I normally use Windows Virtual PC for demos of Kernel debug scenarios. For a special occasion I needed to use VMWare. There are plenty of articles how to set it up and it is almost identical to Virtual PC. You basically connect over COM1 through a named pipe. But after hours of struggling I could not get it to work.

In the VM settings it says "Serial Port 2" which was somewhat weird already. Also in Device Manager on the VM it mentioned that the COM1 was already in use. Then I hit this article. Now I don't read Portuguese but the pictures are quite self-explanatory. Apparently when you have a printer connected to your machine, the first port is used by your printer. Adjusting the bcdedit settings fixed the problem.