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How to Manually Start and Stop VMware Server & Workstation Services

VMwares virtualization products make it easy for end users to virtualize almost any operating system and make it easy to test and run almost any application. Scenarios for using such products include times when you wish to test an application before installing it on your production environment, test a service pack or hotfix, and even run legacy applications.  Whatever your reasons may be, the VMware tools are one option to virtualize your VMs, and include VMware Player, VMware Server, and VMware Workstation. The first two are free to use, the latter costs some money but has features that make it a lot more valuable than competing products.

As it turns out, VMware products, unlike Microsoft products such as Virtual PC 2007 and Virtual Server 2005, install services on the computer that are configured to start automatically when the computer boots. If youre an IT Pro, a developer or a home user who uses VMware products to run virtual machines for testing or evaluation purposes, and only use VMware temporarily, then you wouldn’t want VMwares services to use system resources while you are not actually running any Virtual Machines. These services consume quite a considerable system resources, and sometimes slow down the system startup time.

These are the services that VMware runs automatically at the system startup:

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  • VMware Agent Service
  • VMware Authorization Service
  • VMware DHCP Service
  • VMware NAT Service
  • VMware Virtual Mount Manager Extended

An easier and simplest solution would be to set these services to manual startup type, so they doesn’t start at system startup. To do so follow these steps:

  1. Click Start > Run and type “services.msc”
  2. In the right pane, right-click each one of the services listed above, and select Properties.
  3. Change startup mode to “Manual” instead of “Automatic”.
  4. After all the VMware services are set to manual, the services list should look like this:

You can also automate these actions by running the following commands:

​sc config VMAuthdService start= demand
sc config VMnetDHCP start= demand
sc config "VMWare NAT Service" start= demand
sc config vmount2 start= demand

You can create a text file with the above commands, and save it as a batch file, such as Set_VMware_services.bat. You only need to run this batch file once to set the services startup mode.

Note: The Agent Service should already be in Manual mode.

Next, instead of manually starting or stopping the services each time you want to start VMware Workstation, create two batch files. One will be used to start all the services when required, and one to stop all VMware services when you are finished using VMware.


Copy the following lines onto a text file and save it to your desktop:

​sc start VMAuthdService
sc start VMnetDHCP
sc start "VMWare NAT Service"
sc start vmount2
"C:\Program Files\VMware\VMware Workstation\vmware.exe"

BTW, you can use the NET START command instead of using SC.

Note: Change the C:\Program Files\VMware\VMware Workstation\ path to C:\Program Files\VMware\VMware Server\ if youre using VMware Server.

Whenever you want to run VMware Workstation just run the VMware_Workstation_Start.bat file.


Copy the following lines onto a text file and save it to your desktop:

​sc stop VMAuthdService
sc stop VMnetDHCP
sc stop "VMWare NAT Service"
sc stop vmount2

Again, you can use the NET START command instead of using SC.

Whenever you finish using VMware Workstation just run the VMware_Workstation_Stop.bat file to shut down the VMware services.

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