How to Install VMware Tools in Windows 2008 Server Core

Monday, September 24, 2007
Windows 2008 Server Core benefits from VMware Tools, even though the GUI is mostly just a commandline. The most important benefit (to me) is the VMware enhanced mouse driver. This allows you to move the mouse in and out of the VM without having to to press the Ctrl-Alt release sequence.

Installing VMware Tools is a bit tricky, though, because there's no shell to integrate into. Here's how to install VMware Tools on Server Core:
  • Log into your Windows Server 2008 Server Core VM with an admin account
  • From the VMware Workstation console, click the VM menu Install VMware Tools. This will mount the VMware Tools disk in the virtual CD-Rom drive.
  • From the command line, switch to drive D: (or whatever drive is your CD drive)
  • Type Setup and press Enter
  • Click Install to the VMware informational message. The VMware Tools will begin to setup.
  • Click Next to install
  • Click Next to perform a Typical setup
  • Click Install to begin the installation
  • When you see the status stall, open Task Manager (Ctrl-Alt-Ins Start Task Manager)
  • Click the Applications tab, select the RUNDLL process and choose End Task
  • Close Task Manager and click OK to any error messages. Setup will continue as normal.
  • Click Finish and click Yes to restart the server
When Windows Server 2008 Server Core starts up, it will be in 640x480 resolution. Read my next blog post to explain how to configure the resolution in Windows 2008 Server Core.


  1. Worked ok on Server Core 2008 R2, did not have to do rundll end task.

  2. Thanks! It helps

  3. Thanks. It helps.


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