Saturday, March 17, 2012

VMWare Guest OS Won’t Connect to Internet–How I fixed it

I use VMWare Workstation to host virtual machines (VM) for writing my articles.  I make sure to use a VM that has only the software that I really need, to eliminate side effects that could skew the behavior of the software I am writing about.

Some time ago, I started having the problem that I could not get the Windows 7 Professional guest OS to connect to the internet inside the VM. Nothing worked. I tried NAT, bridged, bridged with copied physical adapter settings. I reset the Windows Firewall, I turned off the Windows firewall, I ran network diagnostics.

I searched the Internet for a solution but found nothing particularly helpful. I was spending precious time I should have been writing, on frustratingly unsuccessful attempts to solve this problem. I am running VMWare Workstation version 7.1.5 build-491717.

I worked around it by downloading files on the host laptop and putting them in a shared folder that the VM could see. For applications that required Internet access, I worked on the bare metal of my laptop but I really wanted the isolation of the VM.

Today I realized the bridged connection was bridging to my unconnected ethernet port and not my wireless adapter. There is no way to specify what to bridge to in the VM settings but I found the Virtual Network Editor utility in the VMWare application folder on the host laptop. It has an option to specify which device the Bridge will connect to.  I set it to bridge to my wireless adapter and now I have Internet access in all my VMWare VMs without any issue.

VMWare Virtual Netwok Editor

I post this for others that may be experiencing the same issue.  If you found this post helpful, please add a comment to that effect.

Joe Kunk
Microsoft MVP VB
Okemos, MI USA