Workstation User’s Manual : Creating and Upgrading a Virtual Machine : Change the Version of a Virtual Machine

Change the Version of a Virtual Machine
If you created virtual machines with an earlier version of Workstation, you must upgrade to the latest version to use the newest features. For information about new features, see the release notes.
If you created Workstation 6.5 or 7.x virtual machines and you want to deploy those virtual machines to run on a different VMware product, you might need to downgrade to a version that is compatible with that product.
Using Workstation 7.x, you can downgrade to versions 4, 5.x, 6, or 6.5.
You can also determine which virtual hardware version to use.
Consider the following when changing the virtual hardware version of a virtual machine:
For Workstation 4, 5.x, 6, 6.5 and 7.x virtual machines, you can change the version of the original virtual machine or create a full clone, so that the original remains unaltered. For Workstation 4 virtual machines, Workstation changes the original virtual machine.
If you upgrade a Workstation 4 or 5.x virtual machine that is compatible with ESX Server to Workstation 6, 6.5, or 7.x you cannot use the Change Version wizard to later downgrade it again to an ESX-compatible virtual machine.
On Windows hosts, however, you can use the Conversion wizard (choose File > Import) to perform such a downgrade.
When you upgrade a Windows XP, Windows Server 2003, Windows Vista, or Windows 7 virtual machine, the Microsoft product activation feature might require you to reactivate the guest operating system.
To change the version of a virtual machine
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If you are upgrading from a Workstation 4 or 5.x virtual machine, or downgrading to a Workstation 4 or 5.x virtual machine, make a note of the NIC settings in the guest.
Specifically, if you specified a static IP address for this virtual machine, after the upgrade, that setting might be changed to automatic assignment by DHCP.
To check the NIC settings, use the method appropriate for your operating system. For example, on Windows XP, you can use the Control Panel’s Network Connections item to find information about the TCP/IP address for the virtual machine.
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Select the virtual machine and choose VM > Upgrade or Change Version.
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When you select a hardware compatibility version, you see a list of the VMware products that are compatible with that version. If you select Workstation 4, 5 or 6 you also see a list of Workstation 6.5 and 7.x features that are not supported for that version.
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If you upgrade a virtual machine that contains a Windows 98 operating system to a Workstation 6.5 or 7.x virtual machine, you are prompted to install a PCI-PCI bridge driver when you power on the virtual machine. Because Workstation 6.5 and 7.x has 32 more PCI-PCI bridges than Workstation 6, you might need to respond to the prompt 32 or 33 times.
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Even if, for example, you upgraded a Workstation 5.x virtual machine to Workstation 6.x rather than 7.x, be sure to update VMware Tools to the version included with Workstation 7.x. See VMware Tools Update Process. Do not remove the older version of VMware Tools before installing the new version.
If you are upgrading a virtual machine that runs from a physical (raw) disk, you can safely ignore the message, Unable to upgrade <drive_name>. One of the supplied parameters is invalid. Click OK.