Virtualization, Cloud, Infrastructure and all that stuff in-between

My ramblings on the stuff that holds it all together

Workstation VMs loose network connectivity


I’ve had a problem recently with VM Workstation on my laptop, both with previous beta versions and the current RTM build. My Windows XP Virtual machine that I use to run Outlook via Unity (and indeed all VM’s on my laptop) loose network connectivity via the host occasionally, this seems to affect VM’s configured for both Bridged and NAT mode – they just can’t ping anything. I do suspend/resume my Vista laptop quite a lot throughout the day, often with VM’s running so I guess this is one of the main reasons it gets upset.

The only fix I’ve found so far is to restart the VMWare NAT Service a couple of times, and sometimes it won’t stop so I have to kill the vmnat process via Task Manager (show processes for all users) and then restart the VMNat service via services under ‘Administrative Tools’ in control panel.


I’ve not managed to isolate this to a problem with specific VMWare or one of my 3rd party tools (AV/SSLVPN) yet, but will keep digging; let me know if you have similar problems.

I know of a similar, but different problem with the Trend OfficeScan Personal firewall service – but the workaround doesn’t resolve the problem and seems independent of it.

4 responses to “Workstation VMs loose network connectivity

  1. HZander October 2, 2008 at 11:43 am

    I had the same problem. fault location: deactivate virus scanners – > no change, copy small files ( ok, larger files did not let themselves copy. Solution: Actualization of the VMware tools. Now I can copy error free.

  2. Ricky November 13, 2008 at 10:07 am

    FYI: it’s “lose” not “loose” in your title. Might help for search hits.

  3. James Ingram October 26, 2011 at 6:41 pm

    Have seen this when VMs get copied the user does not select “Copied” instead of “Moved” when prompted. Both VMs are now using the same MAC address, trying to use the same IP address. The network will only route to one IP address, so one VM appears to lose all connectivity. The workaround we have developed is:
    – Edit Virtual machine settings
    – Click “Add” buttion
    – Select “Network Adapter”
    – Set it up how it should be set up (this generates you a new, random MAC address)
    – Select the original Network Adapter
    – Click “Remove” button
    You have now done the equivalent of replacing a netwrok card with a dodgy MAC address. The VM should now function correctly. I forget if this can be done while the VM is running: I think it can.

    This is a difficult one to spot, and it took us ages, because the VM will lose connectivity when its lost twin starts up. It may be a different user who starts the VM, so there may well be no consistent repro case for when it happens to you: just that Bob decided it was time to start his copy of the VM.

    We are running WMWare Workstation 6.5.3 on PCs.

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