Windows 10 Build Upgrades Break VMWare Workstation Network

Every Windows 10 build upgrade breaks network access in VMWare Workstation Virtual machines.

This is fixed by ensuring all VMs are suspended/shutdown then clicking Edit | Virtual Network Editor…


Selecting Change Settings


Then Restore Defaults



But why is it breaking?

This restore defaults reconfigures a number of registry & file locations, including:

  • HKCU\SOFTWARE\Microsoft\Windows\CurrentVersion\Internet Settings\ZoneMap
  • HKLM\SOFTWARE\Wow6432Node\VMware, Inc.\VMnetLib\VMnetConfig
  • HKLM\System\CurrentControlSet\Services\VMnetDHCP
  • HKLM\System\CurrentControlSet\Services\EventLog\System\VMnetDHCP
  • HKLM\System\CurrentControlSet\Enum\ROOT\VMWARE
  • %ProgramData%\VMware\vmnetdhcp.conf
  • %ProgramData%\VMWare\vmnetdhcp.leases
  • %ProgramData%\VMWare\netmap.conf

After a new Windows 10 build has been installed via Windows Update these keys are missing:

  • HKLM\SYSTEM\CurrentControlSet\Services\VMnetDHCP
  • HKLM\SYSTEM\CurrentControlSet\Services\VMware NAT Service

The VMWare DHCP and NAT services have disappeared. To fix it automatically we can just need to restore the services, and the related registry settings:

In my case I used had exported these settings from when VMWare was working in file called settings.reg

Windows Registry Editor Version 5.00 [HKEY_LOCAL_MACHINE\SYSTEM\CurrentControlSet\Services\VMware NAT Service] "Type"=dword:00000010 "Start"=dword:00000002 "ErrorControl"=dword:00000001 "ImagePath"=hex(2):43,00,3a,00,5c,00,57,00,49,00,4e,00,44,00,4f,00,57,00,53,00,\ 5c,00,73,00,79,00,73,00,74,00,65,00,6d,00,33,00,32,00,5c,00,76,00,6d,00,6e,\ 00,61,00,74,00,2e,00,65,00,78,00,65,00,00,00 "DisplayName"="VMware NAT Service" "DependOnService"=hex(7):56,00,4d,00,6e,00,65,00,74,00,75,00,73,00,65,00,72,00,\ 69,00,66,00,00,00,00,00 "WOW64"=dword:00000001 "ObjectName"="LocalSystem" "Description"="Network address translation for virtual networks." "FailureActions"=hex:58,02,00,00,00,00,00,00,00,00,00,00,03,00,00,00,14,00,00,\ 00,01,00,00,00,e8,03,00,00,01,00,00,00,e8,03,00,00,00,00,00,00,04,00,00,00 [HKEY_LOCAL_MACHINE\SYSTEM\CurrentControlSet\Services\VMware NAT Service\Parameters] "ConfigPath"=hex(2):43,00,3a,00,5c,00,50,00,72,00,6f,00,67,00,72,00,61,00,6d,\ 00,44,00,61,00,74,00,61,00,5c,00,56,00,4d,00,77,00,61,00,72,00,65,00,5c,00,\ 00,00 [HKEY_LOCAL_MACHINE\SYSTEM\CurrentControlSet\Services\VMnetDHCP] "Type"=dword:00000010 "Start"=dword:00000002 "ErrorControl"=dword:00000001 "ImagePath"=hex(2):43,00,3a,00,5c,00,57,00,49,00,4e,00,44,00,4f,00,57,00,53,00,\ 5c,00,73,00,79,00,73,00,74,00,65,00,6d,00,33,00,32,00,5c,00,76,00,6d,00,6e,\ 00,65,00,74,00,64,00,68,00,63,00,70,00,2e,00,65,00,78,00,65,00,00,00 "DisplayName"="VMWare DHCP Service" "DependOnService"=hex(7):56,00,4d,00,6e,00,65,00,74,00,75,00,73,00,65,00,72,00,\ 69,00,66,00,00,00,00,00 "ObjectName"="LocalSystem" "WOW64"=dword:00000001 "Description"="DHCP service for virtual networks." "DeleteFlag"=dword:00000001 [HKEY_LOCAL_MACHINE\SYSTEM\CurrentControlSet\Services\VMnetDHCP\Parameters] "ConfFile"=hex(2):43,00,3a,00,5c,00,50,00,72,00,6f,00,67,00,72,00,61,00,6d,00,\ 44,00,61,00,74,00,61,00,5c,00,56,00,4d,00,77,00,61,00,72,00,65,00,5c,00,76,\ 00,6d,00,6e,00,65,00,74,00,64,00,68,00,63,00,70,00,2e,00,63,00,6f,00,6e,00,\ 66,00,00,00 "LeaseFile"=hex(2):43,00,3a,00,5c,00,50,00,72,00,6f,00,67,00,72,00,61,00,6d,00,\ 44,00,61,00,74,00,61,00,5c,00,56,00,4d,00,77,00,61,00,72,00,65,00,5c,00,76,\ 00,6d,00,6e,00,65,00,74,00,64,00,68,00,63,00,70,00,2e,00,6c,00,65,00,61,00,\ 73,00,65,00,73,00,00,00 [HKEY_LOCAL_MACHINE\SYSTEM\CurrentControlSet\Services\VMnetDHCP\Parameters\VirtualEthernetSegments] [HKEY_LOCAL_MACHINE\SYSTEM\CurrentControlSet\Services\VMnetDHCP\Parameters\VirtualEthernetSegments\1] "ListenTo"=dword:00000001 "HostIpAddress"=dword:01f8a8c0 [HKEY_LOCAL_MACHINE\SYSTEM\CurrentControlSet\Services\VMnetDHCP\Parameters\VirtualEthernetSegments\8] "ListenTo"=dword:00000001 "HostIpAddress"=dword:0199a8c0

Then ran the following commands:

sc create VMnetDHCP type= own start= auto binPath= C:\WINDOWS\system32\vmnetdhcp.exe DisplayName= "VMWare DHCP Service" depend= VMnetuserif sc create "VMWare NAT Service" type= own start= auto binPath= C:\WINDOWS\system32\vmnat.exe DisplayName= "VMWare NAT Service" depend= VMnetuserif reg import settings.reg net start VMnetDHCP net start "VMWare DHCP Service"

The services may fail to start if registry settings are not correct.

If when you try to start these services you get error 2: File Not Found, then copy vmnetdhcp.exe and vmnat.exe from C:\Program Files (x86)\VMware\VMware Workstation to C:\Windows\System32

When the next Windows 10 build comes down I will look into why these keys get removed, if the issue is not fixed by then.

About chentiangemalc

specializes in end-user computing technologies. disclaimer 1) use at your own risk. test any solution in your environment. if you do not understand the impact/consequences of what you're doing please stop, and ask advice from somebody who does. 2) views are my own at the time of posting and do not necessarily represent my current view or the view of my employer and family members/relatives. 3) over the years Microsoft/Citrix/VMWare have given me a few free shirts, pens, paper notebooks/etc. despite these gifts i will try to remain unbiased.
This entry was posted in VMWare, Windows 10 and tagged . Bookmark the permalink.

4 Responses to Windows 10 Build Upgrades Break VMWare Workstation Network

  1. jeff says:

    thanks man! works 100%

  2. Any thoughts on how to do the same fix using VMware Fusion 8.x Professional. I’m experiencing the same issues.

    The only way to fix this as of this message is to uninstall/reinstall Fusion.

  3. Miike Borginis says:

    This worked for me as well, the ONLY fix that worked

  4. Mike Woinoski says:

    I owe you a latte! Thought I’d have to reinstall VMWare. But your quick, easy fix solved the problem instantly. Many thanks!

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