(This is somewhat geeky, but then if you are in reading a post about VMWare virtual appliances, you already knew that. 🙂 It’s not really geeky, because I am an IT architect, and we can only get so technical. :D)
The problem, in a nutshell, was that I had a virtual appliance running Ubuntu server on top of my Windows XP machine, and I could not get the stupid appliance to snag an IP address so that I could use WINSCP to load files onto Ubuntu to test. That was the problem. Oddly, it used to work — I had even documented what I had done — but that was months ago.
To try and solve the problem, I tried all sorts of fussing and fiddling with configurations of the appliance. A colleague of mine who knows lots about VMWare suggested it could be a MAC address mismatch, so I mucked around with the MAC address within the appliance and then the .VMX file itself. After many hours of that, it still didn’t work. (It’s a slow slog, changing and rebooting, etc. Plus, the appliance was locked down, preventing me from changing some files in /etc).
FINALLY, I deleted the directories of the appliance on Windows XP and uninistalled VMWare Player, and then reinstalled VMWare Player and the appliance. This time, the appliance picked up the IP address. This was good! But I could still not connect to the appliance with WINSCP.
However, I did think that maybe the fact that I had no network connectivity (direct or wireless) could have something to do with it. So I deleted the appliance again, connected wirelessly to my router, and then reinstalled the appliance. This time everything worked.
So, to sum up, if you are having such problems, rather than fool around with the appliance, try deleting it, uninstalling the player, and then installing the player and the appliance.