Force Remove VMware Tools and Manual Clean Up
I created a Windows 7 virtual machine in VMware Player, ran it for a while on my Windows notebook, and then decided to move it to one of my Ubuntu machines and host it in VirtualBox. I had no problem copying the folder and files between the different host based hypervisors. VirtualBox can use a virtual disk in the VMware .vmdk format so it was just a matter of file transfers between computers. VirtualBox has it’s own Guest Editions (or host tools) to add functionality and improve performance, so I needed to make that switch inside the VM too. My problem was that I did not remove the VMware Tools before I moved the VM.
When I went to uninstall VMware Tools after powering the VM on Ubuntu and in VirtualBox I received a message that “no VMware Products were detected”. Luckily, I quickly figured out I wasn’t the first to attempt this move and experience this hurdle. The post Uninstalling VMware tools when not running on a VMware host tells the same tale and provides the answer.
“I added the VMware Tools ISO to that VM and opened a command prompt. Then I found the “setup.exe” or “setup64.exe” files on the cd. Run those in the cmd window with a /c switch. (example: ”setup64.exe /c” ) This will remove the Tools. I installed the VirtualBox additions and then reboot. On my Windows 2008 server it crashed on first reboot, then then I tried again and it loaded up just fine. Network works and everything! Yay!”
On my Windows host with VMware Player installed (VMware Workstation has a similar location) the windows.iso file was found at C:\program files(x86)\VMware\VMware Player\windows.iso. Your path needs to be adjusted based on whether you have a 32 bit or 64 bit OS obviously. Mine was a 64 bit host even though the directory was at c:\program files(x86), by the way.
I’ll let you figure out your preferred method on how to copy the windows.iso file to the Ubuntu host, but once you do you can:
- mount the .iso in the virtual CDrom of the VM in VirtualBox.
- Use the command prompt to start the appropriate setup.exe file with the /c or /clean switch
The /c or /clean switch forces the uninstall of VMware Tools on Vmware Player.
I ran it like so:
and got the following message before clicking OK.
If you are a stickler for a completely clean removal of the tools check out the following VMware KB article for how to manually remove the tools and even clean the registry afterwards. The KB Article also has a script attached to it to help automate the process