You will receive this error when your virtual machine was not properly shut down "Could not open virtual machine: C:\.......\machinename.vmx. This virtual machine appears to be in use." This can be due to the host computer system crush. The virtual machine becomes "virtually" :-) unusable, because you cannot start it.
Open up the folder with this VM image configuration file, you will see about four folders with .lck extension. These folders get created upon the start of the VM image, if the VM is properly shut down these folders will be automatically deleted, but if the VM was not shut down properly they will persist in the folder, thus preventing you from starting this image by sending the wrong message to the system about the status of your machine.
Here is how you can resolve this issue. Delete these folders and your VM image will start up.
It's that easy