Running VMware vSphere Client on Windows 7

Many of you, like myself, have started running Windows 7 as their primary desktop OS and find it to be a massive improvement over Windows Vista on so many levels.

One of the very few inconveniences I have found with it, and this is not an bug or problem with Windows 7 itself, is the inability to run the VMware vSphere Client.

UPDATE: Good News – This issue has now been resolved in VMware ESX/ESXi 4.0 Update 1 (U1).

When attempting to run the client the following errors are received and you are unable to proceed any further:

“Error parsing the server “<server name” “clients.xml” file.”


Error parsing the server “<server name” “clients.xml” file

“The type initializer for ‘VirtualInfrastructure.Utils.HttpWebRequestProxy’ threw an exception.”

The type initializer for ‘VirtualInfrastructure.Utils.HttpWebRequestProxy’ threw an exception


Luckily there have been a few good VMware forum posts such as this one by ftubio which outlines how to successfully run the vSphere Client under Windows 7.  I thought I’d put together this brief post with a few screenshots to outline the required steps.

I am running the x64 version of Windows 7 so you will notice that any reference to the ‘Program Files’ will have an ‘(x86)’ at the end of it.  If you are running the x86 version of Windows 7 then ignore the ‘(x86)’ portion of the directory path (ie: C:Program Files (x86) –> C:Program Files).

Follow these 4 basic steps and you’ll be up and running in no time!

Step 1.

imageDownload this DLL called system.dll

*Note:  This DLL is usually found in the  %SystemRoot%Microsoft.NETFrameworkv2.0.50727  directory of a non Windows 7 PC with  .NET v3.5 SP1 installed.


Step 2.

Once downloaded install it in the “C:Program Files (x86)VMwareInfrastructureVirtual Infrastructure ClientLauncherLib” directory.  If the ‘lib’ directory doesn’t exist then create it and drop the dll file into it.

VMware vSphere Client Windows 7

Step 3.

Next edit the “VpxClient.exe.config” file which can be found in the “C:Program Files (x86)VMwareInfrastructureVirtual Infrastructure ClientLauncher” directory and add the following three lines to it in the location specified in the screenshot below.  Then save the changes.

<developmentMode developerInstallation="true"/>

VMware vSphere Client Windows 7


Step 4. 

From the Windows 7 ‘System Properties’ click the ‘Advanced’ tab and then the ‘Environment Variables’ button as we want to add a new ‘System’ variable.

VMware vSphere Client Windows 7


Create a new ‘System’ variable called ‘DEVPATH’ and assign the following variable value:

C:Program Files (x86)VMwareInfrastructureVirtual Infrastructure ClientLauncherLib


VMware vSphere Client Windows 7


You are now ready to start using the VMware vSphere Client on your Windows 7 machine!  Some people have reported having to run the client as an ‘Administrator’ so if you are having difficulties it may pay to try this – I luckily didn’t experience this problem. Also you will likely have to reboot your machine (or restart the explorer.exe process) for your new path information to come into effect.


VMware vSphere Client Windows 7


Technorati Tags: VMware,vSphere,,Windows 7
  • Vladan

    Since Windows 7 is still in RC Checked Build (checked today on our MSDN subscribtions portal), I’m waiting for the RTM to test this. Since then, VMware might release an update to fix this… I hope… -:).


  • ccostan

    Great Write-up. The Screenshots make the post very easy to follow and understand.


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  • Panu

    The instruction was exactly correct, but the System.dll file offered for download at this site was wrong version at least for my system. After failing with the downloaded file (size 2 385 345) I copied the System.dll from a working system (size 3 149 824 bytes) and my system started working.

    • Kiwi Si

      Hi Panu,

      Thanks for letting me know. Is there any chance you could email me your version of the System.dll and I will add that to the article as an alternative?

      Thanks, :)


  • jjb

    the System.dll did not work for me either.
    vSphere just crashed upon loading.

    This link has a version of the file that did work for me:

    • Kiwi Si

      Thanks for letting me know – I have now swapped out the system.dll I had for downloaded for the working one. :)



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  • damtux

    Thanks a lot for your tips guys ! That Helps a lot !!

  • al

    Worked great on 7 Enterprise 64bit RTM. Thanks!

  • Derek

    Worked great value article. Keep up the good work.

  • Joe

    Everytime I try this, I get “Configuration System Failed to initialize” Any ideas? I’m running it as administrator and followed all the above directions.

    • Kiwi Si

      Hi Joe,

      It sounds like you may not have the correct path to the DLL added to Windows 7 PC’s Environment Variables. Also bear in mind this path varies depending on whether you have an x64 or x96 copy of Windows 7 install. Did you download and use the DLL from my site?

      Hope this helps,


      • ozaz1326

        hi Kiwi Si,
        l tried same things and details but just showing
        entrance window
        after enter username and password
        its displaying same issue

        do you have anything else…?

        • Kiwi Si

          Hi Ozaz,

          Are you getting any other error messages or is it just showing a blank type of window?



        • Ozaz

          no, same errors

  • dtsirlis

    Awesome, thank you so much!

  • aslezak

    I wrote the following post that fixes this problem… at least it worked for me… hope it helps!


    • aslezak

      ugh – that was in reply to Joe regarding the “Configuration System Failed to initialize” error.

    • Joe

      Thanks aslezak, this got me up and running :)


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  • gogua


    I’m still getting the error after applying this solution. I’m running Windows 7 RTM Ultimate 32bit

    Some one could help me.

    Thanks for this post….

  • Andersen

    I tried aslezak’s fix for “Configuration System Failed to initialize” error, no luck.

    I checked, re-checked the Lib folder, still no luck. =*(

    Win7 RTM 32-bit

    • aslezak

      Are you running the program as administrator via properties > compatibility? I also set compatibility mode to vista sp2 on my machine. I realize I didn’t add that step to my blog post. If that fixes it, I’ll add it… please let me know either way…

      Also, what do you me you re-checked the lib folder? Can you elaborate?

      • Andra L

        Well this fix worked for me. Setting it into compatibility mode and then running as administrator solved the “configuration System…” issue.

        Thanks for the tip

  • gogua


    i’ve installed Windows XP mode virtualpc machine from microsoft, and install vsphere at Windowsxp, then close XP, close virtual machine, and run vsphere from windows 7 Menu without anyproblem.

    See this link:


  • adrihenper


    Thanks for this tip, here its work now!!!!!

    Kind regards,

  • http://none Qwerk

    just what I was looking for

    thanks it works

  • shope928

    Perfect. Thanks for the great tip.

  • jj

    Nice work. Fixed…

  • dc

    Works great on Windows 7 Enterprise. Should let VMWare know so they don’t look so stupid just saying yeah we know it doesn’t work…so what…do they really hate Microsoft that much?

  • Brukus

    Nice work

  • GIGG

    Muchas gracias. Excelente trabajo.

    Thanks for this tip, here its work now!!!!!

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  • Mike_D

    It also works if you set a user environment variable, rather than a system wide one, which is probably more sensible.

    • Kiwi Si

      Hi Mike,

      Good point – though I guess it depends if the PC you do this on is used by multiple users. If just one user then using the ‘user’ environment variable makes more sense.



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  • praj

    Note that the configuration file should actually have the runtime section first within the configuration section in this order (sorry about the format — commenting limitations):


  • praj

    If you don’t have the configuration file in the format I mentioned above you will get a “please enter a valid server name” message.

  • Ed

    The not being able to run the vsphere client as administrator thing seems to be a permissions issue. I assigned the owner of the lib folder to the SYSTEM user and had it propagate down to the system.dll file, and that seemed to fix the problem for me.

  • Ed

    Err… I mean, not being able to run vsphere without being an admin. Sorry..

  • CG0501

    Perfect, once I’d learned how to use my keyboard properly! :) Remeber to log in as an administrator before doing this.

    Great post, thanks.

  • JanJ

    It worked for me.
    on Win7 enterprise x64 (official version MS MVL site )

  • non

    As noted above in the blog post… you really need system.dll from a NON win7 machine. Just spent an hour with system.dlls from win7’s folders.

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  • dweisseg

    I also had delete the vSphere client shortcut off the desktonp, and then re add it from “C:Program Files (x86)VMwareInfrastructureVirtual Infrastructure ClientLauncher”. Then it worked

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  • Brandt

    Awesome work. I love it when someone explains it correctly and well!!.


  • Rune

    Ok. That does it. x64 Windows has been around for ages. BASIC VMware software doesn’t support iy. (!?).

    What a clown company.

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  • Mark Tarquini

    worked great for me as well, many thanks!

  • Luis Enrique

    Thanks for this solution It was good for me, on Windows 7 Ultimate 64bits

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  • raj

    Thanks it worked for me. using win 7 32 bit. just correct the path for 32bit.

  • gVa Solutions

    This worked a treat. Many thanks.

  • The Dog

    Worked perfectly, thanks so much!

  • barbieur jurgen

    great work,
    easy procedure with nice screenshots
    simple to change the configuration, and it works !!!


  • kdao2000

    The instructuion is easy to follow and works for me on x32 Windows 7 pro.

  • JADU

    Great post. Thanks a lot.

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  • Davide

    Thank you! Thank you! Thank you! Thank you! Thank you! Thank you! Thank you! Thank you! Thank you! Thank you! Thank you! Thank you! Thank you! Thank you! Thank you! Thank you! Thank you!

    Now it works!

  • angry vmuser
    shame on you. still no working vsphere client out of the box. tssss. zzzzzz

  • Imajica

    Thankyou for compiling this and making it easy. Now if only they could get a vSphere client that runs natively on Linux my life would be slightly more complete.

  • Jimmy

    worked perfectly :)

  • Brett

    You sir rock!

    Thanks for doing this. I was sick of booting XP under Virtualbox! I needed console access to a new datacenter install today. This works perfectly.

    Thanks again!

  • brian

    right on the money. Running w7 Ultimate. Ran through the above steps, which have been made very easy, and the vic runs like a champ, didn’t even require a reboot! awesome job man

  • Vin

    For those interested: This fix works for running vSphere on Server 2008R2 as well, although I had to create the “lib” folder as instructed.

    Probably not a lot of people run it on this system, but i thought this may be helpful.

    Great fix!

  • Telmo

    Worked like a charm. Thanks

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  • Martin

    Thx for this very good and easy to understand workaraound!
    It works great!! :-)

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  • TimC

    Two small corrections/updates I’d like to make.

    First, on your step 4, you tell people to use a capital L in Lib, while in step 1 you use a lowercase l.

    C:Program Files (x86)VMwareInfrastructureVirtual Infrastructure ClientLauncherLib

    Should be:
    C:Program Files (x86)VMwareInfrastructureVirtual Infrastructure ClientLauncherlib

    Not a big deal, but it would be good to be consistent.

    Second, as far as I can tell, you have to reboot after creating the DEVPATH. It would not work for me until I did. Also, the only reason anyone should have to “Run as administrator” is if they set the DEVPATH for USER instead of SYSTEM.

    • Kiwi Si

      Hi Tim,

      Thanks for the comments – good point.

      I have updated the article accordingly.

      I didn’t have to rebooot after defining the DEVPATH though I have made a note in case others do.

      Thanks again,


  • Andreas

    Its important, that you make this lines:

    Thats my fault, why i get the “Configuration System Failed to initialize” error.

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  • guy

    works like a charme! ymmd! Very well worked out how to! thanks!

  • Marc

    Works like a charm, tried it on Windows 7 Ultimate x86 with the necessary adjustments.

    Thanks for the tutorial.


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  • Clau

    Works perfect! Thanks!

  • Gerry ORourke

    thank you so much.
    Really appreciate it.

    Worked like a charm!

  • hmbm

    thanks bro…. it’s working!!!!

  • Daniel

    Worked perfectly thank you!
    Shame VMware haven’t addressed this problem.

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  • Bhaskar

    Awesome. Very helpful notes. Great work.

  • Netpros

    Great, works, saved me considerable time

  • Daniel

    Great!!!!! It works!!!

  • Christian Worton

    Life saver, thankyou so much! :)

  • Erik vd Groef

    I am running Windows 7 also.

    Had installed the 3.5 client installed at first.

    Now i “upgraded” the 3.5 version with the Vsphere client and that works without making any changes as suggested.


  • Burak Uysal

    With Vsphere U1 released 19th Nov 2009, Windows 7 and Windows 2008 R2 are officially supported and vsphere client works straight out of the box.


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  • Kiwi Si

    Thanks to everyone who has commented so far in this post. So glad it has helped. :)



  • Pricey

    Great notes, my client works perfectly now.

  • ozaz1326

    hi, l m getting an error when l do this process. while, when l double click on vmware vsphere client
    l m getting this error:

    CLR Error:80004005
    The program will be end.

    waiting your help.

    best regards…

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  • Lester Penguinne

    Ok so after applying this fix (which does work) I noted that all of a sudden it stopped working. But after a reboot it worked again. cannot point to any specific thing that is/was causing it but I went in the the setting and lookaed at teh devpath variable. for some reason it was %program files%….. so I changed it back to c:program files and tada it works again. why it changed is a mystery (windows update perhaps?) but now that it is back it works again

    • Kiwi Si

      Hi Lester,

      Is your vSphere Client still playing up? Have you looked at upgrading to vSphere 4.0 Update 1 yet as this resolves the Windows 7 incompatibility issue?

      All the best,


  • ADAM

    It worked !!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!
    thanks buddy..

  • SLGizmo

    Thank you very much. I have been pulling my hair out for some time now and I don’t have much left hehehehe. Dude you rock thanks again.

  • Thorsten

    Thank you very much, that works fine on my Windows 7 x64 !!!!

  • Klemen Sor?nik


    this article make my life easier…: )
    Until now i have dedicated virtual machine running Windows XP and with vSphere client to manage my ESXI.

    Thank you a lot.

    Klemen S.

    • Kiwi Si

      Hi Klemen,

      Thanks for the comment – glad the article was of use. :)



  • shali

    thanks problem solved.

  • ChrisG

    If you are able to, install vShpere 4 update 1 (refer VMWare KB article 1011329.) This fixes this and a number of other problems.

  • Ted

    THANK YOU!!!

    You’d think thatr VMware would get their stuff together on this one!

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  • Mohammad

    Thanks a lot. God bless u. it works properly

  • Michael Ramm

    THANKS so much for this, Simon. I got my new Windows 7 Dell Latitude E6500 and ran into the problem (because I have not updated my Hosts to U1, yet). Your screenshots made it SO EASY when everywhere else I looked was a sea of text to wade through.

    • Kiwi Si

      Hi Michael,

      Glad this post has come in useful to you and others. I’m personally a big fan of using screen shots and pictures – makes it much easier to follow. Even when writing it. :)

      All the best,


  • Valamas

    Thank you!

  • Gustavo

    Awesome post! Worked like a charm. Thanks!!!

  • Sogos

    Merci bien, le problème est corrigé chez moi :)
    Thanks, the problem is gone :)

  • Lwood

    Got this working first try – thanks for the KB.

  • Patrick

    perfect!!! thanks!!!!!

  • RedhatWatchGuard

    Worked the first time. Thank you for the article…

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  • crensch

    tx man,

  • Patil

    It worked .!

  • Adriano

    thank you

  • Harpreet Dhillon

    Thanks a lot for posting this article. It saved me lot of hassle :)

  • Joackim Pennerup

    I tried this and got the “Configuration System Failed to initialize”-error. Then when I looked at the config-file again I realized that the quotes were transformed in the clipboard. Make sure they are XML-compatible quotes and then it works! =)

  • Willy

    Great writeup, worked a treat. Had to change the DEVPATH variable though as I had just copied and pasted from yours which of course won’t work on a 32bit OS

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  • Julio1

    Funcionó perfecto. Muchas gracias.

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  • rafasermed

    Great post.

    Thank you.

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  • Sudheer Avula

    This was very useful post.
    I had issue while modifying the file VpxClient.exe.config, since this file is being used by other program (esx client service)…
    All I did is copied the file to a different location & modified as mentioned & replaced the original file with the modified one.

    It worked… Thanks a lot :)

    Sudheer Avula

  • Edmundo

    Great work!

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  • MonsterFastener

    After installing Microsoft’s patches last night my VISTA computer rebooted and I was getting the same error you described for Win 7 users. Your work around fixes the problem on Microsoft Vista machines as well. Thanks

    • Larry G

      Dead on perfect – this comment saved me. Thanks for pointing out that it affected Vista as well. I was pulling my hair out.

  • Install VMware-viclient.exe Update1

    I am running Windows 7 64 bit version. I also had the similar issue when I installed the VVMware-viclient.exe from one of our ESX4 server. I also had VMWare ESXi Free(update 1) on my desktop machine. So I installed tried to download VMware-viclient.exe from VMWare ESXi Free (update 1) installation and to my wonder, it worked with any issue.

    So I recommend to install VVMware-viclient.exe from ESX4 server with update 1.

  • larry

    hi,it works also on client win xp pro with last framework 3.5 update (06/2010).

  • Arpad


    It works fine with WinXP(32bit)SP3 with .NET3.5


  • Michael

    Super guide, thanks.

  • cranchi

    Valew pelo post, perfeito.

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  • Bob

    I followed the steps, but when runnint the client, I got error saying “Please enter a valid server name”. What is wrong here? I used IP address as server name. My system is Windows 7 Professional.

  • Eduardo Jordan

    Very nice, helped me a lot :)

  • Rob
  • Sanjay Joshi

    Thank u it is working fine on windows 7 64bit

    • Kiwi Si

      Good news – glad it was of help Sanjay. :)



  • jefferson

    Tank you man!!!

  • Adail Teixeira

    Very good, really have a great site for vmware.

  • Vikas

    Thank you, the solution worked for me. Cheers !!! :-)

  • http://na JJF

    Hmmm, had to create a new user variable (Not system variable) to get mine to work.

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  • Emy

    it works great !!

  • cpnath

    I liked this article. It helped me resolve the issue on Win 2K3 x86 machine when I upgraded to vSphere 4.1.

  • Logan

    Thank you very much for this…helps me a lot :)

  • George

    Thanks! This allowed me to get the 4.0 client working on the one Windows 7 machine without having to cause any downtime on the ESX host or risk a failed upgrade.

  • Ravi

    Thanks. works great.

  • DukeP

    Thanks a lot!!

  • Allen White
  • Josh

    Thank you so much, this fixed the issue I was having.

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  • snn

    Thanks !! It works for my windows 7 enterprise.

  • Ethen

    Thank you very much. It works fine for me …

  • Raj

    Gr8 post.. i had spent 2 whole days troubleshooting the same issue. but this article with screenshot really helped me to resolve the same.

  • howyi

    Hi, it helps, thanks.
    Btw, may I know why it won’t run properly on win7 without this changes?

    Thanks & regards,
    How Yee

  • Arjun

    Nice Post Keep posting. Thanks a lot

  • Kiwi Si

    Thanks Arjun, glad the post was of use. :)



  • Ganaa

    Tkanks It’s running

  • Cooper

    So is the Update 1 take care of the configuration required as described above or do you need update 1 and perform the configuration listed?

  • Paul Marshall

    I keep coming back to this post time and time again, enough to have committed most of it to memory bar the system.dll download :-)

    Great work

  • Mars

    It worked a treat on my XP pro SP3 PC! The DotNet fix that kept causing the parse error can now be installed!

  • Joe Sanchez

    Hi TechHead!

    Here’s a newer post with download links to vSphere Client v4 –v5. It might be useful.

  • Jonathan P

    I got the same error but resolved by freeing some space on my c drive that was full….

  • Charles Ssekyanzi

    wow this is beautiful, was stranded.. great help..thanks!

    • Simon Seagrave (TechHead)

      Hi Charles,

      Glad the post was of help.