Installing or upgrading older VMware Tools can remove Windows Update installed VMware drivers
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Installing or upgrading older VMware Tools can remove Windows Update installed VMware drivers


Article ID: 302622


Updated On:




When running a Windows virtual machine and installing or upgrading an older VMware Tools package, you see this symptom:

A previously installed version of a VMware kernel driver is removed resulting in lost functionality provided by that component.


This issue occurs because the version of the installed VMware kernel driver was newer than the version supplied by the VMware Tools package used for the install or upgrade. For some older versions of VMware Tools packages, this leads to the package installer to downgrade the driver which results in its removal.

In an effort to ease VMware Tools maintenance for users, VMware now publishes some VMware Tools drivers through Windows Update in addition to the traditional VMware Tools package. In a Windows VM with the relevant configuration running Windows Update can result in the install or upgrade to the latest version of a VMware Tools kernel driver on to the system.

Subsequent installs or upgrades of some older VMware Tools packages with older versions of this driver result in the package downgrading the driver causing its removal. If this occurs, it is likely that this is an incompatible version of the VMware Tools package with Windows Update published VMware drivers.

The latest and future releases of the VMware Tools package are compatible with VMware drivers published and available to users through running Windows Update.


To resolve this issue, reinstall the missing driver, either reapply the Windows update by running Windows Update once more or uninstall and reinstall the VMware Tools package version you are trying to use. 

  • Running Windows Update after installing the incompatible VMware Tools package version, will upgrade the VMware driver to the newest improved version.
  • Obtain and install the latest version of the VMware Tools package.