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How to Fix a VMware Player Bridged Network

By Eric Geier (Send Email)
Posted October 22, 2012


When you set a network adapter of a VMware Player machine in the Bridged mode, by default it automatically chooses which physical network adapter to bridge to. This can cause issues if you have multiple network adapters installed on the physical system, in which case it can choose the wrong one.

So if you can't get network or Internet connectivity to work in your guest operating system on your virtual machines, this may be the underlying issue — the network adapter may be bridging to the wrong adapter.VMware Player Settings

This issue may even crop up even if bridging has worked in the past. Rebooting the guest OS or restarting the virtual machine, for instance, may make it automatically choose another adapter.

Choosing a Bridging Adapter in VMware Player 5

Fortunately, in version 5 of VMware Player you can choose the desired adapter(s) for bridging within the Virtual Machine Settings.

Simply select the Network Adapter settings on the Hardware tab and click Configure Adapters. Then you can choose which adapter(s) you want VMware Player to automatically pick from when bridging. So you can select one specific adapter if you always want it to be the one VMware Player bridges to.Configure Adapters

Choosing a Bridging Adapter in VMware Player 4 or earlier

Unfortunately, with versions 4 or earlier of VMware Player you can't choose which adapters to bridge to — there's no "Configure Adapters" button in the Virtual Machine Settings. So, when possible upgrade to version 5.

But if you can't, you can do configure bridging manually with the help of a utility called the Virtual Network Editor (vmnetcfg.exe). However, this utility is no longer included or installed with VMware Player, so you must manually extract it from the VMware Workstation. Here's how to do so:

  1. Download and run the VMware Workstation Trial installation file, but don't actually install it.
  2. Go to your Windows temp directory. You can quickly do this by typing %temp% into the Run prompt or any Windows Explorer window or dialog.
  3. Find and open the temporary installation directory for the VMware Workstation Trial, which will be in a directory named VMware_ along with some numbers, such as VMware_1347648287.
  4. In the VMware installation temp directory, open the core.cab file and copy vmnetcfg.exe to the installation folder of VMware Player — for example, C:\Program Files\VMware\VMware Player.

VMnet Configuration Now you can run the Virtual Network Editor and even add a shortcut to your desktop or the Start Menu folder. Once you open the utility you can choose which adapter you want to bridge with by first selecting the VMnet0 interface and then, from the Bridged to drop-down menu, selecting the desired adapter.

After you "Apply the changes," VMware Player should be using the selected adapter for bridging going forward. But you may have to restart your host PC before it will work.

Stayed tuned, as next time we'll discuss how to create custom network adapters for your VMware virtual machines, once again by utilizing the Virtual Network Editor.

Eric Geier is a freelance tech writer — keep up with his writings on his Facebook Fan Page. He's also the founder of NoWiresSecurity, a cloud-based Wi-Fi security service, and On Spot Techs, an on-site computer services company.

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