JDMPGH
Contributor
Contributor

Windows Server 2016 VM hosted by VMWare Workstation 11.x

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A co-worker of mine is running Workstation 11, and needs to set up a VM with Windows Server 2016. When he ran through the normal process of creating the VM and installing the OS, the installer failed out with an error. The VM would then reboot, encounter the same error, reboot, ad infinitum. (I know I should have the details on the error to help diagnose, but at the moment I don't. But please continue reading, there's more...)

From there we've done the following troubleshooting and attempted workarounds, but to no avail:

  1. I checked the MSDN ISO we're using and confirmed it's intact and complete (SHA1 matches).
  2. I used the ISO to install Win2016 to a new VM on my Worktation instance, no problem. The install completed and the VM boots up fine. I have Workstation 14.x, while he has (as noted) version 11.x.
  3. I created a second new VM, using the compatibility option for Workstation 11.x. I then installed Win2016 to this VM; no problem. The install completed and the VM boots up fine.
  4. My coworker full-cloned a new VM from a snapshot I created on the VM from Step 3. He tried booting up the VM on his (11.x) Workstation instance, but the VM bluescreened while booting.
  5. He then tried just copying the entire Step-3 VM folder to his local machine and booting it up on 11.x. Same problem; the VM bluescreens.

Nothing like this has ever happened before in our usage of Workstation. We've had no difficulty cloning & copying VMs which used other (earlier) versions of the Windows OS.

The obvious diagnosis is that there's some basic incompatibility such that Win2016 won't install or boot properly on Workstation 11.x, and we're pursuing an upgrade for him to work that angle.

But in the meantime, has anyone else experienced these issues with a Win2016 VM -- and if so found a workaround to get the VM to work?

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ThompsG
Virtuoso
Virtuoso

Hi JDMPGH,

Unfortunately the earliest version of Workstation to support Windows 2016 as a guest was 12.5 (see attached document)

In this case support likely means run and encountering BSOD is normal. Later releases of VMware Workstation often include code patches to allow certain guest OS‘s to run with issues.

Another option depending on the requirement to simultaneous workloads is to explore using VMware Player.

Kind regards.

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ThompsG
Virtuoso
Virtuoso

Hi JDMPGH,

Unfortunately the earliest version of Workstation to support Windows 2016 as a guest was 12.5 (see attached document)

In this case support likely means run and encountering BSOD is normal. Later releases of VMware Workstation often include code patches to allow certain guest OS‘s to run with issues.

Another option depending on the requirement to simultaneous workloads is to explore using VMware Player.

Kind regards.

View solution in original post

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