How To's & GuidesRunning VMware Server on a Windows Server 2003 Based...

Running VMware Server on a Windows Server 2003 Based Operating System including Windows Home Server V1


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Installing VMware Server on a Windows Server 2003 Based Operating systems while nothing new is not exactly as straight forward as it should be. When I first installed VMware Server on a clients WHSV1 computer over a year go I ended up having to consult my Google crystal ball in order to make it work, something of course I never had a problem with before installing on my own personal Windows XP 32 bit laptop. So after I completed my WHS 2011 Article on Installing VMware Server I revisited an idea I originally had on documenting on what I had learned through my Google Crystal Ball into a how to article so other people could have an easier time than I did when initially installing VMware Server on a Windows Server 2003 based operating systems.

Who this Article is for

This How To article can be used for any Windows Server 2003 based Operating System which includes all Windows Server 2003 editions and platforms, Windows Home Server Version 1, and Windows XP Professional 64 bit edition (The Code used for the Windows XP Professional 64 bit Operating System is based on the Windows Server 2003 64 bit Operating System Platform).


I want to give a big thanks to the people over at the “We Got Served” forums for answering my Google Crystal Ball call over a year ago, through one particular thread entitled “Installing VMware Server on WHS Fails”. If it had not been for the hard work of the “We got served” forum members I may not have gotten through that hard spot over a year ago. This first Third of this article is based on that thread.

End of Support for VMware Server

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. I recommend backing up your system before proceeding (I know this is easier said than done with a Windows Home Server Version 1 system).

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 3GB 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.

–  Download the following Windows Server 2003 Patch (N/A for Windows XP Professional 64 Bit)

– Internal or External Hard Drive (Optional for any other Windows Server 2003 based Operating System)

–  Insure your Windows Home Server has a Static IP

Installation Instructions

1) Install the Windows Server 2003 Patch (KB925336) that what called for in the Prerequisites (Skip to Step 4 if this is Windows XP Professional 64 bit).

2) Once the patch is applied reboot your home server (Even if it does not ask you to).

3) Once your Home Server has rebooted log back in either by Remote Desktop or Console.

4) Click on the “Start Menu”, Administrative Tools, and finally “Local Security Settings”.


5) Click on “Software Restriction Policies”


John Keller
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. Old news now. The way to run is with Workstation 8 – Think of all the improvement there are in WS8 with all that new ESX knowledge VMWare have gleaned since making Server 2.

    • Agreed Al,

      Workstation 8 does have alot of advanteges over the old VMWare Server 2 App. However for the Small Business or Home User Euthusiest who necessarily does not have the $200 dollars to shell out for a license to use Workstation 8 this still a good cost prohibitive soloution and will still run just about anything up to WIndows 7/2008 R2 Server.

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