VMware tools in Windows 10 working on ESXi 5.5

Hey everyone – if you follow my blog you probably remember me mentioning the other day that I was unable to get the VMware tools to install for ESXi 5.5 in Windows 10 server.  I was using the conventional method of using Install/Upgrade VMware Tools from the “VM” menu, then the “Guest” option.  Here’s a link to that post.

I was thinking today, “Hey, why don’t I try and install the tools from the ISO directly?”  That is exactly what I did.  When you check out your datastores in vSphere Client, you’ll see you have access only to your VMs and maybe any ISO’s you’ve uploaded to the datastore, for instance:

VMware DatastoreBut, if you go to mount an ISO on a VM you’ll see that above any datastores you created there will be a vmimages folder.  In that folder there’s a tools-isoimages folder, and under that a file called windows.iso:

VMware Tools isoMount the windows.iso file to the VM and then connect to the VM either through console or RDP, open the CD, and click on setup64.exe:

VMware tool setup.exeThat’ll kick off the VMware tools installation, simply click on typical, then next a few times, and you’re done.  Restart the server when prompted.  At this point you can remove the 1000E or E1000E NIC you had and add a VMXNET3 adapter.  It all works!  Proper capturing of the cursor in console works as well!  The only problem is that there still remains an item in device manager that is unknown.  Details on that device though point to it being an ACPI device so it’s likely some virtual power thing.  I might continue to troubleshoot later.  Here you see we’ve got the VMXNET3 adapter working properly:

Windows 10 VMXNET3And here’s the device manager view showing the interface properly:

Windows 10 Device ManagerYou’ll also see the unknown device above which I hope to sort out if possible.

So anyway this is nothing revolutionary but it shows how to get VMware Tools properly installed in Windows 10 Server Technical Preview.  Although totally optional, VMware tools make using the console much more pleasant since it won’t capture the mouse requiring you to ALT+CTRL constantly to escape the console screen, and it gives you the drivers for the VMXNET3 network adapter which is optimized and higher performance in VMware ESXi 5.5

So, hope you guys find this useful!  So far I am loving Windows 10 Server!

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Windows 10 Server and VMware ESXi 5.5

So as could be expected, Windows 10 Server (Tech Preview) has no clue what to do with VMware tools when running VMware ESXi 5.5 which I guess is not entirely surprising.  Enabling the VMware tools installation results in a brief white window flicker and then nothing.

Windows 10 Server VMwareThere is no CD mounted in the guest OS so there’s not much that can be done.  The only issue with this, as you can see, is that there is an unrecognized ethernet controller.  That’s because I have the VM setup with VMXNET3.  I’ve shut the guest down and reconfigured for the E1000E virtual network adapter.  After changing the NIC to E1000E I can successfully use networking in ESXi 5.5 on Windows 10 Server.

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