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JRJSmith_NE
Contributor
Contributor

Why does vmware.exe 12.5.5 display as VMware Workstation (32 bit)

Good afternoon,

One of my customers has called me in because he is getting very poor performance from his Windows 10 Enterprise guest machine running under VMware Workstation Pro 12.5.5. It is using around 32% CPU and around 38% when it is idle having just been started. This customer's machine is an HP Z800 workstation, which is 64-bit.

I have checked the virtual machine OS startup config, event logs, etc. and found nothing to indicate why this is a problem. Then I looked at the real machine and found that Task Manager showed an App as VMware Workstation (32 bit), which is odd given that VMware Workstation 12.5.5 is not supposed to run on 32-bit machines. I clicked the entry in Task Manager and selected Open file location and found that the file is vmware.exe, which is located under Program Files (x86)\VMware\VMware Workstation, which again is odd. I checked the file's details and it is File version: 12.5.5.17738, Product version: 12.5.5 build-5234757. The customer informed me that he just took the defaults when he installed the product.

I downloaded the latest VMware Workstation Pro 12.5.5 and ran the installation myself and can confirm what my customer said.

A number of questions arise:

1. Is the vmware.exe executable file really just a 32-bit application?

2. If so, why does VMware insist that it cannot be installed on a 32-bit machine?

3. If it is, in fact, a 64-bit application, why is it installed in the Program Files (x86) folder rather than in the Program Files folder?

4. Also, if it is, in fact, a 64-bit application, why does Windows 10 Enterprise's Task Manager report it as VMware Workstation (32 bit)?

I would appreciate a quick answer to these questions because I am continuing to try to determine why the VM is performing so poorly and consuming so many resources when supposedly idle. I want to know whether the suggestion that vmware.exe is ONLY a 32-bit application is just a 'red herring' or whether I should be recommending an alternative product to my customer to replace VMware Workstation Pro 12.5.5.

Regards

Joe

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7 Replies
bluefirestorm
Champion
Champion

I think the answers to your questions are secondary to resolving why your customer's VM is using CPU even though while idle.

Is your customer using either Avast or AVG antivirus? If yes to either then it could be due to virtualisation features in these products have made VMs slow and/or freeze and/or use up CPU cycles even though VM is idle. Have a look at this thread to see how to disable it. XP VM suddenly slow, Win 7 fine

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RDPetruska
Leadership
Leadership

The VMware UI pieces of the application are, I believe, still just 32-bit applications.  The virtual machine monitor, device drivers, and services are all 64-bit processes.

Task monitor should show multiple processes... the VMware Workstation exe is as said above a 32-bit app.  The vmware-vmx.exe is a 64-bit process.

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Joe_Smith
Contributor
Contributor

Thanks for your suggestion.

The customer's VM is using native Windows Defender for its AV. I checked to ensure that not other AV (Avast or AVG) is running alongside but there is no other AV installed.

I've backed out the latest Windows 10 update - KB3150513 - restarted and the VM appears to be back to its previous level of performance. This update is innocuously described as "Latest compatibility definition update for Windows". Looks like it may resolve to insufficient Microsoft testing once again.

The trouble with this is that, with Microsoft's approach to Windows 10 Updates, this update will automatically install again and will have to be uninstalled with monotonous regularity. I despair with M$.

Thanks again for your suggestion.

All the best

Joe.

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Joe_Smith
Contributor
Contributor

Thanks for your information.

Based on what you stated; I checked vmware-vmx.exe and it shows in Task Manager with the (32 bit) suffix. Right-clicking it and selecting Open file location, takes me to VMware\VMware Workstation\x64, which supports the conclusion that it's 64-bit. However, there are two files in that x64 folder, which imply that they're 32 bit: libeay32.dll and ssleay32.dll.

This appears to be lazy packaging on the part of VMware! If you're going to create a folder (x64) to, presumably, contain your 64 bit executables, why muddle in some 32-bit executables? No wonder we support technicians are starting to get as frustrated with VMware as we are with Microsoft - neither company appears to apply any professionalism (other than making the most $$$ they can) to their products. Shame on them!

Thanks again for your information.

Joe.

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admin
Immortal
Immortal

Based on what you stated; I checked vmware-vmx.exe and it shows in Task Manager with the (32 bit) suffix. Right-clicking it and selecting Open file location, takes me to VMware\VMware Workstation\x64, which supports the conclusion that it's 64-bit. However, there are two files in that x64 folder, which imply that they're 32 bit: libeay32.dll and ssleay32.dll.

This appears to be lazy packaging on the part of VMware! If you're going to create a folder (x64) to, presumably, contain your 64 bit executables, why muddle in some 32-bit executables? No wonder we support technicians are starting to get as frustrated with VMware as we are with Microsoft - neither company appears to apply any professionalism (other than making the most $$$ they can) to their products. Shame on them!

That is not quite correct.

Task Manager should list vmware.exe as a 32-bit process and should list vmware-vmx.exe as a 64-bit process.  We do not ship a 32-bit version of vmware-vmx.exe.

Also, do not be misled by the naming of libeay32.dll and ssleay32.dll.  Those are third-party libraries (from OpenSSL), and those are their default filenames, even for 64-bit versions.  I assure that we have not "muddled in some 32-bit executables" into the x64 folder (64-bit processes generally cannot use 32-bit DLLs) and that absolutely strive for professionalism.

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dsulser
Contributor
Contributor

4Years later and still 32Bit?
Ok, you renamed it to vmplayer.exe so "VMware Player" is still 32Bit, VM itself not but "VMware Unity Helper" and "VMware NAT Service" also 32Bit? Confusing as hell and confirmed me NOT to buy anything from such a company.thx

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sneece
Contributor
Contributor

oct 2022.. still 32 bit

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