Internet connection is not required to run the Win XP. Try this and let me know the status. Instead of clicking "Open a virtual machine" , just open the .vmx directly with the WS. (Go to the location where it is stored and open it).
Hi, thanks for the reply and suggestions. OK, we are getting somewhere. The installer had not registered the .vmx to be launched with Player. I assigned that to be the default program to auto-launch. I then tried to launch the .vmx directly as you suggested and got an error about "unable to create ~/.vmware" folder. I ignored that and clicked OK.
I then got an error about "zero swap -- needs 256MB..." which is valid as I have an SSD in the PC and recommendations are to drop the swap to save wear and tear on the SSD wear-life. So, there is no swap partition and I clicked OK.
The upshot is that the XP did eventually launch and seems to be OK so at least I can get it to run the 16-bit stuff.
But, not surprisingly it "forgets" settings most probably because of the lack of access to the ~/.vmware folder folder. The folder exists but is locked and my guess is that the installer created it as root. I will try changing ownership and see if that frees up that issue.