vmrun – Error: You do not have access rights to this file

VMware vmrun command is very powerful feature of VMware Workstation and ESX server to automate things in virtual machines.

Configuring automated script for Windows 2008 Server and Windows 2008 R2 was easy task. Everything went as expected. However the same script failed on Windows Vista and Windows 7 with the following two errors:
for vmrun ... copyFileFromHostToGuest ...:
Error: You do not have access rights to this file

for vmrun ... runProgramInGuest ...:
Access denied

I searched extensively, but couldn’t find anything that helped to get rid of these errors. Then I started thinking about, what is the difference between Windows Workstation and Windows Server editions. The answer is – UAC – User Account Control is enabled by default on workstations for administrator account.

Still looking for solid fix, but currently I have disabled UAC on these virtual machines.

To disable UAC on Windows 7, go to Start – type UAC – press enter – set slider to Never notify – restart computer if needed.

To disable UAC on Windows Vista, go to Control Panel – type uac in the search box – uncheck “Use User Account Control (UAC) to help protect your computer” – click OK.

xcopy problem – Invalid drive specification – 0 File(s) copied

Recently I started getting the following errors from one of my batch files.

Invalid drive specification
0 File(s) copied

The problem was, that I didn’t have specified drive at all, because I was using UNC path (\\ComputerName\SharedFolder\Resource).

So, xcopy is reporting with the wrong error message.

One possibility is, that it is possible to disable UNC paths in xcopy altogether – see the Microsoft KB Q192808.

In my situation, error was caused by broken network connection. Issuing:
net use \\ComputerName\SharedFolder\Resource /USER:user_name password
right before xcopy, fixed the problem.

Logon user into Windows Server 2008 R2 automatically

To bypass log on screen in Microsoft Windows 2008 R2, run the following .reg file:
Windows Registry Editor Version 5.00

[HKEY_LOCAL_MACHINE\SOFTWARE\Microsoft\Windows NT\CurrentVersion\Winlogon]

You must change YourUserName to your desired user name, and YourPassword to corresponding password.

To import .reg file use:
regedit.exe /s filename.reg

This will import registry values without confirm dialog box. More on importing .reg.

Source taken and more options / registry values: Automatic Logon from windowsnetworking.com

Tested on Microsoft Windows 2008 R2 (Datacenter and Webserver editions).