Following the above method solved my problem.


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