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


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189 Comments on "Running VMware vSphere Client on Windows 7"

4 months 27 days ago

Beautiful! Worked like a charm! Thank you!

Charles Ssekyanzi
1 year 11 months ago

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

1 year 10 months ago

Hi Charles,

Glad the post was of help.



Jonathan P
2 years 8 months ago

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

2 years 10 months ago

Hi TechHead!

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

3 years 4 months ago

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