How to Install VMware Workstation Player on Windows

Published:4 March 2024 - 5 min. read

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Michael Nguyen Tu

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Feeling the itch to delve into virtualization on your Windows machine? The quest for seamless virtualization is real, and VMware Workstation Player is your ticket to seamless virtual adventures.

Through clear instructions in this tutorial, you will soon wield VMware Workstation Player like a pro, unlocking endless possibilities for your digital playground.

Read on and turn your virtualization aspirations into reality!

Prerequisites

Before you jump into the world of VMware Workstation Player, ensure you have everything lined up for a smooth ride:

  • A Windows 7 OS or later – This tutorial uses Windows 11 64-bit.
  • Around 40GB for the VMware Workstation Player installation, plus extra space for the VM you plan to run.
  • A minimum of 4GB RAM, but the more RAM you have, the better.
  • An OS ISO Image to install within VMware Workstation Player – This tutorial uses Ubuntu 20.04 64-bit.

Downloading and Installing the VMware Workstation Player

The ultimate aim is to empower you with the tools you need for efficient VM management. As you envision the enhanced capabilities and flexibility, you must first install the VMware Workstation Player.

VMware Workstation Player offers a seamless solution for creating and managing virtual machines. This tool lets you experiment with different environments without risking your primary system.

To download and install the latest VMware Workstation Player, carry out the following:

1. Open your favorite web browser, and head to VMware Workstation Player’s official download page.

2. Look for the Try Workstation 17 Player for Windows section and click DOWNLOAD NOW to initiate downloading the installer package.

đź’ˇ Note: VMware Workstation Player offers a free version. This free version is designed for non-commercial purposes, personal projects, or home use.

Initiating downloading the VMware Workstation Player installer package
Initiating downloading the VMware Workstation Player installer package

3. Right click on the downloaded installer package, and select Run as administrator. Doing so ensures you have the required permissions to install the software.

Launching the installer package as administrator for elevated permissions
Launching the installer package as administrator for elevated permissions

4. Now, click Next when the installation wizard opens to continue.

Continuing with the installation
Continuing with the installation

5. Read through the license terms, tick the checkbox at the bottom to accept the license agreement, and click Next to confirm.

Accepting the license agreement
Accepting the license agreement

6. On the next screen, configure the following:

  • Select the destination folder for the installation. You may use the default directory or click Change to choose a different one.
  • Tick the Enhanced Keyboard Driver box to enable additional functionalities for your keyboard while using VMs.
  • Tick the last box to add the necessary tools and executables to your system’s PATH variable.

Once configured, click Next to move forward with the installation process.

Configuring the custom setup
Configuring the custom setup

7. Click Next twice to keep the defaults and proceed with the installation setup.

Keeping default user experience settings
Keeping default user experience settings
Keeping default shortcut settings
Keeping default shortcut settings

8. Now. click Install to initiate the installation against your configurations.

Starting the installation
Starting the installation

9. Once the installation is finished, click Finish to close the installer.

Finishing the installation
Finishing the installation

10. Lastly, click Yes to restart your computer for the changes.

Confirming computer restart
Confirming computer restart

Creating Your First VM in VMware Workstation Player

With VMware Workstation Player installed on your Windows PC, you stand on the threshold of virtualization. You can simulate entire computing systems within your existing hardware in this realm.

Setting up your first VM is like creating a new, self-contained computer that runs its own OS and applications.

To create a VM in the VMware Workstation Player, follow these steps:

1. Launch VMware Workstation Player from your desktop shortcut or through the Start menu.

2. When prompted, select the first option to use the free version of VMware Workstation Player (or choose the second option if you have a license key) and click Continue.

Choosing either the free or licensed version
Choosing either the free or licensed version

The VMware Workstation Player’s main window appears, as shown below.

Viewing the VMware Workstation Player’s main window
Viewing the VMware Workstation Player’s main window

3. Next, click Create a New Virtual Machine, which opens a wizard to configure a new VM (step four).

Initiating creating a new VM
Initiating creating a new VM

4. Now, select the second option, browse your ISO image file for the OS you wish to install on your VM, and click Next.

Selecting the ISO image file
Selecting the ISO image file

5. In the next screen, set the new OS administrator account credentials and click Next to confirm.

Setting the VM’s admin credentials
Setting the VM’s admin credentials

6. Provide a meaningful name for your VM (i.e., Ubuntu 20.04), choose a storage path for the VM files, and click Next.

Providing a VM name and storage path
Providing a VM name and storage path

7. Decide on the amount of disk space to allocate to the VM and the maximum size the virtual hard disk can grow to, and click Next.

Allocating the maximum disk space
Allocating the maximum disk space

8. Now, click Finish to create the VM with your chosen settings, or click Customize Hardware to adjust the hardware specifications before finalizing.

Finishing the VM creation
Finishing the VM creation

9. Ultimately, proceed by following the on-screen prompts to install the OS, replicating the process as if setting up a new computer.

Installing the OS on the VM
Installing the OS on the VM

If everything goes according to plan, you now have a fully functioning Ubuntu Linux VM on your Windows PC, as shown below.

Enjoy the versatility of your new virtual machine and the opportunities it offers. Be it for testing, learning, and running different OSes and applications in an isolated and controlled environment.

Navigating the newly created VM
Navigating the newly created VM

Fixing the VMware Workstation Compatibility Error

When you are all set to dive into virtualization, a compatibility error can wrench your plans, just like this VMware Workstation and Device/Credential Guard are not compatible error.

Typically, this error occurs on Windows 10 and Windows 11 systems where Device Guard or Credential Guard is enabled. These features often conflict with VMware Workstation, as they use Hyper-V technology that is incompatible with VMware’s default settings.

Getting a compatibility error upon launching VMs
Getting a compatibility error upon launching VMs

To fix this compatibility error, you must disable Device Guard or Credential Guard as follows:

1. Launch PowerShell with administrative privileges and execute the bceditcommand below to disable Hyper-V temporarily.

 bcdedit /set hypervisorlaunchtype off 
Disabling Hyper-V temporarily
Disabling Hyper-V temporarily

2. Once disabled, execute the following msconfig command to open the System Configuration window.

Opening the System Configuration window
Opening the System Configuration window

3. Disable Hyper-V-related services with the following:

  • Navigate to the Services tab to view all services that start with the OS.
  • Look for services related to Hyper-V and untick the boxes next to them.
  • Click Apply, then OK to save and apply your changes.
Disabling Hyper-V-related services
Disabling Hyper-V-related services

4. Now, download the Device Guard and Credential Guard hardware readiness tool from the official Microsoft website and extract the downloaded zip file.

5. Within the extracted files, locate the PowerShell script named DG_Readiness_Tool_v3.6.ps1 (version number may vary).

6. In your PowerShell console, navigate to where you extracted the tool and execute the script to -Disable Device Guard or Credential Guard.

.\\DG_Readiness_Tool_v3.6.ps1 -Disable

Input R and press Enter when prompted to continue running the script.

Executing the script for disabling Device Guard or Credential Guard
Executing the script for disabling Device Guard or Credential Guard

7. Subsequently, execute the same command to attempt disabling Device Guard or Credential Guard.

.\\DG_Readiness_Tool_v3.6.ps1 -Ready

The output below confirms the script has performed the necessary changes.

Confirming Device Guard or Credential Guard is disabled
Confirming Device Guard or Credential Guard is disabled

8. Finally, restart your computer to ensure all changes take effect, and attempt to start your VM again.

Following the steps correctly fixes the compatibility error, allowing you to use VMware Workstation without Device Guard or Credential Guard interference.

Conclusion

As you wrap up this journey of setting up the VMware Workstation Player on Windows, you have now equipped your PC with a robust platform for delving into virtualization. No longer confined to physical hardware limitations, you have the freedom to explore, develop, and test across various OSes and applications within the safe bounds of VMs.

As you move forward, there are many possibilities and opportunities to explore. Why not automate the creation of VMs? Or integrating with other VMware tools and platforms?

Keep learning, keep growing, and always stay curious. The world of virtualization awaits you!

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