Jorge's Quest For Knowledge!

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(2014-02-07) Windows 8.1 Does Not Have Network Connectivity In VMware Workstation After Installation

Posted by Jorge on 2014-02-07

Today I was installing Windows 8.1 Pro in my test environment, which runs on VMware Workstation v9.x. The installation of Windows 8.1 Pro went quite smooth. However, right after the installation, to my surprise I did not have any network connectivity as you can see in figure 1.


Figure 1: No Network Connectivity In A Windows 8.1 Pro VM Running On VMware Workstation

I have installed WXP, W2K3(R2), WVT, Win7, W2K8(R2), Win8 and W2K12(R2) and none showed similar behavior. I have to admit I did not have the VMware Tools installed. However, after installing the VMware Tools I still did not have network connectivity. That’s weird. It has been years ago I had issues with VMware Workstation in combination with Windows.

You can read more about those issues in the following blog posts:

So, now back to this new issue…. Some details first. I installed this Windows 8.1 Pro VM:

  • In VMware Workstation v9.0.3 (It might occur in other version too!)
  • With VMware Workstation v8.x compatible hardware
  • I configured the guest VM as "Microsoft Windows 8" (REMARK: Only VMware Workstation v10.x officially support Windows 8.1 and Windows Server 2012 R2)

After installing the VMware Tools, the VM still did not have any network connectivity. Damn!

After comparing the VMX file (the file containing the VM config) one thing caught my attention when I compared it with another, but working, VM. See figure 2 below


Figure 2: No Network Connectivity In A Windows 8.1 Pro VM Running On VMware Workstation

For whatever reason the VMX file of the Windows 8.1 Pro VM was missing the following two lines (also highlighted in figure 2):

  • ethernet0.connectionType = "bridged"
  • ethernet0.virtualDev = "e1000"

Now the solution? Make sure the VM is shutdown, and not in a saved/resumed stated. Close VMware Workstation, edit the VMX file and add the two lines, if they are missing somehow. Save and close the VMX file. Open the Windows 8.1 VM again and start it up. Voila!

The result of these actions can be seen in figure 3 below


Figure 3: Network Connectivity Restored In The Windows 8.1 Pro VM Running On VMware Workstation

Awayyyyyy Silver! Smile

* 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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