How To's & GuidesHow To Run VMware Server On Windows Home Server...

How To Run VMware Server On Windows Home Server 2011


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In the last 10 years our technology has moved towards “Greener” ways of reducing how many physical machines that run our different services and applications, Virtualization has become one of the number 1 ways of accomplishing that goal. Imagine having 40 to 50 “Virtual Servers or workstations” running on just one Physical Server which tremendously reduces the power consumption and output of running those 40 to 50 services and applications on separate physical machines. Now granted, you will not be able to run that many Virtual appliances on a Windows Home Server 2011 Platform; however you will still be able to get a few running within your Home Server Environment.

We will be installing a free Virtual appliance called VMware Server onto our Windows Home Server 2011. Even through Microsoft has there own Virtual Server application called Hyper-V, VMware is by far the forerunner of leading Virtual Technology today. Having started in 1998 with their Hypervisor and GSX platforms they have gone on to be the number 1 choice by most Government and Private Industries. VMware Server is VMware’s free Virtual Platform that was released initially back in July of 2006 with Version 1.0 as a way of having the consumers (preferably the Enterprise consumers) try it on a smaller scale so they would hopefully of course buy the even more robust platform. As of June 30, 2011 VMware no longer supports the VMware Server application and the last version released was in October of 2009 with Version 2.0.2. so the only support you maybe able to find will maybe be in the VMware support forums. That being said this is still a very useful application that runs a variety of different Operating systems with virtually all of the Windows Operating Systems up to and including Windows 7, Windows Server 2008 R2, and Windows Home Server 2011. This can also support Linux, Solaris (Unix), and even unofficially the MAC OS 10.

The How to information is intended as a guide or helping resource to those who are doing a VMware Server 2 Installation. There is no 100% guarantee that this will install correctly the 1st time installing the VMware Server Virtual appliance. I assume no responsibility for any consequences of the install and the user will assume the full risk of any adverse effects of a bad installation. It is recommended backing up your Windows Home Server 2011 before beginning the installation.

Guest Operating Systems Legality

It is the responsibility of the user to obtain the the legal licenses and genuine copies of any operating system that is used for the Virtual Machine on the Virtual Server. Yes, even if the OS is not being installed on a physical machine the same legal rights do apply.

Prerequisites Needed

– Keyboard, Mouse, and Monitor or Remote Desktop

– PC/Server that has a minimum of a Pentium Dual Core or AMD equivalent processor with at least 4GB of system memory

– VMware Server 2 Install Executable (This can be obtained at http://downloads.vmw…CpiZCVqdGJkZWRq , The Software is free however you will need to Register to Download it). Insure it is the Windows Installer and not the Linux install package.

– Insure Your Windows Home Server has a static IP

Installation Instructions

1) Double Click the executable and wait approximately 1 to 2 minutes for it to unpackage.


2) When you see the VMware Server Welcome startup screen click “Next”


3) Accept the License agreement and click “Next”


John Keller
John has been in the IT profession for over 20 years along with being certified in both Comptia Security + (2008 edition) and a MCP (Microsoft Certified Professional) on Both Windows XP & Server 2003 Administration, He currently works as an Windows System Administrator for Northrop Grumman in the Greater Los Angeles Area and manages 3 Windows Active Directory Private Networks (Two 2008 R2 and One 2012 R2) along With 2 VMware EXSI 5.5 Servers in the US. He has been an avid fan and follower of Windows Home Server (Now the Essentials Role of Windows Server) and Visualization Since 2009. He is currently trying to exploit the full potential of Microsoft's Windows Server Operating System to the Home & Small to Medium Business Community along with the power of Visualization. When not being a Nerd and a Geek he likes to watch Movies, Read Comic Books, and most importantly spend time with his family.


  1. John nicely done. I did this install on my Windows 7 machine to host my WHS2011 in a VM and really like the option. Keep the good articles coming!


  2. Glad you liked it Jim. As you know one of VMWare Servers many usefulness is testing out new Operating Systems on it like Beta Software Windows Home Server “Vail”. This can also be installed on the following Windows Platforms (32bit and 64 bit)…
    Windows 2000 (Professional & Server)
    Windows XP (All Versions)
    Windows Server 2003 (All Versions including R2)**
    Windows Vista (All Versions)
    Windows Server 2008 (All Versions including R2)
    Windows 7 (All Versions)
    Windows Home Server Version 1 **
    ** There is a couple of extra steps before installing VMWare Server in the Windows Server 2003 Code.
    There is even a Linux version of this application as well.

  3. Jim,

    I like it, I just asked permission if I can reference it as an additional source of information link at the end of this article. Thanks for the input.


  4. Jim,

    Got the OK from Nigel so will be making the change in the near future.


  5. A guide to install WHS in VMWare would be good!

    I run VMWare ESXi Server on my HP MIcroserver and then run WHS and W7 in Virtual Machines.

    Using a bare metal VMWare playpen makes better use of the resources IMO.



  6. Good For you Andy, However as nice as ESXI Server is and would be the most preferred method for a medium to large business as a virtualization appliance of choice it is not exactly free.

    For a home or small business on a budget may want to use VMware Server as an alternative which is free than forking out the money for an ESXI Server.
    You are correct that the resources are better on say VMware Player than Server, problem is that if using VMware player you need to stay either logged into the console or your Remote Desktop session to run and control the player. VMware Server you can close and log out from the host machine and it runs quietly in the background plus you can access it using your favorite browser without having to console or remote into your host machine.

    Last thing to remember, VMware Server was not designed as to be an everyday appliance by VMware (Even through that is exactly what some businesses do) but as a demo application to wet the taste of Big Business consumers looking for the next best thing in virtualaztion as pointed out in my article.

    Thanks for the comment and cheers to you as well.


    • It’s a bit late in the day now – but it’s worth noting that VMWare do a free version of ESXi server for home use. There are some limitations, but for a home user it should have everything you need.



      • Hi Andy, While you are correct that the software is free you still need to come up with an extra PC/Server to put it on. Not everybody has the $200 to $500 (US) to shell out for a seperate machine to run the virtulization software. So using VMWare Server is still the better way to start out.
        However I agree that once experience and opportunity to aquire the hardware presents itself this would be a more optimized and logical step forward for the euthusiast home user or small business owner.

        • No arguments from me, I didn’t mean to undermine the purpose of the thread, of course it’s horses for courses and there are many reasons why you would use VMWare Player over ESXi server. I’ve even thought about doing this myself recently, as running a ‘headless’ server isn’t always the best option.



          • Andy,

            I did not think that you undermined the thread at all and I extremely appreciate the input. Until you posted the fully free PErsonal edition of EXSI Server I had no idea VMWare offered this other than just the 60 day trial. VMware player is a great alternative for doing one or two virtuals at a time. You can even run headless by doing a Remote session and disconnecting that remote session by just exiting out without logging off the remote session, the only problem is if the host machine is rebooted or shutdown the virtuals. A free option that actually will let you run more than 2 virtuals at a time and has a few more options than VMWare Player like snapshots and cloning is Oracles Virtual Box, it’s not as feature rich as VMWare Workstation but it will allow you to do more than Player, you can also use the remote disconnect method like I mentioned with player.
            I appreciate your input and welcome your constructive comments. You’ve actually given me ideas on article’s I plan to do down the road.

            V/R John M. Keller (AKA ITBeast)

            • Hi John

              Glad to have been of some use. I use a bit of a mixture at home. I use the free ESXi server to run a Home Server and a Windows 7 VM. It has suited me to have it headless, as it literally only serves as a file server for documents and media sharing. I also have a mac, so using the same hardware to run the Windows 7 is really useful.

              I’ve use VMWare Player at work (I work in IT Support so often have the need to test Desktop Images), I’ll definitely have a look at the Oracle offering as the snapshot functionality would be really useful for me.

              Keep up the good work with the site, I find your daily email invaluable.



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