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VMWare workstation version 14.1.7 host support for Windows 10 1903

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May have jumped the gun when I updated my system that runs VMWare Workstation version 14.1.7 to the 1903 build of Windows 10 and wanted to ask if there will be support for this build and version of VMWare workstation. If others have issues (ex. machines don't start/stop guest hang), is anyone else running this build having any luck to get things running correctly again? My guess is I just cornered myself into another costly VMWare fork lift upgrade (which there is no funding for) that may or may not support version 1903. Any information on this from the community would be sincerely appreciated. Smiley Sad

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User Moderator
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Hi,

Workstation 15.1 has added support for Windows 10 19H1 hosts, see:

VMware Workstation 15.1 Pro Release Notes

I'm not seeing the same thing for Workstation 14.

In fact there's not even the security patches released yet from what I see.

So there's a -admittedly small- chance that Windows 10 19H1 support is still on its way.

Personally however I doubt it will come.

When looking at the past then new host OS support is only added to the last released version of Workstation.

Which quite frankly makes sense.

If you cannot afford the upgrade then you might still be able to roll back to the previous version of Windows 10.

I understand that that's not something you want to hear, but it is a possible way out of this.

--

Wil

| Author of Vimalin. The virtual machine Backup app for VMware Fusion, VMware Workstation and Player |
| More info at vimalin.com | Twitter @wilva

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User Moderator
User Moderator

Hi,

Workstation 15.1 has added support for Windows 10 19H1 hosts, see:

VMware Workstation 15.1 Pro Release Notes

I'm not seeing the same thing for Workstation 14.

In fact there's not even the security patches released yet from what I see.

So there's a -admittedly small- chance that Windows 10 19H1 support is still on its way.

Personally however I doubt it will come.

When looking at the past then new host OS support is only added to the last released version of Workstation.

Which quite frankly makes sense.

If you cannot afford the upgrade then you might still be able to roll back to the previous version of Windows 10.

I understand that that's not something you want to hear, but it is a possible way out of this.

--

Wil

| Author of Vimalin. The virtual machine Backup app for VMware Fusion, VMware Workstation and Player |
| More info at vimalin.com | Twitter @wilva

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Contributor
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Hello and thank you for this helpful information.

Regards,

Brendan

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> Which quite frankly makes sense.

In this case, Microsoft is pushing everyone 'forward' on their Windows 10 update treadmill, so it's relatively hard to hold back upgrading Windows in the long term. (You lose MS patch and general support faster than in the old days).

So, it seems reasonable to me that they would should fix this given that they appear to still be (or at least were until recently) issuing 14 updates.

This particular case aside, 1903 is starting to be pushed on those at Windows 10 1803 as I understand it. If that's the case, you would have to actively try to swim against the tide to avoid it.

And, it still sounds like version 15 is more problematic than 14 for at least some of those reporting here in these forums...

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Well, stopping the updates from happening isn't really an option in my company, so that means either splashing out on v15 or switching to hyper-v, neither of which are ideal. I'll try and work round it for a week or two and then make a decision. Thanks for the info though.

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Hi,

I hear you, but I don't work for VMware and just relay with what I have seen happening in the past.

As Microsoft will indeed be pushing out the updates now and as Windows 10 Home users delaying the update is problematic (it can be done apparently, but only if they are on 18.03 and it isn't the default) I agree with you that Workstation 14 -which is not yet end of life- should add support for Windows 19.03

However that's all opinion and speculation.

Perhaps Mikero can chime in with some more details?

Edit: I take that back. VMware Workstation 14 _is_ end of life since 2019/03/26.

More details here: https://www.vmware.com/content/dam/digitalmarketing/vmware/en/pdf/support/product-lifecycle-matrix.p...

Edit 2: re. Workstation 15 is more problematic according to the forums. The forums don't give you the best view of how well the product works, people only come here when they have a problem. From what I can see as a daily visitor of the forums since 2006 it is not worse than Workstation 14.

--

Wil

| Author of Vimalin. The virtual machine Backup app for VMware Fusion, VMware Workstation and Player |
| More info at vimalin.com | Twitter @wilva
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Community Manager
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Yah, we're in a tough spot here.

"Supporting Windows 10" doesn't mean the same thing that "supporting Windows 7" did.

Previously we could maintain support for a given OS for many years.

Now, OS vendors are making very fundamental changes to the underpinnings of the OS every 6 months...

It's a multi-full-time-engineer gig just to keep up. (and not "jr." engineer either...)

Backporting some of the adjustments we have to make is often not tenable because of the size and scope of the changes that we need to make just to keep up, which puts us in a weird predicament.

We've been working through how to help our customers through this, but we'd be interested in hearing from the community about how folks would like to see us handle the situation.

- Michael Roy - Product Line Manager: Fusion & Workstation
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Mikero, I feel your pain! I hadn't spotted that Workstation 14 was end of life (thanks wila) so I can understand if VMWare choose not to backport the fix.

The problem I have is that it is difficult to justify continuously purchasing vmwware licences just because Windows has changed, both financially and technically. For us, the development environment needs to be kept fairly stable which is one of the strong arguments for using VMs in the first place. Having said that, we update Visual Studio every few years so it's not like it is set in stone.

As I said previously, I need to give it some time and consider what is the best approach for my development team. I would mention though that the easiest way to lose customers is to make them question their decision to use your software when normally they wouldn't give it a second thought. Right now, I don't envy you your job 😉

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> The problem I have is that it is difficult to justify continuously purchasing vmwware licenses just because Windows has changed, both financially and technically.

> ..., but we'd be interested in hearing from the community about how folks would like to see us handle the situation.

Well, I'd like to see a compatibility update for Workstation 14 🙂 .

I have several licenses that I pay for with my own personal funds and having to upgrade all of them solely because Windows 10 'upgrades' are being forced on us is an unpleasant pill to swallow...

It's giving me pause to consider my alternatives.

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We decided to no longer use the product (VMWare workstation specifically). VmWare does not allow for some kind of maintenance protection option and the constant quarterly (costly) forklift just isn't going to work any longer.

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VmWare does not allow for some kind of maintenance protection option

I have purchased a Silver Support maintenance contract for my personal Workstation license for the past 12 or more years. 

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Just tried to upgrade to 1903 but windows itself tells me, that there are problems with Workstation 14.

Is that problem still not solved?

Should that be really the only so called "solution" to upgrade to a new vmware workstation version?

Looking at problems with newer linux kernels and their solutions, it looks as if the core of version 15 and 14 are quite similar.

Everything worked for me with version 14, so why should i be forced to upgrade?

Wasn't there written something about Windows 10 compatible?

SH

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Wasn't there written something about Windows 10 compatible?

Unfortunately, Microsoft has gone the way of this stupid "x-as-a-service" sales model, so they can rip off more customers make more money.  Windows 10 is not Windows 10 is not Windows 10 anymore.  Unlike EVERY other past OS, they morph this one every so often, and it's no longer the same base OS.  Prior, they released an OS and then patches and even Service Packs, but it was still the same base OS.  With "Windows 10", there are different versions throughout its lifecycle, and it is no longer the same.  Software companies must make updates to their applications as a result, and (as Mikero said above) - it's not like saying "We Support Windows 7".

It's time for us consumers to boycott all of these companies selling us "software as a service" and see it for what it is - a money grab!

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True, this constant platform updates is something Microsoft is responsible for.

But coming back to VMWare: Nowhere on the product description was mentioned: runs only until the next major version comes out.

And even worse: Nowhere is written, even for version 15 with what version support will end. And there's literaly every year a new windows 10 version.

Meaning you're loosing completely control over your investment, cause you don't know, and even vmware doesn't tell you, if the purchased product will run some month, a year or some years, and that is ridiculous!

It seems as if vmware itself wants to teach their customers to look for a different product, cause i would call myself stupid to pay for an upgrade to 15, not knowing if the next windows 10 version, probably coming up end of this or start of next year, will break support, and i can upgrade again.

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Hi,

The problem is that VMware has no control over if Microsoft will introduce a change to a new Windows 10 version that breaks VMware.

Until Windows 10 that was actually quite a rare event, nowadays with Windows 10 it is pretty common for Microsoft to make a change that breaks VMware Workstation.

The way it works is that as long as the VMware product is not end of life around the time of the next Windows 10 release, then VMware will/should bring out a new version of Workstation that supports this Windows 10 version. At least that is how it has worked in the past.

So the thing to take into account is the Life Cycle document:

https://www.vmware.com/content/dam/digitalmarketing/vmware/en/pdf/support/product-lifecycle-matrix.p...

While the latest Windows 10 is called "1903" that's not when they released it, it was released in May 2019. Which -unfortunately- is 2 months after VMware Workstation 14 went End Of Life.

I expect the same type of release schedule for release 2003... and -yes- Workstation 15 is end of life in May again.

If you want the full 18 months of service out of VMware Workstation then the trick is to buy early, otherwise you have to be lucky or stay on the older Windows 10 train for a bit longer.

--

Wil

| Author of Vimalin. The virtual machine Backup app for VMware Fusion, VMware Workstation and Player |
| More info at vimalin.com | Twitter @wilva
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After having read all of what has been written here about "VMware 14 host support" and "end of life" I decided to abandon my VMware Workstation 14 (which I bought in October '17 and together with my new Windows 10-64 Professional Host-Computer) Smiley Sad. I'm certainly not going to hold back my Windows 10 (which is now 1903) from upgrading and installing security patches :smileyshocked:. And I will not upgrade my VMware Workstation to a version 15 which will be end-of-life within less than 8 months again and which then again might not be supported by coming Windows 10-patches. To me the combination of Windows 10 and VMware seems to be some sort of so called 'Ransomware' :smileyangry:. I successfully changed @to Oracle VM Virtual Box Version 6 which completely meets my requirements Smiley Wink.

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I had the same problem. I renamed C:\Program Files (x86)\VMware\VMware Workstation\vmware.exe to vmwarea.exe  and Workstation started again.


Regards,

Andrea

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Workstation Player 14.1.7 had been working fine for us on 1903 until the recent KB4524147 update. And from what I can determine online, there are no technical problems with running the software that the update introduced, just a windows blocklist for old software.

There is a workaround to bypass that blocklist, option 3 here:

https://www.tenforums.com/virtualization/141820-vmware-workstation-pro-cant-run-windows-message.html

But it is ridiculous that both 12 and 14 are blocked arbitrarily at this point - neither are fundamentally broken by the update. I can understand if VMWare doesn't find it worth the investment to continue to support if real problems come up, but letting them lapse into a state where Microsoft just decides not to allow them to run isn't helpful either. It seems like some level of communication would be appropriate to tell Microsoft there is no reason to block these in the absence of a real incompatibility.

As far as how long you should support it - this is a commercial and enterprise product. There should be a minimum of three years of compatibility support from the last date you sell licenses for a product. That is just a baseline for enterprise life cycles in terms of software. That doesn't mean new features, but if you are offering licenses for sale for workstation player 14 in 2018, it should continue to operate on the OS until 2021. Or you should provide free upgrades to the version that will be supported until that time.

I understand that Microsoft's windows upgrade policy is an issue for you, as Windows 10 is not a stable target as older versions were. But it is impossible even for most businesses to avoid the OS updates at some point - Microsoft's setup now is just intended to get everyone on the same set of patches and updates. The maximum delay on feature updates is a year, so even locking that down when 14 went end of general support only gets to early next year.

Our company upgraded from player 12 to 14 in 2018, just 9 months before player 15 came out, and there was no free upgrade path, and no compelling features in 15 to upgrade to. Now less than two years later, we apparently need to spend the same upgrade cost again, for nothing more than not being on a windows blacklist. Given that experience, we are very reluctant to upgrade to 15 today and see the same cycle repeat with 16. If buying 15 today included a guaranteed free upgrade to the next version, it would be a lot more feasible to make that investment. But with a history of major version updates to workstation every year or two, a new version bought today would likely be outdated in less than a year. There needs to be a better solution - we can't just churn software upgrade fees every year or two.

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As I learn from 'amatellini' it is just a case of renaming the exe so that it is not blocked anymore by Windows 10-1903. Thanx to 'jerdcox' I looked up the 'Windows Blocklist' (C:\Windows\sysmain.sdb) within the "Compatibility Administrator (64-bit)"-Tool. I must say that I completely uninstalled VMware Workstation Pro 14.1.7 from my host before upgrading to Windows 10-1903.

Then I did not find any 'HARDBLOCK'ing entries for 'VMware workstation' that I could DISABLE, but I found and DISABLEd them for 'VMware player'. Now I am asking myself who is making these entries to that database. Microsoft? Why should they? Or is it VMware themselves within their installation procedure for Workstation Pro or within an 'Update'? Or are they working together to just mess around with their customers and to make lots of buckazoids :smileyangry: This could be called a 'cartel' (see also 'planned obsolescence'). I've learnt my lesson and abandoned VMware Workstation Pro to save money and to stop 'VMware Inc.' from messing with me.

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Mikero

First a little detour as illustration.

I let a $6,000 seat of Autodesk Inventor lapse, because old bugs were mostly not fixed and they expected me to pay annual subscription fees for a new set of bugs.

Paying for Workstation Pro allows me to keep using Autodesk Inventor on a Win7 guest.

Earlier this year I had similar misgivings about Workstation Pro license when I noted VMware was pushing me to upgrade to 15, while I had a long list things that weren't working right on 14. Attempting to get help from WMware resulted in absolutely nothing. At that point I noticed the similarities between Autodesk and VMware, decided that in principle I would not upgrade to 15 as I wasn't confident that a new version would fix my problems.

Now there is a similar dilemma, as I am being forced to upgrade, however I do not know when the next Windows 10 update will kill the new Workstation Pro, right? That makes me wonder if I should go Virtualbox right away.

Money I spend on software comes out of my own pocket, so I am more sensitive to all these recurring costs. However, as you have noticed my sentiment is also expressed by some of your large clients. Your subscription model is undermined by Microsoft's upgrades.

From my own experience it is easy to loose clients, and very difficult to get them back. The solution is two-fold. Hold on to existing clients as much as you can by offering an incentive to stay.

Assuming VMware is a Microsoft Gold Partner, then the second approach needs to be to determine a joint strategy with other gold partners and work on a long term strategy.

As an illustration to support my case: https://forums.autodesk.com/t5/forums/searchpage/tab/message?advanced=false&allow_punctuation=false&...

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