VMware Workstation: Error on Power On: Failed to lock the file

A quick one this: After recovering from a hung VMware Workstation host, I was booting up the virtual machines and on one of them, I saw the following error:


Failed to lock the file.

Cannot open the disk <disk name> or one of the snapshot disks it depends on.

Module DiskEarly power on failed.

Failed to start the virtual machine.

This was unusual as I knew the disk was indeed there and there weren’t any snapshots of the machine in question. So, I went to the folder for that virtual machine and saw these extra files that I wasn’t expecting:

Folder ListingThese “lck” folders are created when locks are placed on vmdk and vmem files when the machine is in the running state. As the machine wasn’t running, these folders shouldn’t have been there. Also, the vmem file shouldn’t be there if the machine is off.

Resolution was simple: Just delete these file and folders. Once done, the machine powered on just fine.

Hope this helps!

By |2016-12-11T15:25:00+00:00March 29th, 2016|Virtualization, Workstation|20 Comments

About the Author:

Ather Beg is a technology and virtualisation blogger and is Chief Virtualogist at Virtualogists Ltd, which is a consultancy focusing on virtualised solutions. Ather has worked in IT for over 20 years and contributes his findings on this blog. In addition to holding several industry-related certifications, he has also been awarded vExpert status by VMware.


  1. varsha October 21, 2016 at 3:08 PM - Reply

    Thanks a lot for the solution. It saved my one day work of setting up complete development environment.

  2. Jorge Amorim January 12, 2017 at 10:29 AM - Reply

    Great Sir, thank you!

  3. Pratikkumar Mohite April 16, 2017 at 4:30 PM - Reply

    i have to delete all those .lck files???

  4. dankender June 7, 2017 at 9:39 AM - Reply

    You saved my day! Greetings from germany

  5. pedrom9632 June 29, 2017 at 4:51 PM - Reply

    Thanks you saved 6 months of development and work

  6. AH November 18, 2017 at 2:03 PM - Reply

    Thanks a lot for this simple but effective way of solution, back working.
    Good man

  7. rick98382@oiutlook.com November 23, 2017 at 4:44 PM - Reply

    Thank you! Had a power failure last night and believe that caused the lock. Happy to find your simple solution. It saved me from using my backup image of the HD.

  8. Alex December 18, 2017 at 1:15 PM - Reply


  9. Brian January 29, 2018 at 7:54 PM - Reply

    Thanks for this quick and easy fix to my issue!

  10. me February 1, 2018 at 4:51 PM - Reply

    very nice

  11. Mohammed Shamsuddin February 9, 2018 at 7:50 PM - Reply

    Awesome Brother…Gr8 explanation… Hatsoff

  12. misu March 1, 2018 at 8:16 AM - Reply

    easy solution and it touched!!

  13. David M March 15, 2018 at 9:41 PM - Reply

    Thank you very much.
    I could not have figured out this simple resolution.

  14. Armando Onofre April 11, 2018 at 2:30 PM - Reply

    Gracias por el aporte me funciono muy bien saludos

  15. Ebrahim June 16, 2018 at 8:50 PM - Reply

    Thank you very much

  16. Carlos Tré September 1, 2018 at 1:48 PM - Reply

    Thank you very much for saving my skin

  17. Selva September 25, 2018 at 10:02 AM - Reply

    Thank you very much

  18. Steve September 29, 2018 at 12:11 AM - Reply

    Nice. Short and sweet and works.

  19. OTELO December 4, 2018 at 1:12 PM - Reply

    THANK YOU!!!!!

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