Optimization for running VMWare VMs from a USB or other slow storage device

I love VMWare. Great product, innovative company. Recently had a minor problem after upgrading from Workstation 5.0 to 5.5, and wound up searching VMWare's knowledge base. Though I wasn't looking for this type of information at the time, I ran across an article that details a change one can make to a VM's configuration (.vmx) file that might improve performance. I haven't tried this yet, but plan on it the next time I have to move my VMs off of my laptop HD to an external HD (or *GULP* a network drive - yeah, yeah - I know).

Basically, VMWare uses a file in the VM's directory as a memory swap file. USB devices read and write data more slowly than internal HDs. So, VMWare uses a swap file on the USB device, and performance suffers. The suggested fix is to add the following setting to the VM's .vmx file:


This tells VMWare to use the host system's HD to store the swap data.

The VMWare KB article is "Virtual Machine on USB or Other Slow Storage Device Runs Slowly".

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