I was receiving the error mentioned in the title on one of my home VMWare machines. This happened after we had a power outage which shutdown my home VMWare server box expectantly. The outage didn't hurt the other Virtual server running on that machine. The one that it did affect was my secondary domain controller.
When I SSH'd into my VMWare server I found that two files had the appendage of .writelock after them. There was the problem I was having. After doing some Googling, I found on electrictoolbox.com that the writelock was caused because:
VMWare was shut down without powering down the virtual machine and left behind some files which lock the virtual disk files.
To fix my problem I had to delete the files with the .writelock appendage. After that, my virtual machine powered up just fine.
Have you experienced this at all? Do you have any more info to add to the writelock problem? Please kick down some knowlege in the comments.