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Install Windows Server 2012 on VMWare Workstation 8

truck accidentSometimes we try an do things that just shouldn’t work.  Maybe they aren’t supported or there technology isn’t designed for that type of activity.  Whatever the reason, we tend to do this every so often, adding even more gusto to the task when people tell us that it can’t be done.  Low and behold, I had one of these tasks last week.  I needed to spin up a virtual machine running Windows Server 2012 on VMWare Workstation 8.

For those that don’t know, the current release of VMWare Workstation is version 9.  This version fully supports Windows Server 2012, but version 8 does not.  And this was the crux of my problem.  I had version 8, but not 9 and I couldn’t just upgrade, as was suggested by others.  But the question is, who do I go about getting VMWare 8 to load an OS that it doesn’t recognize or support?

It’s actually pretty easy, when you know what needs to be done, and doesn’t veer too far off what is done with other operating systems on VMWare.  The five steps are:

  1. Configure the virtual machine in VMWare Workstation 8 with the Windows Server 2008 R2 template, but do not load the operating system.
  2. Power on the virtual machine and manually load Windows Server 2012.
  3. When the install completes, power down the virtual machine and modify the 3D graphics settings to enable Accelerate 3D graphics (http://www.labareweb.com/vmware-workstation-with-windows-server-2012-black-screen-after-vmware-tools-install/).
  4. Power on the virtual machine and install VMWare tools.
  5. Eat dry white toast and kick butt.

That’s it.  Run through these and you’ll have your virtual machines running on VMWare 8 and be full from a nifty snack.


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