VMWare: Cannot find a valid peer process to connect to

I started getting this error “Cannot find a valid peer process to connect to” when attempting to resume a suspended virtual machine. For whatever reason, this happened after a I have used acronis disk director to merge a partition to the partition on which the visrtual machines reside to gain more space. It could be only a conincidence though.
Anyway, After trying a few times to resume/power on the vm and also restarting vmware client (VMWare workstation ACE edition) I closed the workstation, restarted all services one by one and then started up the workstation again. I found the virtual machine powered on (in the powered on list) but not viewable. if I took a screenshot it clearly showed it was running. So, since I could not interact with the machine, I suspended it again, then resumed and everything was back to normal.
This happened once yesterday and once just now. In both times I’ve done the above steps and got the same results so it appears this is a workaround the problem.

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32 Responses to “VMWare: Cannot find a valid peer process to connect to”

  1. ciuly says:

    It just happened again, out of the blue.
    I confirm: closing vmware client, restarting all vmware services one by one, and I also started the cmware agent service (not sure if it’s needed, next time I won’t start it and will confirm). Then starting the vmware client again will show the machine powered on but wil giv eyou the buttons to suspend it. clicking suspend and then resume, will get the machine up, running and showing again.

    • VSR says:

      Hi Ciuly,

      i’am getting the same but i did not find the .VMSS file dispite of following step by step procedure to find the files. is there any way i appreciate if you can help in resolving the issue

      • ciuly says:

        That is happening because you didn’t follow all my suggested steps, particularly, you did not save the sate of the virtual machine bu suspending the VM.
        Once you suspend the VM, the VMSS file will be created. When you resume the VM, the VMSS will be removed.


  2. ciuly says:

    I confirm, starting vmware agent service is not required. next time I’ll try to see the minimum services that need ot be restarted for the fix to kick in.

  3. rionroc says:

    I’ve read it all, but kind of hard to understand the problem, I’ll be more technomous after this. (^_^)

  4. ciuly says:

    this time I only restarted the vmware mount manager service and then the vmware authorization service. my hunch is that only the latter one is sufficient to be restarted for the fix to kick in, so I’ll test that next time.

  5. ciuly says:

    restarting just the vmware authorization service is sufficient and the only needed one. After restarting that service, and starting the vmware client, the virtual machine that was resumed and caused the error will show up running and will be interactive, as if nothing happened. so there won’t be a need to suspend and resume it again as I said initially.

    so that’s solved πŸ™‚

  6. ciuly says:

    I would note that sometimes, as it just happened to me, you start vmware client, then start a suspended VM and it shows up after finishing loading as “Unkown” and black screen.
    At this stage you close vmware client, go to start-run: services.msc and restart the vmware authorization service. then you start the vmware client again and you have, to this writing, 2 possible scenarios:
    – your virtual machine appears running and displayed correctly and all is fine
    – your virtual machine appears running (it is in the power on list and having the little green play button on it) but it does not display and opening it also doesn’t show it running. in this case you just click suspend and then resume again.
    so note that at least in the second case, after you resumed it you will probably not see it in the powered on list, although it is powered on, dowing up ok and you can use it just fine. It is just another glitvh.

    just to be clear, I am talking about vmware workstation 6.0.4 ACE edition running on win XP SP2, no windows update and a handfull of patches required by some applications.

  7. schollii says:

    I had similar problem: my VM was in a suspended state; started VMWare Player; got the same error message as you. I deleted the .vmss file, which stores the machine memory state (it’s like a power cut to a physical machine), and that fixed the problem. I read that .vmem stores the paging file (ie memory that was on disk at suspend time) but I didn’t have to touch that one.

    • Xdwaar says:

      It’s the right solution. Ciuly, What you can do whit the file? that was not saved correctly… πŸ™‚

      • ciuly says:

        Where did you get the idea that the file was not saved correctly? In my experience, in all cases I got this error, I managed to recover to THE working state of the virtual machine. Nothing lost, nothing changed, nothing corrupted. The problem is in the process, and not even in the virtual machines process so definitely not in the file.
        I cannot say that in absolutely 100% of cases, this is what happens, but I can say that in absolutely all cases I managed to recover the current state of the virtual machine. And as I am doing mostly development on VMs, this is important.

  8. Nelson says:

    I had the same problem. After a day of uninstalling/reinstalling I found this thread and followed schollii’s advice. I actually just changed the extension of the .vmss file and the VM powered up just fine.
    Thank you!

  9. manoj says:

    I had the same problem. I followed schollii’s advice. I moved the .vmss file to other folder and the VM powered up just fine.

    Thank you

  10. stephanakeborg says:

    Hi, the .vmss file (rename) did it for my startup problem, thanks!

  11. VYB says:

    Wow!!! the renaming bit did work – thanks!!!

  12. shellysavage says:

    Hi! I have no idea what to rename! I just need my VM to work please help. Thanks

  13. ciuly says:

    it’s the .vmss file. People mentioned it quite a few times. If you are using windows explorer, enable showing of all extensions (google on how to if you don’t know). otherwise use a normal file manager (like total commander).

  14. retune says:

    Wow, thanks…. rename is the key~

  15. DeeRulzee says:

    schollii … Thanks for the advice πŸ™‚ It worked for me.

  16. Jo says:

    Deleting the .vmss file worked for me. Thanks Scholii

  17. Mauricio Bitencourt says:

    Thanks a lot! Delete the .vmss file to restart and work again.

  18. Dimitrios says:

    Scholli God Bless you!!!!!!! I would really buy you a present if you were anywhere near here! You are my savior!

  19. Gman says:

    What .vmss file?? Where is it located? I see nothing with .vmss πŸ™

  20. fgsfds says:

    Many thanks, Schollii. This worked like a charm.

    For those of you who are using a Mac and having a hard time finding your .vmss file under OS X, you’ll need to do the following:

    1. Quit VMWare Fusion.
    2. Find your Virtual Machine file. It’s probably going to be in a folder called Virtual Machines, which you can find using Spotlight if you don’t know the location of the file or the name of the VM off the top of your head. Note that searching for the .vmss itself will not return any results because OS X packages that file inside the VM file (hence the next step).
    3. Right click on the VM file itself and select “Show Package Contents”.
    4. Scroll through the list of files that appears until you find your .vmss file.
    5. Rename the file to something sensible (perhaps from YourVM.vmss to YourVM_old.vmss) in case you need it later (see note below).
    6. Restart VMWare Fusion.

    NOTE: As mentioned in an earlier post, deleting/renaming your .vmss file will have the same effect as pulling the plug on a physical machine, meaning that you’ll lose whatever saved state you had when you last suspended the VM. When you restart the VM, you’ll get the “Windows wasn’t shut down properly” screen that you’d expect if you had done a hard reset of a physical machine. Tell it to start normally. It should go through the standard Windows boot up process and drop you onto your desktop, at which point you’ll be good to go.

    Hope that helps.

  21. Gina says:

    I love you guys! Thank you – just renamed my file, and good to go. fgsfds – thanks for the step-by-step directions – worked beautifully for me.

  22. Anthony Leung says:

    thanks a lot , i got the same problem ,
    joust following Schollii and fgsfds advices ,
    It is work .

    very thanks

  23. wangdong says:

    I can’t find the file .vmss

    • ciuly says:

      that means your virtual machine was not suspended (or something crashed/stopped it and/or removed the file), as was in the scenario which I described.
      If you are sure your machine is suspended, and you are sure you’re using the player or workstation, then maybe you configured your virtual machine to store it’s state file elsewhere.

  24. Alex says:


    To fix the issue without deleting that file, go to Utilities > Activity Monitor and arrange the processes in order and stop all the VMware ones.

    Re load VMware again and it should recover the state just fine. I went to a previous snapshot that i had taken earlier, so you may want to save a new one every so often just in case it won’t accept the state that was just lost.

    Hope this helps!

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