How to install VMWare tools if the option is grayed out- gHacks Tech News

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How to install VMWare tools if the option is grayed out

I use VMWare Workstation Player primary to run Linux but a few days ago I wanted to install a virtual copy of Windows 10 to test some upcoming features. Virtual machines are great for testing operating systems or programs as they can be set up relatively quickly, don't alter existing installations and don't interfere with the underlying operating system.

How to install VMWare tools if the option is grayed out

I got the ISO using Martin's guide and the installation went fine. But then, I noticed that it didn't install the VMWare tools like it would normally do.

One of the important features that these tools add is the ability to copy data from the virtual machine to the host operating system or vice-versa. That's how I actually came to know that the tools weren't installed, it didn't let me move some folders from my main Windows 10 to the VM version.

I knew that I had chosen the option to download VMWare tools when creating the virtual machine. I even remember the message log displaying the notification that the tools had been downloaded. Oddly, when I clicked the Manage option the install VMWare tools option was grayed out.

Hoping to find a fix, I began to look around and came across official documentation on VMWare's support portal. According to the page, the virtual CD/DVD drive should be set to "Auto Detect" so that VMWare would let the user install VMWare Tools. The option which I wanted to change in the virtual machine's CD/DVD drive was set to use my Windows 10 ISO and I couldn't change this setting.

How to install VMWare tools if the option is grayed out - new issue

Here's what I tried (and failed)

  1. Ejecting the Windows ISO. I hoped this would free the drive and the virtual machine would let me install the tools.
  2. Disconnecting and reconnecting the virtual optical drive.
  3. Adding a second CD/DVD drive. It just kept giving me SATA0 errors.

None of this worked. This is when I searched the VMWare forums and found the solution on this thread.

How to install VMWare tools if the option is grayed out

1. Shut down the virtual machine.

2. Open VMWare Workstation Player and right-click on the VM. (Don't start the VM)

3. Select the "Settings" option to edit the hardware settings.

4. Highlight the CD/Drive on the left side-bar under the Hardware tab and click on the remove button.

5. Repeat the above step to remove the Floppy Drive. (Optional, but this is what fixed it for me. Courtesy: AskUbuntu forums)

6. Click on the "Add button" and select "CD/DVD" Drive and select finish. The right pane should have now have the option "Use Physical Drive > Auto Detect" enabled. (Previously, it had the Windows ISO selected)

How to install VMWare tools if the option is grayed out - add cd dvd drive

7. Click on "OK" to close the window, and Start the VM as normal.

8. Once it has booted to the desktop, click on the menu at the top left corner and go to "Player > Manage > Install VMWare Tools".

The option should no longer be greyed out. Click on it to install the VMWare Tools. You will also see a new tab at the bottom of the screen prompting you to install the tools.

How to install VMWare tools if the option is grayed out final

If this doesn't work, you can try to manually download the VMWare Tools ISO, mount it in a virtual drive and install it. This isn't limited to Windows 10 VMs, it should work on any VM be it Linux, macOS, or older versions of Windows.

Summary
How to install VMWare tools if the option is grayed out
Article Name
How to install VMWare tools if the option is grayed out
Description
Learn how to install VMWare tools if the option is grayed out. The fix is simple and should take no more than a few minutes.
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Ghacks Technology News
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Comments

  1. mikef90000 said on November 8, 2019 at 9:51 pm
    Reply

    Good to find a non-enterprise user of VMware. Several years ago I considered getting up to speed on it but VMware reportedly laid off the development staff of Workstation (or Player, or whatever they call it this week :().
    Say, what do they call it now and what version is it?
    Is the free version hard to find and are there any significant limitations compared to Virtualbox or KVM?
    TIA, Mike

    1. VioletMoon said on November 9, 2019 at 6:07 pm
      Reply

      VMware Workstation free version =

      https://www.vmware.com/products/workstation-player/workstation-player-evaluation.html

      I prefer VirtualBox simply because it works well with any distro. I rather doubt Ashwin’s problem would occur on VirtualBox.

      Yet, when it works and one does whatever is necessary, I find VMware to have a more polished look and feel.

      One will eventually encounter a problem with either tool which will require a bit of research–no “real” problems, though.

      Windows Hyper-V works fine.

  2. mysiak said on November 8, 2019 at 10:35 pm
    Reply

    VMWare Workstation Player also requires some VMX file editing to tweak some of the features not available via GUI.

    Why not just use VirtualBox instead?

  3. Ascar said on November 10, 2019 at 1:20 pm
    Reply

    These days the most important and most valuable product of Oracle is VirtualBox! Nobody cares about Oracle Database, Oracle eBusiness Suite and the like anymore.

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