How to Fix: VMWare Workstation Network Broken after Oracle VirtualBox Install

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Infopackets Reader Sal S. writes:

" Dear Dennis,

Thanks so much for helping me fix the remote desktop 'another connection is in progress' error! I have another question. As I mentioned, we use VMWware Workstation extensively for running virtual machines on our Windows 10 'server' computers. I recently installed Oracle VirtualBox on the same system running VMWare Workstation, and now my network is not working on any of my virtual machines. I cannot connect to the Internet on any of the virtual machines, nor can remote desktop into any of the virtual machines. I have tried uninstalling and reinstalling both VirtualBox and VMWare Workstation but nothing works. Can you please help? "

My response:

I asked Sal if he would like me to connect to his machine using my remote desktop support service, and he agreed.

How to Fix: VMWare Workstation Network Broken after Oracle VirtualBox Install

It took me a long time to figure this one out, so I'll keep the answer short and to the point.

The reason why the VMWare Workstation network stopped working on all the virtual machines is because Oracle VirtualBox modified the network adapter settings on the server when it was installed. This change then shifted the network adapter settings in VMWare Workstation's "Virtual Network Editor", such that "vmnet0" is no longer pointing to your server's network adapter. To fix it, you need to reassign the "vmnet0" setting from "automatic" to your server's network adapter.

Here are the steps:

  1. In the Windows tray bar (near the clock), double click the VMWare Workstation icon so that the main interface opens up.
  2. Click the "Edit" menu, then click "Virtual Network Editor..." sub-menu option.
  3. The "Virtual Network Editor" window will appear, with a list of one or more virtual networks used with VMWare Workstation and your virtual machines.
  4. IMPORTANT: on the bottom right of the "Virtual Network Editor" you may see an option to "Change settings" which requires administrative privileges. Click that option, as it will reveal the "vmnet0" network setting.
  5. Most users using VMWare Workstation will be using "vmnet0" with the "Bridged networking" option. This uses the host machine's network adapter and connects the virtual machines directly to the external network. To set this option properly: left click the "vmnet0" option; once it is highlighted, look at the heading "VMnet Information"; it should have a button selected for "Bridged (Connect VMs directly to the external network)". Under that, it will say: "Bridged to:" and then it may say "Automatic" or some other option. You will want to change it from its current setting to the host machine's main network card. If you leave it as "Automatic" (for example), it may pick a virtual adapter from Oracle's VirtualBox, which isn't going to work.
  6. Click "Apply", then "OK". You may need to reboot your virtual machines to make the settings stick.

I hope that helps. This problem was especially painful and incredibly time consuming to solve!

Additional 1-on-1 Support: From Dennis

If all of this is over your head, or if you need help troubleshooting your virtual network / virtual machines, I can help using my remote desktop support service. Simply contact me, briefly describing the message and I will get back to you as soon as possible.

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I need more computer questions. If you have a computer question -- or even a computer problem that needs fixing -- please email me with your question so that I can write more articles like this one. I can't promise I'll respond to all the messages I receive (depending on the volume), but I'll do my best.

About the author: Dennis Faas is the owner and operator of With over 30 years of computing experience, Dennis' areas of expertise are a broad range and include PC hardware, Microsoft Windows, Linux, network administration, and virtualization. Dennis holds a Bachelors degree in Computer Science (1999) and has authored 6 books on the topics of MS Windows and PC Security. If you like the advice you received on this page, please up-vote / Like this page and share it with friends. For technical support inquiries, Dennis can be reached via Live chat online this site using the Zopim Chat service (currently located at the bottom left of the screen); optionally, you can contact Dennis through the website contact form.

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