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VI Client 2.5 only supports 32bit OS?

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Working through my ESX 3.5 / VC 2.5 upgrade, I download the new VI client onto my workstation (Vista x64 Enterprise) and receive a lovely error message that "This product be installed only on 32-bit operating systems."

Why was that broken? VI client previously worked fine on x64, now it doesn't? Anyone have any workarounds to get it to run on x64 yet?

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Enthusiast
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Andre,

I really think you missed the boat on this one. No, maybe there is only a small percentage of people using 64 bit OS's when measured as 32:64 ratio, but as measure of Companies with only 32 bit:Companies with mostly 32 bit and some 64 bit, I bet that ratio is significantly higher. By not supporting 64 bit, you're saying to all those companies that only have some 64 bit systems "We don't want you to upgrade to 3.5".

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Champion
Champion

dup

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Expert
Expert

The short-sighted development of VMware continues to amaze me. In this day of .NET based application development, you have to go way out of your way to not get 32bit and 64bit applications by default. This can mean only one thing, VMware has code that is so low level, that is designed so bad, they don't want to rewrite it? What other conclusion is there? They had to have a reason, and I am sure it was in some part based on VMware refusing to embrace Windows operating system in any serious way, they prove this day in and day out. I would be surprised if even 5% of VMware's entire development resources are Windows savvy. I believe this, given the absolutely horrible performance and scaling that VCB and VirtualCenter, which are effectively Windows based solutions.

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Contributor
Contributor

I got VI Client 2.5 running on Vista 64 bit today. It took some effort. The first steps are outlined above.

  1. Run the installer. While it is sitting in the error message about needing a 32 bit OS find and copy "VMware Infrastructure Client 2.5.msi" in a subdirectory of the system temporary directory.

  2. Find an MSI table editor. You can get one called Orca from a Microsoft SDK. (Search for orca.msi.)

  3. Using orca, open the .msi file and delete the LaunchConditions steps from InstallUISequence and from InstallExecuteSequence. This new .msi file will install the program.

  4. Trying to connect to a VM will now probably fail. This is because it needs to run in a 32 bit managed environment and the default is 64. You can either change the entire machine state to default to 32 bits using "c:\Windows\Microsoft.NET\Framework64\v2.0.50727\Ldr64.exe setwow" or use corflags.exe from Visual Studio to set the 32 bit env flag on the VI Client binary itself, using "corflags VpxClient.exe /32BIT+" in "C:\Program Files (x86)\VMware\Infrastructure\Virtual Infrastructure Client\Launcher". The corflags solution is cleaner since it only has to be done once and affects only VI Client. I assume the ldr64 command would have to be done after each boot and it is a global change.

Good luck. We shouldn't all have to do this. It would be trivial to make an installable version with these changes.

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Expert
Expert

Perfect!

Step 4 was what I was missing before, but with your instructions I have now been able to run the VI client under Vista x64.

Thanks,

Iain

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Contributor
Contributor

I also find the lack of 64-bit support rather short sighted. I suspect quite a few administrators run WinXP x64. WinXP x64 certainly makes testing VM configurations easier by running VMware Server and using the extra memory of your workstation (mine has 8GB). But regardless...

I find it a bit disconcerting that when given strong community feedback that "you've broken software with a mandatory upgrade" that the response was not "whoops, we'll put out a limited patch right away due to technical difficulties, and bring it up to full support in the next release", but rather has been "it shouldn't have worked in the first place, so you'll have to wait until we re-engineer it and release the new version in H2". We have to wait 6+ months for restored functionality??

Kudos for agreeing to fix the problem in the long term, but I really think we need a patch in the interim. Issuing a patch would also improve your credibility in the era of multiple Virtual software vendors. Smiley Happy)

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Enthusiast
Enthusiast

I agree that Vmware should make an immediate effort to build a patched version of the client that will run on a 64 bit Windows platform. If it can be done with a few hacks, a patched version, even unsupported, would not be a huge effort to make. While running another VM is a workaround, it also requires another Windows license, which is not trivial.

As far as polling the user community, I have been very involved with Vmware over the last 4 years and no one ever asked me what platforms our administrators are running.

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Contributor
Contributor

I agree Vmware should fix this immediately. I was slammed with this today after my VC 2.5 upgrade. If the client worked on x64 in v2.0 they shouldn't have disabled it in v2.5.

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Personally I think the big issue is that it only runs on Windows.

I'd love to see the client run on Unix/Linux; if VC could at least use MySQL or some other non-Microsoft db, would be awesome (VC on Unix/Linux would be even better); ANY Macintosh support would be fantastic.

32/64 windows client support ... minor (though admittedly not trivial) issues in my book.

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Immortal
Immortal

Schorschi,

Thanks for your comments. I guess short-sighted would be Vmotion, Storage Vmotion, 1st to offer vSMP, 1st to offer 64-bit guest support, 1st to offer shared memory model and many more. I've explained - in detail - the why, support is coming soon.

I don't agree at all with your MS comments as we support more MS operating guest's than anybody - including experimental support for Windows 2008.

Market forces and resources always have an impact on the development roadmap.

Regards,

Andre Kemp

Sr. Product Marketing Mgr. Apac

--

Pardon the brevity, sent from my handheld

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Enthusiast
Enthusiast

I got VI Client 2.5 running on Vista 64 bit today. It took some effort. The first steps are outlined above.

  1. Run the installer. While it is sitting in the error message about needing a 32 bit OS find and copy "VMware Infrastructure Client 2.5.msi" in a subdirectory of the system temporary directory.

  2. Find an MSI table editor. You can get one called Orca from a Microsoft SDK. (Search for orca.msi.)

  3. Using orca, open the .msi file and delete the LaunchConditions steps from InstallUISequence and from InstallExecuteSequence. This new .msi file will install the program.

  4. Trying to connect to a VM will now probably fail. This is because it needs to run in a 32 bit managed environment and the default is 64. You can either change the entire machine state to default to 32 bits using "c:\Windows\Microsoft.NET\Framework64\v2.0.50727\Ldr64.exe setwow" or use corflags.exe from Visual Studio to set the 32 bit env flag on the VI Client binary itself, using "corflags VpxClient.exe /32BIT+" in "C:\Program Files (x86)\VMware\Infrastructure\Virtual Infrastructure Client\Launcher". The corflags solution is cleaner since it only has to be done once and affects only VI Client. I assume the ldr64 command would have to be done after each boot and it is a global change.

Good luck. We shouldn't all have to do this. It would be trivial to make an installable version with these changes.

mcadler - This worked like a charm! Thanks for the detailed steps. Also, I thought that I should mention that I had to login as the local Administrator in order to get the VI CLient 2.5 to install and register correctly. Even though I had tried with another local account that had admin rights I could not get it installed correctly until I logged in as localhost\Administrator.

I hope this helps anyone who also ran into this issue.

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Immortal
Immortal

Same here.

I understand about the 64-bit though, it's flaky. MANY apps don't work on 64-bit, and I have 64-bit Server, that I use for many things, but some things just don't work.

I think VM Ware got tired of supporting issues with 64-bit OS, since their app really doesn't support it. On another note, they could just recompile it.. how hard is that? We have a development shop, and noone supports 64-bit there either, so either there is an issue with 64-bit that we just haven't seen, or there is no need for 64-bit apps. Not one of our customers have asked about 64-bit, not one. And we have a very LARGE customer base....

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Immortal
Immortal

> x64 workstations are becoming more and more common.

Common yes, accepted.. NOT!

> Wondering if there is a command line switch to bypass the OS check....

There is, it's called VM Workstation 6. Run a VM on your box.. just for the console, problem solved. You are not going to win this 64-bit client thing. There must be a good reason they don't support it.. like .NET has issues, there are MANY problems that certain functions don't support yet.. and since VM Ware has to support ALL issues, they opted to eliminate 64-bit all together. We see it as an inconvenience, VM Ware sees it as support, which costs more money supporting OS configurations which have known issues. Since they DID support it, and they pulled it, there is a specific reason they don't WANT you using it.. In time, it will be supported....

I predict by April there will be FULL 64-bit support.

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Immortal
Immortal

Oh yeah... that's professional.. <rolling eyes>

So you are going to forego an upgrade, because you can't simply remote desktop to another machine for the console... Web Access supports 64-bit!

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Immortal
Immortal

> This doesn't mean VMware doesn't care about our customers, or for being shortsighted, etc - each support effort requires backend processes and testing to provide true support for a product. In this case 64-bit client support would entail full integration with the vendor OS (Windows and the various flavours of Linux) - not just "get it to work". That's a huge effort if you think about the amount of OS changes that need to be vetted properly to ensure a working product, support processes in the back-end and continuous development. I want to be clear - VMware is not saying "it's just not worth it", we are saying "do we need to shift resources right now?"

Now this doesn't mean we are not going to ever have support for a 64-bit client, but to be frank it will most likely will not occur immediately as requested by some people. We have also seen issues with some of the OS components in the 64-bit environment, hence the OS checker has been activated. What I will ask if it is possible to remove the OS checker restriction to allow customers to "go it alone" with no support, but even that has it's own issues as some people would assume support since it installed. Maybe a warning message with a check-box so you could agree to "go it alone" before install?

Finally, the voice of reason. I knew there has to be at LEAST 1.

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Immortal
Immortal

Hmm... your view of technology is severely skewed and implausible.

First of all, 64-bit Os has been out for what.. 5 years.. what makes you think there is going to a SUDDEN shift to 64-bit? Hmmm?

Even new laptops don't support 64-bit Vista, there may be SOME driver support but not all. I challenge that laptops that come pre-installed with 64-bit don't have support for their hardware. You are in the minority, 32-bit is a VERY large footprint and there is virtually no development in 64-bit. Games drive the market, not apps, not business, not utilities, GAMES.

When GAME developers see a need to embrace 64-bit only THEN will you see a push. GAMES drive the market, because as you say new customers will want 64-bit GAME support. Hardware gets pushed by GAMES.

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Immortal
Immortal

I can tell you dont' work for an Enterprise class company, because that statement is so wrong, I don't even know where to begin.

Companies use what works, not what people WANT. There is NO reason to shift to 64-bit, for one thing SUPPORT. Who is going to support an entirely new hardware platform, not companies to be sure (Fortune 500 anyway).

In fact, ask ANY Fortune 500 company how many 64-bit systems they support (excluding SUN, Linux, and AS/400) and you will NOT find any, laptops, desktops, even servers. There is just no real need. SAP, Oracle, Microsoft even. go to any of those sites, look up their products, now find how many are 64-bit Code devleopment. I can only think of 2 Microsoft Products, SQL and Exchange that are even written for 64-bit. (Besides the obvious OS)

Companies are not going to use something that is new, especially since the 64-bit hardware is still buggy, there are no apps, and availability of applications are not there, so tell me, where did you get this info? It's not even close to accurate.

The ratio of 64-bit to 32-bit is significantly LOWER than general populace. And the statement isn't "We dont' want you to upgrade", no one is forcing you to use 64-bit, its YOUR choice to use it. VM Ware doesn't want to inherit the problems of THEIR app running on a largely unsupported system, that's where the problem is.

They aren't ignoring the customer base, they are trying to streamline their support, so they don't have to deal with 64-bit issues. It's not supported, so why should they use it?

Besides, 64-bit promised performance enhancement.. that promise was never fulfilled, so other than systems with more than 4G of RAM on a machine, why do you think you need 64-bit? It's a perception, not a fact. 64-bit isn't any better realistically than 32-bit.

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Check out some of Dell's laptops, they have a line specifically for Vista compatibilty.

As far as 64bit goes, yes - for desktop and portables, the gaming industry is the driving force. For servers, however, then I would think Microsoft would be a major factor (as in fact they are for gaming, as if you're talking PC gaming, you mean Microsoft), with their given statement of intent to move to 64bit only servers in the next iteration (after Server 2008). Already the preferred download for evaluating Server 2008 RC is 64bit; Exchange 2008 is 64bit.

Modern games are starting to tax 2Gb RAM systems, and with most people buying the dual channel ram upgrades, the next steps are 3Gb or 4Gb. With the price of RAM so low these days, a lot of people may consider it an good investment to buy another 2gb, and find out their desktop only shows 3 - 3.5Gb of the total because of the memory mapping limitations of 32bit Windows. About 18 months ago, 2Gb was considered a huge amount of RAM for a gaming desktop. Course, that was before Vista hit...

Additionally, in the enterprise (the largest OEM market), security is going to affect OS deployment decisions. With microsoft's 64bit kernel inherently more secure than the 32bit one, it become more attractive as a base platform to standardize around. Hence why Dell, HP, etc. offer their desktops in 32bit and 64bit preconfigured formats.

Performance increases are documented for true 64bit game executables. Running 32bit games in emulation under 64bit OS is not likely to show an increase in performance, though the all round computing experience may be enhanced through native services and applications performing better. I am unable to find it now, but Microsoft published a case study of how moving to 64-bit Server 2003 on their WSUS clusters decreased load and increased throughput, serving data faster thant their previous 32bit configuration.

Of course, all the above is my opinion and not necesarily fact, so please enjoy a little salt with it Smiley Wink

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Contributor
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Well actually the shift to 64-bit has been happening over that same 5-year period in all x86 platforms, Linux and Windows, but more so on the Server side than Client. You can't even buy a decent new x86 server without a 64-bit processor so why not use it? And as for your assertation that new laptops don't support it, I'm writing this on a new HP 8710w running Vista Business 64-bit. I will concur that 64-bit CLIENTs are still in the minority, but that's changing. Within the next 1-3 years as companies "refresh" their hardware/software, 32-bit will be phased out on the client side as well.

I would venture a guess that most high performance users/gamers WANT to run 64-bit and are limited by the developers, their applications and hardware more than a desire to stay on 32-bit. The big issue is usually hardware and drivers not applications. VMware just needs to recognize that the VI Client is an Admin tool and a growing number of admins are running 64-bit and don't want to have to RDP to a server evertime they need to do something in VMware.

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Immortal
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Admins use the newest stuff, because Technical people like to test and play with new technology. That's a given. That is the exception not the rule. Also Admins have access to a plethora of OTHER machines you can use to connect to a console, not to mention, the web access is accessible...

The general public that will be connecting and use the VI client (even half of this board are probably students or new customers) that don't care about 64-bit. All they want is to connect.

Since 2.5 is a NEW product, I suspect VM Ware is trying to reduce their installations to 32-bit, probably because adding 64-bit to the mix will introduce twice the amount of problems. This 64-bit (or lack thereof) is temporary. They will support it.. eventually, once it's matured more. There is still some issue with many 64-bit drivers, even Adobe has no native 64 bit flash support.. It's not the end of the world, you have to look at it from VM Ware standpoint.

They are trying to get a new product out, why complicate the issue with 64-bit support for systems that probably don't even FULLY support it. I bet even your machine was installed BY YOU to install 64-bit OS... I will be willing to bet it didn't come that way.. You are EXACTLY the reason VM Ware is trying to steer you to stay on 32-bit until they can fix their issues.

Maybe they have 64-bit VI Client in the works, but it's just too many problems to tackle all at once.. give them a chance....

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