I have this problem.
When patching my servers in vmware 7, servers need to boot twice.
The patch boot is the first and the second boot is my patch tool that need it, else it gives wrong result in my list.
What happens is that after patch and first boot, vmware tolls is upgraded because this setting is set.
But when then the second boot comes it sometimes does it when vmware tools is installing.
This will then end up with, that my server dont have any network and it will then fail.
I have tried to move second boot 30 min, but my window is not so long and even with 30 min it can give problems.
I could start with a boot before patch, and that is what I do now.
My question is more like.... is there another way to do this to avoid up to 4 boots sometimes?
I assume it's not possible to vmware tools to "survive" when server boot in middle of installation?
You could try setting the network adapter type to E1000e instead of VMXNET3. That should enable the generic ethernet drivers included with Windows to work, allowing your VM to maintain network connectivity during the installation steps.