I recently ran into a problem of setting up my guest OS (Windows Server 2008 R2 Enterprise) to obtain IP address from the domain DHCP server. Sadly, in VMPlayer’s network settings, there are only 3 options available:

- Bridged: Connected directly to the physical network

- NAT: Used to share the host’s IP address

- Host-only: A private network shared with the host

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From the descriptive text above, “Bridged” network seems to be the most reasonable answer, but doesn’t matter which of the 3 options I chose, it just refuses to get a DHCP IP…. It surely annoys me enough for me to turn to VirtualBox until I found the blog ( VMware Player 3.0 and Network Configuration ) which states the following:

The vmnetcfg.exe is included in the installer, but won’t be installed.

1. Run the installer with /e option. For example:
      VMware-player-3.0.0-197124.exe /e .\extract
    All contents will be extracted to “extract” folder.

2. Open “network.cab” and copy vmnetcfg.exe to your installation folder,
    typically “C:\Program Files\VMware\VMware Player\”.

The word vmnetcfg (VM Network Configuration) certainly lights up my world again. After I followed the steps to extract vmnetcfg.exe and running the tool, not only have have more than 3 options, I also get to understand what this free software is doing underneath in my PC.

It looks like the problem was caused by that VM was trying to use other network adapters on my host machine to obtain DHCP IP instead of the one it’s suppose to use. We had no way to view or change this in the basic user interface we got until this tool is loaded.

In my solution, I did the following

- Changed VMnet0 to type “Bridged”

- Changed “Bridged To” option from “Automatic” to “Intel(R) 82578DC Gigabit Network Connection” (Select the one that’s connected to DHCP server)

- Click Apply button

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Such a critical tool for VM to run properly, but VMWare decided to hide it away from users. Are they trying to play hide and seek and push the hair-pulling customers into purchasing license for VMWare Workstation?