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Fixing the Microsoft Runtime DLL Installer Failed Error when Installing VMware Tools on Windows VMs


How to Fix VMware Tools Error Microsoft Runtime DLL Installer Failed




If you are using VMware products to run virtual machines on your Windows host, you may encounter an error when installing or updating VMware Tools. The error message may look something like this:




vmware tools error microsoft runtime dll installer failed



Setup cannot continue. The Microsoft Runtime DLL installer failed to complete installation.


This error can prevent you from enjoying the full benefits of VMware Tools, such as improved graphics, performance, and functionality. In this article, we will explain what VMware Tools is, what causes this error, and how to fix it using four possible solutions.


What is VMware Tools and why is it important?




VMware Tools is a suite of utilities that enhances the performance of the virtual machine's guest operating system and improves management of the virtual machine. Without VMware Tools installed in your guest operating system, guest performance lacks important functionality.


Installing VMware Tools eliminates or improves these issues:



  • Low video resolution



  • Inadequate color depth



  • Incorrect display of network speed



  • Restricted movement of the mouse



  • Inability to copy and paste and drag-and-drop files



  • Missing sound



  • Provides the ability to take quiesced snapshots of the guest OS



  • Synchronizes the time in the guest operating system with the time on the host operating system



VMware Tools also includes device drivers that improve sound, graphics, networking, and storage performance. You can select the drivers to be installed while performing a custom VMware Tools installation or reinstallation.


What causes the error and how to identify it?




This error occurs when VMware Tools tries to install or update Microsoft Visual C++ runtime library on the Windows virtual machine, but fails due to a registry issue. Microsoft Visual C++ runtime library is a component that is required by some applications and programs to run properly.


The most common causes of this error are:



  • A manual reconfiguration or a group policy change on the virtual machine has changed the location where the files are to be installed. For example, if the install location was changed to H:\Program Files\Common Files , but the virtual machine cannot access the H: drive, the VMware Tools installation will fail.



  • A corrupted or outdated version of Microsoft Visual C++ runtime library is already installed on the virtual machine, preventing VMware Tools from installing a newer version.



You can identify this error by checking the Windows Application Event logs and the vminst.log file located at %TEMP%. You may see entries similar to these:


Product: Microsoft Visual C++ 2008 Redistributable - x86 9.0.30729.4148 -- Error 1327.Invalid Drive: H:\


Error 1935.An error occurred during the installation of assembly 'Microsoft.VC90.ATL,version="9.0.30729.4148",publicKeyToken="1fc8b3b9a1e18e3b",processorArchitecture="amd64",type="win32"'. Please refer to Help and Support for more information. Solution 1: Change the CommonFilesDir registry key




One possible solution to fix this error is to change the CommonFilesDir registry key to point to a valid drive on the virtual machine. This will allow VMware Tools to install the Microsoft Visual C++ runtime library in the correct location. Here are the steps to do this:



  • Open the Registry Editor by typing regedit in the Windows search box and pressing Enter.



  • Navigate to the following key: HKEY_LOCAL_MACHINE\SOFTWARE\Microsoft\Windows\CurrentVersion



  • Right-click on the CommonFilesDir entry and select Modify.



  • Change the value data to C:\Program Files\Common Files or another valid drive and folder on your virtual machine. Click OK to save the changes.



  • Close the Registry Editor and restart your virtual machine.



  • Try to install or update VMware Tools again and see if the error is resolved.



The following screenshots show how to change the CommonFilesDir registry key:




Solution 2: Repair or reinstall Microsoft Visual C++ runtime library




Another possible solution to fix this error is to repair or reinstall the Microsoft Visual C++ runtime library on your virtual machine. This will ensure that VMware Tools can install or update the required version of the library without any conflicts. Here are the steps to do this:



  • Open the Control Panel by typing control panel in the Windows search box and pressing Enter.



  • Click on Programs and Features.



  • Find and select Microsoft Visual C++ 2008 Redistributable (or any other version that VMware Tools is trying to install) and click on Change.



  • Select Repair and follow the instructions to complete the repair process.



  • If repairing does not work, you can also try uninstalling and reinstalling the Microsoft Visual C++ runtime library from the Microsoft website. You can download the latest version from here: The latest supported Visual C++ downloads.



  • Restart your virtual machine after repairing or reinstalling the Microsoft Visual C++ runtime library.



  • Try to install or update VMware Tools again and see if the error is resolved.



The following screenshots show how to repair or reinstall the Microsoft Visual C++ runtime library:




Solution 3: Use Open VM Tools or Operating System Specific Packages




A third possible solution to fix this error is to use Open VM Tools or Operating System Specific Packages instead of VMware Tools. These are alternative implementations of VMware Tools that are open source and supported by VMware. They provide the same basic features and functionality as VMware Tools, but they are integrated with the guest operating system and can be installed and updated using the standard package management system of the guest operating system.


The advantages of using Open VM Tools or Operating System Specific Packages are:



  • They are installed out of the box in most Linux distributions, so you don't need to manually install or update them.



  • They are easier to patch and maintain, as they are handled by the guest operating system itself and not by vCenter Server or vSphere Lifecycle Manager.



  • They have a small footprint and are optimized for each specific distribution, not a single Linux package like VMware Tools.



  • They do not require a compatibility matrix check, as they are compatible with any supported version of VMware products.



The disadvantages of using Open VM Tools or Operating System Specific Packages are:



  • They may not include some experimental or advanced features that VMware Tools provides, such as 3D graphics acceleration, shared folders, or drag and drop.



  • They may not be updated as frequently as VMware Tools, so they may lag behind in terms of bug fixes or enhancements.



  • They may not be supported by some third-party applications or programs that rely on VMware Tools.



To install Open VM Tools or Operating System Specific Packages, you can use the following commands depending on your Linux distribution:



Distribution


Command


Ubuntu, Debian, and other distros from this family


sudo apt install open-vm-tools


Red Hat, Fedora, CentOS, and other distros from this family


sudo yum install open-vm-tools


SUSE Linux Enterprise Server and openSUSE


sudo zypper install open-vm-tools


Arch Linux


sudo pacman -S open-vm-tools


Gentoo Linux


sudo emerge -av app-emulation/open-vm-tools


FreeBSD


sudo pkg install open-vm-tools-nox11


Solaris 11.4 and later


sudo pkg install system/virtualization/open-vm-tools


Photon OS 1.0 and later


sudo tdnf install open-vm-tools



The following screenshots show how to install Open VM Tools on Ubuntu:



Solution 4: Update VMware Tools to the latest version




The last possible solution to fix this error is to update VMware Tools to the latest version available. This will ensure that VMware Tools has the most recent patches and fixes for any known issues, including the Microsoft Runtime DLL installer failed error. Here are the steps to do this:



  • Open the VMware product that you are using to run your virtual machine, such as VMware Workstation, VMware Fusion, or VMware vSphere.



  • Select your virtual machine and click on VM in the menu bar.



  • Click on Guest and then on Install/Upgrade VMware Tools.



  • Follow the instructions on the screen to complete the installation or upgrade process.



  • Restart your virtual machine after updating VMware Tools.



  • Try to install or update VMware Tools again and see if the error is resolved.



The following screenshots show how to update VMware Tools on VMware Workstation:





Conclusion




In this article, we have explained what VMware Tools is, what causes the Microsoft Runtime DLL installer failed error, and how to fix it using four possible solutions. We hope that one of these solutions has worked for you and that you can now enjoy the full benefits of VMware Tools on your Windows virtual machine. If you have any questions or feedback, please feel free to leave a comment below.


FAQs




Q1: What are the benefits of installing VMware Tools?




A1: Installing VMware Tools improves the performance and functionality of your virtual machine's guest operating system. It provides device drivers, utilities, and features that enhance graphics, networking, storage, sound, time synchronization, quiesced snapshots, copy and paste, drag and drop, and more.


Q2: How can I check the version of VMware Tools installed on my virtual machine?




A2: You can check the version of VMware Tools installed on your virtual machine by following these steps:



  • Open the Control Panel by typing control panel in the Windows search box and pressing Enter.



  • Click on Programs and Features.



  • Find and select VMware Tools in the list of installed programs.



  • Look at the Version column to see the version number of VMware Tools.



The following screenshot shows how to check the version of VMware Tools:



Q3: How can I troubleshoot VMware Tools installation issues?




A3: You can troubleshoot VMware Tools installation issues by checking the Windows Application Event logs and the vminst.log file located at %TEMP%. You can also refer to the official documentation from VMware for more information and guidance: VMware Tools Documentation.


Q4: What are the differences between VMware Tools, Open VM Tools, and Operating System Specific Packages?




A4: The differences between these three implementations of VMware Tools are:



  • VMware Tools is the original and official version of VMware Tools that is provided by VMware. It is compatible with all supported versions of VMware products and provides the most features and functionality. However, it requires manual installation and update using vCenter Server or vSphere Lifecycle Manager.



  • Open VM Tools is an open source version of VMware Tools that is supported by VMware. It is integrated with the guest operating system and can be installed and updated using the standard package management system of the guest operating system. It provides the same basic features and functionality as VMware Tools, but it may not include some experimental or advanced features. It also has a smaller footprint and is optimized for each specific distribution.



  • Operating System Specific Packages are another open source version of VMware Tools that is supported by VMware. They are similar to Open VM Tools, but they are tailored for specific operating systems such as FreeBSD or Solaris. They provide a subset of features and functionality that are relevant for those operating systems.



Q5: How can I contact VMware Support for further assistance?




A5: You can contact VMware Support for further assistance by using one of the following methods:



  • Visit the VMware Support website at https://www.vmware.com/support.html and choose the option that suits your needs. You can submit a support request, chat with an agent, call a toll-free number, or browse the knowledge base and forums.



  • Use the VMware Support app on your mobile device to access the same features as the website. You can download the app from the App Store or Google Play.



  • Use the VMware Tools icon in the system tray of your virtual machine to access the VMware Tools Help menu. You can find information about VMware Tools, check for updates, or contact VMware Support from there.



The following screenshots show how to contact VMware Support using these methods:




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