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Installing VMware vSphere Client 4.1-5.5 on Windows 8 or 8.1 (via: tech :: stuff)

Posted by jpluimers on 2014/03/29

Until recently, I had all my VMware vSphere Client installations inside a Windows XP VM because Windows XP: relatively light weight, but (as of writing almost) End-of-Life.

I am upgrading that install now, and actually making two installs:

  1. on Windows Server 2003 R2 (the main VM management VM)
  2. on Windows 8.1 (my main Windows work laptop)

Of course I needed the installers for vSphere Client 4.1, 5.0, 5.1 and 5.5. The easiest os to get them through the direct download links at VMware: Vsphere Client Direct Download Links | tech :: stuff 


That page has links to *all* of vSphere Client downloads to date, including links to all updates; all links point to the correct files in the where the subdirectories and files have very predictable names.

The naming scheme is like this:

Where the capitals I, J, K, L, M, N and O are the numbers in VMware-viclient-all-X.Y.0-IJKLMN.exe or VMware-viclient-all-X.Y.0-IJKLMNO.exe.

viclient because in the past, it was called VMware Infrastructure Client.

Installing on Windows Server 2003 R2

Getting the first to install is a piece of cake: all installers run fine. And the vSphere Clients work fine too (:

Installing on Windows 8.x

Getting the second to install is a bit more of a hassle. vSphere Client 4.1 will not install out-of-the-box (it complains about “This product can only be installed on Windows XP SP2 and above”).

Until vSphere Client 5.0 build #### came out, it would also throw the same error. Build ##### fixes this issue, and I wish VMware had issued a similar update for vSphere Client 4.1, but they didn’t.

Luckily, there are a few workarounds, see below.

Detecting Windows versions has been pretty easy for more than a decade, so messages like these appearing on a younger Windows version than indicated should not be needed:

[VMware vSphere Client 4.1]
This product can only be installe don Windows XP SP2 and above

I could get it that there is an upper limit for the supported Windows version, but then the installer should just say so and not leave the end user in the blind.

Normally you use GetVersionEx and inspect the OSVERSIONINFOEX structure for it. Watch for the fields dwMajorVersion, dwMinorVersion, wServicePackMajor and  wServicePackMinor. Simple. Straightforward. Similar to a multi-level comparison of date or time fields.

The GetVersionEx function has been supported since Windows 2000, which was released about 15 years ago.

Even from a batch file it is relatively easy to determine easy to determine the version information:

systeminfo | findstr /B /C:"OS " /C:"System Type"

You don’t need to have a live system, as for an off-line image you can inspect the registry or well-known files like ntdll.dll.

Back from my rant, here is how to solve the vSphere 4.1 installer.

Basically there are two ways:

  1. The complex (and maybe fastest) way is to unpack the installer (it is a 7zip sfx installer), mark the unpacked installer for Windows 7 compatibility, then run the unpacked installer as Administrator.
  2. The easy way is to forst run the installer for vSphere Client 5.1 or higher (to satisfy any prerequisites), then run the installer for vSphere Client 4.1, click OK on the XP SP2 error, message, then allow Windows to set the compatibility mode (see image below), and run it again.



via: VMware: Vsphere Client Direct Download Links | tech :: stuff.


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