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LMGONCA
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Windows Virtual PC - Cannot run from an USB drive - Win7 64Bits

Hello Experts,

I have installed Windows Virtual PC under Windows 7 Professional 64 Bits.

It works fine when I run the VM from a local hard disk (c:), nevertheless when I move the VM files into a USB external HDD I cannot run the VM and I get the following error:

‘PCNAME’ could not be started because virtual hard disk-related error occurred. This could be due to insuficient free space in the virtual hard disk file, lack of write access to the directory that contains the virtual machine configuration file or missing parent disk for a differencing virtual hard disk.

When I open the settings for the VM, under Hard Disk 1 I have the error:

The file 'PATHANDFILENAME.vhd' is not a valid virtual hard disk.

If I move the files back to the C drive everything works fine.

The USB drive is a 500Mb NFTS formatted with everyone full control.

What do I need to do to solve this issue?

Thanks in advance,
LMG.
VMwareWindows 7PC

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LMGONCA

8/22/2022 - Mon
Andrew Hancock (VMware vExpert PRO / EE Fellow/British Beekeeper)

either the USB external hard drive is too slow, or is there a hardcoded reference to C: drive in the vm configuration file.

Have you tried creating a new VM on the external usb disk, and then adding the existing hdd to the VM.?
truromeo4juliet

When you copy or move a VM created with VMWare, it asks you if you've done so, and it changes the *.vmx file accordingly so the VM continues to run. I haven't used MS Virtual PC in a while, but perhaps you need to change the reference to the VM's harddisk file to point to its new location? Alternatively, try VMWare Ace Edition, as it's meant to create portable VM's.
LMGONCA

ASKER
@hanccocka: I created a new VM pointing to the vhd existing in my usb hard disk drive - did not worked (some issue).

@truromeo4juliet: The reference of the vhd is correctly set for the usb external hdd.

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Andrew Hancock (VMware vExpert PRO / EE Fellow/British Beekeeper)

Your External USB drive is not fast enough for the read.
LMGONCA

ASKER
Hanccocka: how can I test that?

Is a brand new iomega 2.0/3.0 usb drive I just bought today...PC is quite recent as well, with just a few months, so I believe that should not be the problem, but I do not mind to verify...
Andrew Hancock (VMware vExpert PRO / EE Fellow/British Beekeeper)

Is your USB rated at USB 3.0?
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Andrew Hancock (VMware vExpert PRO / EE Fellow/British Beekeeper)

Create the Virtual Machine on the External USB, but with the VHD on the PC's internal disk, does it work?
LMGONCA

ASKER
I believe not on the pc port, so I guess it works at 2.0 speed.
Andrew Hancock (VMware vExpert PRO / EE Fellow/British Beekeeper)

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Andrew Hancock (VMware vExpert PRO / EE Fellow/British Beekeeper)

Yes, it will be backwards compatible for USB2.
LMGONCA

ASKER
1) Tried to create the VM in the usb HDD calling an existing vhd existing in C.

Could not, the error was: Cannot attach the virtual disk to the virtual machine. Check the values provided and try again.

2) Tried to create the VM in the usb HDD and creating a new vhd in C - it worked!

3) Tried to create the VM in the usb HDD and creating the new vhd in the ubs drive - error message: Unable to write to file

Any clues?
LMGONCA

ASKER
By the way, results of performance tests with disktt:

Sequential write: 1903MB in 104.05s = 18.3MB per second
Sequential read: 1903MB in 75.78s = 25.1MB per second
Random access: 190MB in 33.96s = 5.6MB per second
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Andrew Hancock (VMware vExpert PRO / EE Fellow/British Beekeeper)

My USB flash drive is quicker than that!
ASKER CERTIFIED SOLUTION
truromeo4juliet

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ded9

In your vm setting ..check these

Hard disk 1  setting

C:\Users\username\AppData\Local\Microsoft\Windows Virtual PC\Virtual Machines\Windows XP Mode.vhd

and the parent disk should be pointing to

C:\Program Files\Windows XP Mode\Windows XP Mode base.vhd


Not sure which vhd file is been copied to flash drive...but make sure both the vhd files are copied or should be pointing to the right location and the drive path changed in the xp mode hard disk 1 setting.




Ded9
LMGONCA

ASKER
@ded9: even if my vm's were not created using the given XP Mode Base? (a couple of my VM's are even linux).

And that being the problem, why it does run ok from c and not from the usb drive (g)?
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LMGONCA

ASKER
Yes - I am using Windows Virtual PC:

"I have installed Windows Virtual PC under Windows 7 Professional 64 Bits."

Altought was not what I really wanted to do - I ended by installing VMWare Player - and - as creating a new VM or running it from the existing Virtual PC one - and still by converting the existing ones to VMWare VM's - all could run from the UBS HDD.

I am closing this case by accepting this solution.