VMWare on Vista Lameness

Am I the only one majorly annoyed by VMWare's support policy (or lack there-of) for VMWare on a Vista host? Apparently EMC's stance is that in order to run VMWare on a Vista host, we need to wait for VMWare 6.0. This presents several problems:

  • VMWare 6.0 is only in it's first beta. VMWare major release cycles are not typically short. They're usually a least a couple betas and one or two release candidates. That means we'll be waiting a while.
  • VMWare betas contain instrumentation that slow down their performance.
  • New VMWare versions come with updated VMWare Tools that aren't generally backward compatible with older versions. That makes interoperability with users of pre-6.x versions problematic.
  • Major VMWare upgrades usually cost.
  • VMWare 6.0 beta is...well...beta.

I've been a big fan of VMWare for a long time. It's a much more capable virtualization product than Virtual PC. I'd much rather use VMWare, even if it costs money and VPC is free. But they're not giving me a lot of outs here.

What's frustrating about the situation is that VMWare 5.5.3 almost works on a Vista host. The first time I start a VM after booting the host, my machine essentially locks up for 3-5 minutes while VMWare sucks up every resource the system has. But eventually it comes back to life and the VM works fine. And any VMs started after that work fine too - until I reboot my machine. Weird...but it seems like a problem that should be addressable in a 5.5.4 release (not that I know diddly about writing a virtualization product ;). I'm not asking for Vista guests, glass in a VM, or even UAC compatibility. Just the basics - don't lock up my machine when I run a VM.

I look forward to the super-cool features of VMWare 6.0 - I just can't be without a reliable virtualization product until then.


  • I don't understand why you would like to use OS that is crippled by default in performance as a hostmachine.

    Just use Windows 2003 or Linux Ubuntu as a host environment. Your host OS will be less resource hungry so your guest OS's can claim more memory, etc.

    UAC is only there to be logged in as administrator all the time. Just disable UAC and login as a low-priviledge user.

  • You can't be without a reliable virtualization product, but you never gave it a thought and replaced the OS it is running on? EMC never hid the fact that VM5 isn't supported on Vista.

    Try VM6, even if it is a beta. Performance is good, interoperability of VMWare tools is not a problem and the cost well..

    Upgrading to Vista isn't free either.

  • Use the beta of VM6. I've run it on Vista for a couple months now and have been very happy with it.

  • "I just can't be without a reliable virtualization product until then."

    Virtual PC 2007 is free.

  • >EMC never hid the fact that VM5 isn't
    >supported on Vista.

    I upgraded to Vista before VMWare 6 was announced. Who knew there wouldn't be a 5.5.4?

    That's the price of being on the bleeding edge, I guess. But hey, we need to test and develop on Vista too.

  • "VMWare betas contain instrumentation that slow down their performance."

    You can work around this, try searching. Essentially it involves backing up the bin-debug dir, copying the "bin" to "bin-debug" and you're pretty much there.

    "That's the price of being on the bleeding edge, I guess. But hey, we need to test and develop on Vista too."

    That's the situation you have VMWare for in the first place isn't it? Vista works much better inside VMWare than VMWare in Vista.

    Finally, I have to say there's so much that just isn't there yet when it comes to vista, I think holding VMWare accountable on this is unreasonable. But I guess it's a half empty/half full thing...

  • I am a huge fan of VMware, and I am also dependent on it for my daily work as I do all my software development within virtual machines. I upgraded to Vista in December, and things have worked fine for me. I always run VMware as Administrator, and I am not running the beta because of tools compatibility. Occasionally (perhaps once or twice per week), I get a weird disk error, which I click "ok" to, and that's it. Otherwise, it has worked perfectly for me. (I haven't seen the resource sucking issue you described, but perhaps I just haven't been observant.) It has been stable enough for me.

  • Vista as a host will fully support VMWare server with Nat based guests even when the host is on wireless. Give it a couple months then convert them to bridged connections once VMWare makes an update.

  • I work with a gent who's notebook died and got a NEW Sony as a replacement -- not of his choosing. The NEW Sony is Vista ONLY and they have no drivers or support for anything non-Vista (he's gone that route with Sony support).

    I imagine that there are plenty of folks in this position where they don't have much choice of the host but they need to run some apps that WONT run in Vista and are trying to use virtualization as a work-around.

    Of course, that's just my opinion; I could be wrong.

  • I would say that I am surprised at the comment about the Vmware being Lame; the fact of the matter is that I am glad that there are people posting here stating the fact that you should be using an OS that does not require so many resources on the back end so that you get the performance out of the VMware product. Now I know why the IT field is so low on the pole, maybe more people should get their Master and PHD's before the talk about IT.

  • I am running vm workstation 5.5.0 build 18463
    on a vista ultimate host. I have no audio because vista apparently won't "share". Eveything else seems fine. I created the "xpclient" from a physical machine using vmware converter and then copied the folder to the vista machine and "opened it" in work station 5.5.0 installed in vista. I have had no other issues yet but have had it up only a couple of days and haven't tried everything possible. I also have a windows 2000 client and windows 98 client they also appear fine.

  • I am running VMWare Server 1.0.2 and 1.0.3 on a Vista Host. The only issue I have noticed is it locks my machine for 3-5min... then everything is normal and fine. I am a SQL DBA/Developer and I run Vista Guests, Linux Guests, Windows 2003 Server Guests and have no issues past the initial first VM guest I boot. I too wish VMWare fully supported Vista as a host, but if the only issue is it locks the machine for 3-5 min... go get a cup of coffee and when you come back you'll be good to go all day long!

  • I am running VMServer 1.0.3 on a Vista host and I am glad to hear that it's not just me experiencing this problem. However, when starting a server it doesn't lock my machine for 3 to 5 minutes, but more like 10 to 15!!!
    I have the CPU/RAM Vista gadget running and when I start a virtualized server the RAM shoots up to 100% (so that's 3 GB RAM). It's pretty annoying and I'm really not sure what is going on during the 10-15 minute pause, because only when it is over does the server start to boot. I turned off the folder indexing option on the virtual server folder, but it didn't help...

  • Same problem but I noticed the host AV (avast) was wrapping the axle (1gb+ read io). Added a directory exclusion for my Virtual Machine vmx files. Seems to resolve this startup delay.

  • I have Vista business and run VM Server 103, i have the same problem, only NAT works, Bridged not. So i can almost do nothing. I hope VMware updates this sooooon.

  • I have the same problems on Vista Business. No bridged networking which I can live without but locking my machine for 5 minutes after a reboot of the host is very annoying. Surely this can be fixed as a patch to VMWare server 1.0.3.

  • As for the bridged network, go to your VMware folder and start VMnetCfg.exe with admin privileges. Then configure the right adapter and voila, bridged networking works like a charm.

    Got the same problem with the slooooow start though. Seems like VMware (or Vista?) reads the entire virtual disk file when starting. So the bigger the disk, the slower the start. Hope they fix this soon.

  • @Walt:

    Good call on the AV software causing slow VM startup in VMWare on Vista. I had the same problem with my own AV software, added a folder exclusion and VMWare now loads VMs quickly.


  • Add host.TSC.noForceSync = TRUE to C: \ProgramData\VMware Workstation\config.ini.

    Lockup problem on starting first vm will be solved. Tested on VMware server 1.0.4

  • Lets face it Vista is deffinitly not a good option i mean it alone takes up 1gb of RAM!! not even Leopard that looks a lot better than Vista i might add takes that much (512mb) i dont think Vista is the way to go if u wanna work on VM's

  • Unfortunately for some people that isn't an option.

  • I'm also a big fan of VMWare (ESX, Server and Workstation). I find MS Virtual PC less than adequate.

    I'm running VMWare Server 1.0.4 at home. I also experience the 2 to 3 minute locking of Vista when I start my first VM. What's happening is all system RAM on host is being grabbed by VMWare Server... this makes the host "lock up". I agree this is awfully weird behavior, and hope they resolve it in the VMWare Server 2.0 (whenever that ships, I don't know).

  • Has anyone ever fully resolved this lockup problem for VMWare Server 1.05? I have a new Vista Ultimate system, no AV, tried the config.ini and I still hit the problem.

    Thanks much!

    PS - Hey Kevin :)

  • on one system, with Host of WinXP and Guest of Ubuntu, I am able to see thumb drives on both systems when one of them is disabled.

    but on my notebook with Host of Vista Home Premium and Guest of Ubuntu, I can only see thumb drives on my Vista system. even when disable on that Vista system, I cannot see thumb drives on Ubuntu at all.

    any expert advice to help me?
    even I copy the Ubuntu.vmx file from the working system, to my notebook, it does not help at all.

    or does version VMWare 2.0 beta will help?

  • Well I've got a way around this.

    Using my VMware workstation to create the image and then using VMware player (the latest version - it's free) to run it.

    I'm not sure about whether or not you can have these two programs installed concurrently but having a pre-made image that I use and only very very rarely have to modify means that VMware player is the perfect option.

    Suddenly my computer is WAY more responsive while its running in the background too...

  • Just trying VMWare Server 6.0 on Vista. So far it isn't fun. VMWare Server seems very half baked compared to virtual PC. I is clearly a resource hog compare to the light weight VPC product. So far I'm not impressed.

  • I have just spent the last 5 days trying to get a VMWare solution for my Dell XPS 1330 laptop.

    This laptop is Vista only which is a HUGE problem.

    First attempt was to try and get Windows Server 2003 installed and I did, by cobbling together drivers from various places (Drunk Santa helped a lot), and at first that seemed OK. but degradations began occuring such as network drops, or memory card drops, etc.

    So I decided to just get my VM working on another box and get the laptop restored to Vista Business clean.

    So far everything is working, and I do not experience the startup lag mentioned above using VMWare Workstation 6.0, but I have horrible mouse response and odd temporary "invisible barriers" to mouse motion.

    FYI I had tried using VMWare Server 1.0.6, and had OK results, except for it being a remote transport console and graphics performance was too low for my needs.

    Right now I need a fix for the perceived mouse movement issue (which is likely more than just mouse, more like CPU performance spikes related to hard disk demand, or something else).

  • I have seen the vmware mouse barrier problem solved by installing vmtools.

  • I have only one problem running VMware Workstation 6.0.4 with a Vista Home Premium host (and no I didn't have any choice in the host OS), I can't use my optical drive in the Windows 2003 guest session. It only very reluctantly will show me the contents of the CD, and will never run the contents.

    Any ideas (other than to switch OSes)? When I only need a single CD, mapping the ISO works fine, but when I have a multi disc install this isn't an option.

    Many thanks for any help!

    Mark Foshee

  • hello the solution of theo fokkema works fine for me

  • тема не раскрыта.. может есть ещё информация по этому поводу?

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