Install Windows Server 2012 in VMware Workstation

This procedure describes how to install Windows Server 2012 in VMware Workstation. The following versions are used:

  • VMware Workstation Technology Preview 2012 e.x.p Build-646643
  • Windows Server 2012 Release Candidate Datacenter Build 8400

In VMware Workstation Technology Preview 2012 create a new VM with the following settings:

  • New Virtual Machine
  • Custom (advanced)
  • Workstation Tech Preview
  • Select “I will install the operating system later”
  • Select “Microsoft Windows” and select as version “Windows 8 x64”
  • Set the Name and Location
  • Minimal 1 processor, 1 core
  • 2048 MB memory
  • Select “Use network address translation (NAT)”
  • Select “LSI Logic SAS”
  • Create a new virtual disk
  • SCSI
  • 60 GB disk size
  • Leave default disk file
  • Finish
  • After the VM is created, edit virtual Machine settings and browse for  the Windows Server 2012 ISO in the the CD/DVD option


  • Remove the VM from VMware Workstation by clicking on the X icon


  • Edit the VMX file (i use Notepad++)  and add the following line  to the end to of the VMX file:
vmGenCounter.enable = FALSE
  • Add the VM back to VMware Workstation by clicking on the *.VMX file
  • During the installation choose the Windows Server 2012 Release Candidate (Server wit GUI)


  • When the installation is ready you have a working Windows Server 2012 server


  • Install VMware tools

More information can be found on the VMware Workstation Technology Preview 2012 Community.

Boot from USB in VMware Workstation

I ‘am testing an unattended installation of VMware ESXi from an USB drive. After every change, I needed to test if the unattended still worked. I tried to use VMware workstation to test the unattended installation. VMware Workstation doesn’t support boot from USB. There is an unofficial solution to fix this problem by using the PLOP boot manager (Download link).  The PLOP Boot Manager is a small program to boot different operating systems. You can boot the operating systems from harddisk, floppy, CD/DVD or from USB.

Steps to boot from USB:

  • Download the BLOP boot manager
  • Add a USB controller to the VM and select Automatically connect new USB devices.


  • Attach the PLOP boot manager image as floppy- or CD image
  • Boot the VM in PLOP
  • Insert the USB stick and select USB


Sometimes the USB device is not detected at once, reboot the VM once more and it should work.

With PLOP it is possible to use USB boot VMware Workstation.

Credits goes to Uli Hankeln from, thanks for pointing me to this boot manager.