Recently I read that one of the new features of VMware Workstation 5.5.3 is that it has better support for Windows Vista. It is still experimental, though. Since I am testing Vista mostly in a virtual environment, I was curious to know, if all the problems I had with Vista RC1 and RC2 on VMware Workstation still persist.

Latest posts by Michael Pietroforte (see all)

First, I installed VMware Workstation 5.5.3 on a PC running Vista final. The installation ran smoothly. I, then, copied a virtual machine with Windows XP, as guest OS from another computer to my Vista PC.

This VM was created with VMware Workstation 5.5.3 on a Windows Server 2003. When I opened it, I got a message that I am running Windows 6 which is not supported by VMware Workstation. But the VM booted up, anyway.

Everything seemed to work fine, but I had problems with the VMware tools. I wasn't able to drag files from my guest OS to the host and vice versa. Using the shared folder option of VMware Workstation didn't work, either. So, I reinstalled the VMware tools on the guest OS. After rebooting the VM, I could access a share on the host. Drag-and-Drop still didn't work, however.

Next, I wanted to know if Vista will work as guest OS under VMware Workstation 5.5.3. My host OS was Windows Server 2003 this time. Vista RC1 could only be installed with a trick on VMware Workstation. This issue is solved now. Windows PE booted from the ISO image without problems and the installation worked, too.

I, then, installed the VMware tools and rebooted the VM. I was able to drag-and-drop files from the guest to the host, and vice versa. The shared folder options also worked. However, this time VMware's "Autofit Guest" function wasn't able to adjust the virtual machine display to fit the Workstation window, automatically. This worked perfectly with Vista as host and Windows XP as guest.

Maybe this was due the fact that I ran VMware Workstation in a terminal server session. By the way, if you have a jerky mouse pointer in this constellation, you have to unselect "Enable pointer shadow" under Mouse Properties (right click on the desktop and then choose "Personalize"). You also should select "None" as Mouse Pointer Scheme.

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All in all, Vista and VMware Workstation harmonize much better now. I suppose, it is the same with VMware Server. There are still some features which don't work properly, though. I hope, VMware will release a new version soon to fix these problems.

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