Skip to main content

Installing VMware Additions on Windows Server 2008 Server Core Installations

As you already know by now, in Windows Server 2008, Server Core installation does not include the traditional full graphical user interface (GUI).

Without going to much into detail, because of the lack of GUI, installing applications on server core might be more complex than installing them on a regular server installation, not to mention the fact that they might not function at all.

One of these applications is the VMware Tools that comes with VMware's virtualization products such as VMware Server and VMware Workstation. VMware Tools greatly improve the guest's performance. In addition, VMware tools provide the following:
Improved video performance
Mouse synchronization with the host operating system so that you don't have to keep releasing your mouse from the guest to go back to the host
Improved mouse performance
Copy and paste between the host and guest

Installing VMware Tools on a server core is exactly the same as installing them on any regular operating system, except for the fact that Auto-Run will not invoke the installer, and thus you must do so manually.

Note: Before installing the VMware Tools make sure they're not installed already. Read the above article for more info on that.
How do I Install the VMware Tools on Server Core?

First, you need to mount the ISO file containing the VMware Tools on the guest VM. The easiest way to do that is to go to the same menu (VM), shown above, and click Install VMware Tools.

What this really does is mount an ISO file called Windows.iso as a CD and run the install program on that virtual CD. These ISO files (the tools) are located in the C:\Program Files\VMware\VMware Server folder , or in the C:\Program Files\VMware\VMware Workstationfolder, depending on the version of VMware software you're using.

Since Server Core does not use Auto-Run, you will need to manually navigate to the D:\ drive (which is usually the drive letter for the CD/DVD drive), and manually run the installer program called VMware Tools.msi.

Note: Because the file name has a space in it, you need to enclose it in quotes in order to run it.

In the VM menu, click Install VMware Tools.

Click Install in the message window.

Inside the virtual machine, type D: in the command prompt window (change this with the appropriate CD/DVD drive letter in your VM). Type dir to look at the CD/DVD root.

Type "vmware tools.msi" and click Enter. The installer will run, click Next all the way till the end of the installation.

Note: Some websites claim that the installation of VMware Tools will stall, and that in order to complete it successfully you need to manually kill the RUNDLL process in Task Manager. Other sites claim that you need to run the installation by typing the following command:msiexec /i "d:\VMware Tools.msi"
You may wish to experiment with these. Do let me know if you have any insights regarding these issues. Reboot the VM in order for the VMware Tools to finish installing. Logon to the VM. Note that now you've got the VMware Tools installed. Working with the VM should be much faster than before.

Popular posts from this blog


The BCD registry file controls which operating system installation starts and how long the boot manager waits before starting Windows. Basically, it’s like the Boot.ini file in earlier versions of Windows. If you need to edit it, the easiest way is to use the Startup And Recovery tool from within Vista. Just follow these steps: 1. Click Start. Right-click Computer, and then click Properties. 2. Click Advanced System Settings. 3. On the Advanced tab, under Startup and Recovery, click Settings. 4. Click the Default Operating System list, and edit other startup settings. Then, click OK. Same as Windows XP, right? But you’re probably not here because you couldn’t find that dialog box. You’re probably here because Windows Vista won’t start. In that case, you shouldn’t even worry about editing the BCD. Just run Startup Repair, and let the tool do what it’s supposed to. If you’re an advanced user, like an IT guy, you might want to edit the BCD file yourself. You can do this

DNS Scavenging.

                        DNS Scavenging is a great answer to a problem that has been nagging everyone since RFC 2136 came out way back in 1997.  Despite many clever methods of ensuring that clients and DHCP servers that perform dynamic updates clean up after themselves sometimes DNS can get messy.  Remember that old test server that you built two years ago that caught fire before it could be used?  Probably not.  DNS still remembers it though.  There are two big issues with DNS scavenging that seem to come up a lot: "I'm hitting this 'scavenge now' button like a snare drum and nothing is happening.  Why?" or "I woke up this morning, my DNS zones are nearly empty and Active Directory is sitting in a corner rocking back and forth crying.  What happened?" This post should help us figure out when the first issue will happen and completely avoid the second.  We'll go through how scavenging is setup then I'll give you my best practices.  Scavenging s

AD LDS – Syncronizing AD LDS with Active Directory

First, we will install the AD LDS Instance: 1. Create and AD LDS instance by clicking Start -> Administrative Tools -> Active Directory Lightweight Directory Services Setup Wizard. The Setup Wizard appears. 2. Click Next . The Setup Options dialog box appears. For the sake of this guide, a unique instance will be the primary focus. I will have a separate post regarding AD LDS replication at some point in the near future. 3. Select A unique instance . 4. Click Next and the Instance Name dialog box appears. The instance name will help you identify and differentiate it from other instances that you may have installed on the same end point. The instance name will be listed in the data directory for the instance as well as in the Add or Remove Programs snap-in. 5. Enter a unique instance name, for example IDG. 6. Click Next to display the Ports configuration dialog box. 7. Leave ports at their default values unless you have conflicts with the default values. 8. Click N