Jorge's Quest For Knowledge!

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(2006-09-11) VMware And The Newest Vista And Longhorn Builds

Posted by Jorge on 2006-09-11

For some reason it appears to be impossible to install whatever build higher than 5384 of Windows Vista and Windows Server Longhorn on VMware workstation 5.x (I use 5.5.2). Build 5384 installs without a problem on VMware workstation.

The experienced issue is that after turning the VM on to install the OS the message "Windows is loading files" appears and does not go away. From that point on you cannot do anything.

After researching the knowledge base at VMware it looked like installing either OS in VMware Server was possible without any issue. So to cut a long story short the following helps you to get Vista or Longhorn on VMware Workstation if the OS build is higher than 5384:

  • Use VMware Server from VMware which is free and installed it on some computer that does not already have VMware workstation installed
  • Install Vista/Longhorn within VMware Server
  • After the installation has finished and you are looking at your desktop, install the VMware Tools
  • Shutdown the guest
  • Move the folder containing the just installed Vista/Longhorn (the guest) to the computer with VMware workstation
  • Within VMware workstation load the moved VM and turn it on
  • As soon as you turn it on you might see a line on your screen. Just be patient as the guest OS is booting
  • You shoud now see the logon screen from Vista or Longhorn

UPDATE: a few hours after I had written this, Mathieu Chateau (, mailed me and said the following (which is a much easier solution):

  • Create the virtual session
  • Edit the VMX file and ADD the following lines:
    • svga.maxWidth = "640"
    • svga.maxHeight = "480"
  • Install the OS
  • After installing the OS shut it down
  • Edit the VMX file and REMOVE the previous lines

He got it from here:

Oh, and I forgot to mentioned that joe ( also describes how to get past the annoying corrupt DLL error when installing Vista/Longhorn (main reason: not enough memory). Read it, it is over here:

* This posting is provided "AS IS" with no warranties and confers no rights!
* Always evaluate/test yourself before using/implementing this!
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