I still have no idea what actually causes the issue but seeing how they dropped support for these types of sockets/CPUs I doubt anyone will get any actual answers. For anyone seeing this in the future if you really need to emulate on your current system that uses an older CPU you're probably better off using VirtualBox or buying a newer system and running a newer version of VMWare on that.
I faced exactly the same situation. I have a Sony vaio laptop with 1st gen Core i7 740Q which now has an ssd hard disk. I don't know what to do as I have already done whatever I could do to make things better. Sure there will be some vmware guy here kind enough to investigate some time and find and present the solution here. I'm really looking forward for it.