VMWare Notes

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...a quick Cheat Sheet that shouldn't need to exist. But since VMWare Workstation is so F*!&$#@ OBTUSE, here it is;

To enter the BIOS or Boot Menu

First turn into SuperMan (or woman) so you can be fast enough to press the ESC Key or F2 key (but first also be fast enough to click into the active window or pressing the appropriate key won't matter. If you can't do that, then try the following;

  • In the VMWare GUI, to to Edit Virtual Machine Settings, Options, Advanced, and look for... Ha! Just kidding. It doesn't exist there.
  • In the .VMX File for the Virtual Machine, add or edit the following line;
    • bios.bootDelay = "WXYZ" (milliseconds)
    • bios.forceSetupOnce = "TRUE"

Booting from a USB Flash Drive

The first hint is that it doesn't seem to be available in BIOS mode, only UEFI.

Network Adapter Types

Go ahead and select the type from the drop down menu in the GUI inter... Ha! Got you again. There is no way to do it in the GUI (Thanks VMWare) as it is done 'automatically', depending on what OS is installed. It has to be done in the text configuration file. And good luck finding a list of all the different choices (there doesn't seem to be one). Below is a list of "Network Adapter Types" cobbled* together from various sources;

  • e1000 (Intel)
  • e1000e (Intel with "improved" features)
  • vmxnet3 (works with Rocky Linux 8)
  • pcnet32 (does NOT work with Rocky Linux 8)
  • rtl8139 (probably works with anything as it has been around forever)

One thing to watch out for is copying VMs and then changing the Disk. IE, if one creates a VM for Windows 11 and then copies everything to another VM, but then creates a new disk with Rocky Linux 8, there could be some issues. For instance, Rocky Linux 8 does NOT have the drivers for AMD PCNET32 Network Adapters.

* Cobbled: Go ahead. Do a search for: "virtualdev" "e1000" "e1000e" "vmxnet3" "rtl8139". NOTHING! Now if as of 2023, VMWare Workstation 17.5 supports all of those types, so shouldn't that be documented somewhere? According to VMWare: Nope.

If unable to add a new or USB connected Drive as a Physical Disk...

When plugging in a SATA drive via a USB adapter with the intent of adding at a Physical Disk to a virtual machine, if it isn't detected, close VMWare and then start it again. It should then 'see' the new drive. This is similar what occurs with Acronis products where software doesn't 'hear' or 'subscribe' to the events Windows makes available allowing software to be made aware of a disk drive change and allowing for 'rescanning' or automatic detection of new drives.