close

Windows

Cloud

Microsoft 365

PowerShell

Active Directory

Security

Windows Server

Video

Chance to win $250 in Petri 2023 Audience Survey

Home

Virtualization

Install Windows 11/Server 2022 in VMware Workstation 17 Pro

Russell Smith

|
Windows 11 approved hero 3

In this article, I’ll show you how to successfully install Windows 11 or Windows Server 2022 in VMware Workstation 17 Pro.

It’s taken more than a year for VMware to release a new version of VMware Workstation Pro that officially supports Windows 11. But there are still some issues that haven’t been resolved since the previous release, version 16. For example, Workstation Pro detects you are installing Windows from an ISO file but Windows Server 2022 setup fails because the default hardware configuration assigned to the virtual machine (VM) doesn’t work with Windows Server.

But the solution is simple and I’m going to share it with you below.

Before you can follow the instructions below, you’ll need an Internet connection to download the relevant image files for the version of Windows that you want to install. And you’ll need either a trial version or licensed version of VMware Workstation Pro installed on your local PC.

How to install Windows 11 on VMware Workstation 17 Pro

Before you can install Windows in a virtual machine powered by VMware Workstation Pro, you are going to need to download the latest image file (ISO) for Windows.

Download an evaluation version of Windows or Windows Server

All currently supported versions of Windows and Windows Server are available to download from the Microsoft Evaluation Center.

Microsoft Evaluation Center
Microsoft Evaluation Center (Image Credit: Petri/Russell Smith)
  • Select the version of Windows you want to download from Microsoft’s website.
  • In this example, I’m going to download and install Windows 11 Enterprise.
Windows 11 Enterprise download iso
Windows 11 Enterprise download iso file (Image Credit: Petri/Russell Smith)
  • Fill out all the required fields on the registration form and click Download now at the bottom of the page.
Install Windows 11 on VMware Workstation 17 Pro
Evaluate Windows 11 Enterprise registration form (Image Credit: Petri/Russell Smith)
  • Select the 64-bit edition of Windows and save the file using your browser to your PC.
Please select your Windows 11 Enterprise download
Please select your Windows 11 Enterprise download (Image Credit: Petri/Russell Smith)

Install Windows in a VMware virtual machine

Now that you have the ISO file for Windows on your device, you can install Windows in a VM.

  • Launch VMware Workstation Pro.
  • Click Create a New Virtual Machine on the Home tab.
Install Windows 11 on VMware Workstation 17 Pro
Create a new virtual machine VMware Workstation Pro (Image Credit: Petri/Russell Smith)
  • In the New Virtual Machine Wizard, check Typical (recommended) and click Next >.
VMware Workstation Pro new virtual machine wizard welcome dialog
VMware Workstation Pro new virtual machine wizard welcome dialog (Image Credit: Petri/Russell Smith)
  • In the Guest Operating System Installation dialog, check Install disc image file (iso) and click Browse. Select the ISO file you downloaded from the Microsoft Evaluation Center in the previous steps. Click Next to continue.
Guest operating system installation
Guest operating system installation (Image Credit: Petri/Russell Smith)
  • Accept or change the given name for the new VM in the Name the Virtual Machine dialog window and click Next to continue.
Name the Virtual Machine
Name the Virtual Machine (Image Credit: Petri/Russell Smith)
  • If you are installing Windows 11, you’ll need to enter a password that VMware can use as an encryption key for the Trusted Platform Module (TPM). Enter a password and make sure you record it somewhere secure and safe. You’ll need it to start the VM.
  • Click Next.
Install Windows 11 on VMware Workstation 17 Pro
Encryption information (Image Credit: Petri/Russell Smith)
  • Accept the default disk configuration on the Specify Disk Capacity dialog by clicking Next.
Specify Disk Capacity
Specify disk capacity (Image Credit: Petri/Russell Smith)
  • Click Finish in the Ready to Create Virtual Machine dialog to start the new VM and begin the Windows installation process.
Ready to Create Virtual Machine
Ready to create virtual machine (Image Credit: Petri/Russell Smith)
  • VMware Workstation Pro will create the disk for the VM and then start the virtual machine. You’ll need to quickly click on the VM screen and press the spacebar on your keyboard to boot the VM from the virtual DVD ROM drive where your downloaded ISO file is attached. If you don’t manage in time, shut down the VM and start it again.
Press any key to boot from CD or DVD
Press any key to boot from CD or DVD (Image Credit: Petri/Russell Smith)

Once you boot into Windows setup inside the VM, you install Windows 11 in the same way as installing the OS on a physical device.

Related article: How to Install Windows 11 – The Ultimate Guide

Getting past the ‘Windows Cannot Find Microsoft Software License Terms’ error

If you are installing Windows Server 2022, you might get an error when stepping through the install process: ‘Windows cannot find the Microsoft Software License Terms’.

To complete the install process successfully, follow the steps below:

  • If your Windows Server VM is running, stop it by selecting VM from the menu then Power > Power Off. Confirm the operation by clicking Power Off in the pop-up dialog.
Power Off virtual machine
Power Off virtual machine (Image Credit: Petri/Russell Smith)
  • On the tab for the VM, click Edit virtual machine settings.
Windows Server 2022 tab
Windows Server 2022 tab (Image Credit: Petri/Russell Smith)
  • In the Virtual Machine Settings dialog, click Floppy in the list of hardware devices on the left. On the right, uncheck Connect at power on and click OK.
Virtual Machine Settings dialog
Virtual Machine Settings dialog (Image Credit: Petri/Russell Smith)
  • Back on the tab for the VM, click Power on this virtual machine and the installation of Windows Server should complete as normal without an error.

And that is it! If you’d like more information on installing Windows 11 in a Hyper-V virtual machine, check out the link below.

Related articles

Article saved!

Access saved content from your profile page. View Saved