Using VMware Workstation Player 12


Using VMware Workstation Player 12


I. Downloading VMware Workstation Player

aNote: this 77MB file (the Windows version) may also be obtained in the W1818 or W1848 lab from the NAS. Contact your instructor or a student worker for details.

b. You can get a free copy of VMware Workstation Player at VMware’s download site. Go to this link:

c. Be sure to download the player for your operating system. Linux and Windows applications are available.

d. Note: VMware also offers a product called VMware Workstation 12. You can obtain this application at VMware’s On The Hub store. You should have received account information about this web site. You cannot install both VMware Workstation and Workstation Player on the same computer! In this class we will use VMware Workstation Player, but you are welcome to use VMware Workstation, which has some additional features.


II. Installing VMware Workstation Player 12 for Windows

a. Note: if you have a previous version of VMware Workstation installed, it may be necessary to remove it, though the installer should remove it for you.

b. Double-click on the VMware-player-12.5.1-4542065.exe icon.

c. Follow the instructions to perform the installation.

d. Click Restart Now to restart your computer immediately or Restart Later to restart manually at a later time. The installation is completed when you restart.


III. Using VMware Workstation Player 12 for Windows

1. Start the VMWare Workstation Player software using the desktop shortcut or the Start Button.

2. Create a New Virtual Machine

a. Click the Create a New Virtual Machine link.

b. Be sure the option I will install the operating sytem later is selected. Click Next.

c. Be sure the option Microsoft Windows is selected and under Version, select Windows 7. Click


d. In the Virtual machine name text box, type Windows 7 Test VM.

e. Note in the Location text box the path to your virtual machine folder and its name. Click


f. Change the Maximum disk size to 20 GB. Select the option to Store virtual disk as a single file.

g. View the summary screen and click the Finish button.

h. Browse to the Documents folder and open the Virtual Machines folder. Do you see the folder for the VM you just created? The VM consists of all the files in this folder. How big is the folder?

i. The files that make up a VM include:

i. A .vmdk file – this is the virtual disk for the VM.

ii. A .vmsd file – this is a metadata file.

iii. A .vmx file – this is the VM’s configuration file. It is a text file that can be opened and edited with Notepad.

iv. A .vmxf file – used for something called teaming, which allows you to perform operations (like power on) to a group of VMs.

3. Start a Virtual Machine

a. In the left pane, click on Windows 7 Test VM.

b. In the right pane, click on Play virtual machine.

c. Click OK to clear the Removable Devices window.

d. Click Remind me later if you see a message about Software Updates.

e. Note that the screen looks like a computer with no (or a blank) hard drive trying to boot.

That’s exactly what it is!

f. Press CTRL+Alt to release your mouse from the VM window.

g. Under the Virtual Machine menu, choose Player, then Power, then Power Off. Click Yes in the verification window.

h. We have successfully started a virtual machine, but it has no installed operating system, so ireally can’t do much!

4. Installing an Operating System in a Virtual Machine

a. There are two ways you can install an operating system in a VM:

i. Using a CD or DVD that has the operating system installation files.

ii. Using an ISO file, which is a “copy” of a CD or DVD that has the operating system installation files.

b. By default, VMware Workstation Player uses the CD or DVD, but you can edit a VM to use an ISO file.

First, here’s how you can get an ISO file for Windows 7:

i. Note: ISO files of many common operating systems are available on the file server in the CIS labs. You can copy these to the lab computers or your own storage devices. Ask your instructor for details

ii. Go to your MSDN/DreamSpark account. You should have received an email with a link and login credentials for this account. On MSDN/DreamSpark, you can download lots of great Microsoft software at no cost.

iii. Click on Microsoft Windows 7.

iv. Click on the edition of Windows 7 that you wish to download. For example, you may wish to download the 64-bit edition of Windows 7 Professional.

v. Complete the download and save the ISO file to your computer or a removable storage device. Remember the location of the file.

c. Now you need to configure your VM settings to use the ISO file. This file will look to your

VM like a CD or DVD.

i. In the left pane of VMware Workstation Player, click on your Windows 7 Test VM.

ii. In the right pane of VMware Workstation Player, click on Edit virtual machine settings.

iii. On the Hardware tab of the Virtual Machine Settings window, click on CD/DVD (SATA).

iv. In the right pane, click on the Use ISO image file radio button.

v. Click the Browse button and navigate to the ISO file that you wish to use. Click


vi. The path to the ISO file appears under Use ISO image file. Click OK. vii. The VM is now using the ISO file as its CD/DVD.

d. Now you can start your VM and it will boot from the Windows 7 installation DVD. i. Click on Play virtual machine.

ii. The VM will now boot from the installation DVD.

iii. If necessary, click OK in the Removable Devices window.

iv. If necessary, click Remind Me Later in the Software Updates window. v. You can now go through the steps to install a new copy of Windows.

5. Some Important Keystrokes

a. The CTRL+ALT key sequence is used to ‘ungrab’ the mouse. This allows the mouse to leave the virtual machine window to select something in Windows or another application.

b. If you click in the VM window, the mouse control returns to the VM.

c. If you want to send a CTR+ALT+DEL to the VM, you cannot just press those keys because your physical (host) computer will intercept the keystrokes. Instead, under the Player menu, select Send CTRL+ALT+DEL. You can also press CTRL+ALT+INS.

d. If you press PrntScrn to do a screenshot, be aware that the virtual machine will capture the screenshot if your computer’s mouse is in the VM. Click on the host operating system if you want to do a screenshot of the host operating system’s video display.

6. Power Options - When you are done using your VM, you can power it off a few different ways:

a. The safest approach is to use the Windows options to Shut Down, Hibernate or Sleep.

b. Under Player, click on Power and select Reset to reboot the VM.

c. Under Player, click on Power and select Suspend to save the current state and turn off the VM.

d. Under Virtual Machine, click on Power and select Power Off to shut down the VM.

7. Startup Options

a. You can press F2 while the VM is starting up to enter the BIOS. Be sure to click in the VM window so the keystroke goes to the VM. You may have to click and press the key quickly!

b. You can press Esc while the VM is starting up to invoke a Boot menu which allows you to choose the boot source.

8. VMware Tools

a. VMware Tools is a software installation that must be performed after the operating system is installed. It improves your VM performance, particularly the video. In addition, it gives you the ability to drag and drop files between the host and guest operating system.

b. Under the Virtual Machines menu, choose Install VMware Tools. You must do this once for each virtual machine.

c. Click on Download and Install in the Software Updates dialogue box.

d. Wait as the software is downloaded and installed.

9. Opening an Existing VM

a. Virtual Machines you have used previously show up in the left pane. Click on the name of the VM to open it.

b. To open a VM you have not used on your computer previously, click on Player | File | Open link. Select a virtual machine by browsing to the VM’s folder and double-clicking the .VMX file in the folder.

c. You can start a VM in Windows Explorer by browsing to the VM’s folder and double- clicking the .VMX file in the folder.

d. Click on Play Virtual Machine to start the VM.

e. You will be asked if you moved or copied the VM. In most cases, you can click on I copied it.

10. Editing VM Settings

a. Press CTRL+D or choose Player | Manage | Virtual Machine Settings to edit settings.

b. The Hardware tab allows you to manage the VMs hardware.

c. Configuring Memory settings

i. Click on Memory in the left pane.

ii. You can increase or decrease memory allocated to the VM in the text box in the right pane.

iii. There is a maximum recommended memory size, a recommended memory size, and a recommended minimum size. Most VMs operate well using the recommended memory size.

iv. You can change memory size while a VM is running, though changes will not be effective until the VM is powered off or suspended and restarted.

d. Configuring Hard Disk Settings

i. Click on Hard Disk (SCSI) in the left pane.

ii. In the right pane, you see the name of the hard disk’s .VMDK file.

iii. The selected disk’s current size, free space, and maximum size are displayed in the

right pane.

iv. If a disk’s space is preallocated, that means that a 20 GB hard disk will take up 20 GB

of space on the host computer’s disk, regardless of how much of that space is in use. If the space is not preallocated, only the used space takes up space on the host computer’s hard disk.

v. To add a hard disk, click on the Add button in the left pane.

1. Click on Hard Disk and click Next.

2. To create a new virtual disk, click the Create a new virtual disk radio button.

3. You can use an existing virtual disk by clicking the Use an existing virtual disk radio button.

4. Use a physical disk should be used only by advanced users. Click Next.

5. SCSI is the only type of disk that can be added while a VM is powered on.

Click Next.

6. Choose the Maximum disk size.

7. If you click Allocate all disk space now, a virtual disk of 20 GB will use 2GB of space on the host computer’s hard disk. If you don’t select this option, the disk will only use the space that is in use on that disk. Allocating space now will improve performance because the virtual disk file doesn’t have to grow, but it will use more hard disk space.

8. You can Store virtual disk as a single file or Split virtual disk into multiple files. The latter option is useful if you wish to copy the disk files to media such as DVDs that are too small to fit the entire virtual disk on one DVD.

9. Click Next.

10. The location and name of the virtual disk file can be selected. The disk file will have a .VMDK extension.

11. Click Finish to create the disk.

12. The new disk will show up in the left pane. You can now see the disk inthe Windows Disk Management Tool from within Windows.

‚Äče. Configuring CD/DVD Settings

i. Click on CD/DVD in the left pain of the settings for your VM.

ii. Under Device Status, be sure Connect at power on is selected if you want this device to be available when the VM is running.

iii. Under Connection, you can Use physical drive, which will use the physical drive in the host computer, or you can Use ISO image file, which will allow you to browse to an ISO file that will act as a disk in the VM.

iv. To add a CD/DVD drive, click on the Add button in the left pane.

1. Click on CD/DVD Drive. Click Next.

2. You can chose to Use physical drive or Use ISO image file for this drive.

3. If you choose to use an ISO image file, you will be prompted to browse to the

ISO file.

4. Be sure to select the Connect at power on option if you want the drive to be available every time you power on the VM.

5. Click Finish to add the CD/DVD drive.   f. Configuring Network Adapter Settings

i. Click on Network Adapter.

ii. In the right pane, be sure Connect at power on is selected if you want the network adapter (NIC) to be available every time the VM is powered on.

iii. Under Network connection there are four options:

1. Bridged: Connected directly to the physical network – the NIC will act like a device on your physical network. Your VM will be a peer with your host computer.

2. NAT: Used to share the host’s IP address – the NIC will get an IP address in the 192.168.x.y range. This is good for creating a small virtual network of VMs that all have Internet access.

3. Host-only: a private network shared with the host – the VM will not have Internet access but can communicate with the host computer as well as other VMs on the host computer.

4. LAN Segment: - we will skip this for now!

iv. To add a network adapter, click on the Add button in the left pane.

1. Click on Network Adapter. Click Next.

2. Choose the Network connection type. See notes above for details.

3. Be sure to select the Connect at power on option if you want the NIC to be available every time you power on the VM.

4. Click Finish to add the NIC.

g. Configuring Printers

i. Click on Printer

ii. If you wish to print, be sure the printer is set to Connect at power on.

iii. The VM will print to the default printer in the host operating system.

iv. You cannot add additional printers.

1. Using Removable Devices

a. Click the chevron in the upper right corner of the screen to see devices. 

b. A status bar appears that looks like this:


c. The icons represent devices in your VM, such as (in order): disk, CD/DVD, NIC, printer, sound card, and flash drive (if inserted).

d. A rectangular icon represents a flash drive. If you right-click on the icon, you will see an option to Connect (disconnect from host). Click on this option to use the flash drive within the VM.

e. A message appears notifying you that the flash drive will be unplugged from the host.

f. If the VM is using the flash drive, the flash drive will be unavailable to the host operating system.

g. To disconnect the flash drive from the VM and make it available again to the host operating system, click the flash drive icon and select Disconnect (Connect to host).

12. Running Multiple VMs Simultaneously

a. You can run more than one VM at one time by opening VMware Player multiple times and starting different VMs. You can only have one VM running in a single instance of VMware Player.

b. To open another instance of VMware Player, right-click on the VMware Player icon in the task bar and select VMware Player.

c. Each VM is displayed in a separate window. They are fully functional VMs with their own network addresses and computer names.

d. If NIC settings are compatible, VMs can communicate with each other as network devices.

i. In each VM, open CMD from the Start Menu text box and type IPConfig at the command prompt to display network information.

   ii. Note the IP address of each VM. From one VM, type Ping w.x.y.z (where w.x.y.z is the IP address of the other VM) to test connectivity between the VMs.

  iii. You should see successful ping activity.


IV. Need Help?

1. Submit a support request online at

2. Email the CIS student workers at:

3. Email or call your instructor.

4. If your situation is urgent, call the CIS help desk at (218) 733-7776 during weekday hours.