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After a recent shut-down of all our systems which include physical and virtual machines, the vm’s running under VMWare Player would not connect to the network. Our vm’s use the bridged network method since they provide services, and this method stopped working.
I googled “diagnose vmware player networking” and found several good articles
- Understanding networking types in hosted products
- Troubleshooting network connection failures
- Broke (then fixed) VMware Player Networking
- VMware Player 3.0 and Network Configuration
The VMWare articles were informative, but misleading. My guest OS is Ubuntu, but I did not have the /usr/bin/vmnet-bridge process, and I did not ever find a VMnet0 adapter to correct (under Windows 7 and Server 2008). I have a VMnet1 and a VMnet8, but no VMnet0. Reinstalling the VMWare Player did not change this. I installed a fresh Ubuntu VM and configured it using bridged networking and verified that the network was working and still I did not find the vmnet-bridge process or the VMnet0 adapter.
The best solution path seemed to be using the Virtual Network Editor. Since it’s no longer installed by default, you must manually extract it from the install exe.
Create a folder named “extract” and run the installer with the \e option.
D:\Users\mbelor>mkdir extract D:\Users\mbelor>VMware-player-5.0.0-812388.exe /e extract D:\Users\mbelor>cd extract D:\Users\mbelor\extract>
In the extract folder, open the core.cab file, or network.cab file for versions 3 and 4,
and copy vmnetcfg.exe to your VMWare Player folder. (C:\Program Files (x86)\VMware\VMware Player). Use 7-zip or WinRAR if you have trouble opening the *.cab file. For version 5, the core.cab file may not contain the vmnetcfg.exe file. In that case, will have to download Workstation 9 and repeat these steps with that installer.
D:\Users\mbelor>mkdir extract D:\Users\mbelor>VMware-workstation-full-9.0.0-812388.exe /e extract D:\Users\mbelor>"c:\Program Files\7-Zip\7z.exe" x extract\core.cab vmnetcfg.exe 7-Zip  9.20 Copyright (c) 1999-2010 Igor Pavlov 2010-11-18 Processing archive: extract\core.cab Skipping vm_generic.ico Skipping vmnetAdapter.sys_64 Extracting vmnetcfg.exe Everything is Ok Files: 3 Size: 5013302 Compressed: 189838755 D:\Users\mbelor>
With bridging, the problem that can occur is the VMWare Player will attach to the wrong network adapter for the bridged network. The Virtual Network Editor allows you to specify what network adapter to use.
When I ran the network editor, all the settings looked correct. I had only one network adapter available for bridging so there did not seem to be a possibility for confusion. Just to have something to try, I changed it from Automatic to my phyiscal ethernet adapter.
I also tried rebooting the virtual machine, changing the network from bridged to NAT, re-installing the VM Tools. None of these appeared to help.
I tested the network connection by opening a terminal in the guest OS and pinging the gateway. Since the network connection is bridged, I have specified the guest’s IP address, mask, gateway and DNS. After changing the bridge from Auto to my network adapter, the ping worked.
Changing the bridge back to Automatic did not cause the networking to stop working. So, I do not know what caused the problem. But it appears that using the Virtual Network Editor gives you a tool to smack the network connection that reinstalling VMWare Player or VMTools doesn’t provide.
In a related post, Ian McShane says that “auto detect” fails and the solution is to choose a network adapter.
Version 4 Caveat
For one release of version 4 of the VMWare Player, the extraction method described above did not work. It is working as of 4.0.2. If it does not work, try this approach.
- Open your temp folder and remove all the files so you have a clean folder. Try Start / Run / %temp% to quickly get a shortcut to your temp folder.
- Re-run the VMWare Player, version 4 installer. It unpacks to a folder in you temp folder. Once it’s done unpacking, the installer waits for you to proceed.
- Look in your temp folder for a new folder named something like vmware_1321116371.
- Now, look in that vmware folder for the network.cab. Once found, you can proceed as described above.
In one release prior to 4.0.2 of version 4 of the player, there already was a file in the VMWare Player folder called vmnetcfg.exe. However, it would not run (neither as user nor as administrator). The fix was to extract the Virtual Network Editor from the network.cab file as described above.
In version 5, the vmnetcfg.exe is in the VMWare Player folder, but running it does nothing. I get an “This program has stopped” error. According to this thread, you must download Workstation 9 and grab vmnetcfg.exe from the core.cab file.
VirtualBox and VMWare Player 5
I had just installed VirtualBox and now my VM running in VMWare Player 5 was not connecting via the bridged network connection. After poking around a bit, I clicked Configure Adapters under the network settings and found this wonderful screen that was so much effort to display previously.
Kudos to VMWare for this improvement!
I unchecked the VirtualBox and Microsoft miniport entries and the network began working.