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VMware Communities User Moderator
Which Vista edition are you using? Part of the issue likely is that Vista is seeing 4 individual CPU and I think 32 bit may be limit to 2 CPUs. In the beta there was an option to present multi core CPUs to a VM instead of individual CPUs. Give this a try.
Power off the VM
Right click on the VM and select "Edit Settings..."
Select the "Options" tab
Click on "General" (in the "Advanced" options section)
Click "Configuration Parameters..." (in the pane on the right)
Click "Add Row"
Enter "cpuid.coresPerSocket" in the "Name" column
Enter a value (try 2, 4, or 8) in the "Value" column
Power on the VM
as of your suggestion, i set cpuid.coresPerSocket to 4.
Now, the Vista VM has all four cores available and is able to utilize them fully!
Duncan blogged about this, but I think the verdict is still out on whether or not it's supported, but it does work.