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vmxnet3 in Workstation 6.5.2

ESX 4 comes with the new VMXnet3 virtual network-card.
This is the first virtual nic available with nominal 10Gbps speed on ESX 4.

To use this virtual device in Workstation 6.5.2 or better you must have

virtualHW.version = "7"
ethernet0.virtualDev = "vmxnet3"


in the vmx-file. Depending on the version of Workstation you use the device maybe identified as 1 GBps or 10 GBps.

As far as I know this is not documented - I guess for a good reason.
The driver seems to need a lot of CPU - during large file copies the guests CPU-usage
may rise upto 100 % on single CPU VM.

At the moment the driver is not included in any of the VMware-tools-iso files that come with Workstation.
Instead grab the windows.iso from a ESX 4 installation.
Mount it somewhere and copy the file vmxnet3.cab to a writeable place.
Expand the cab with

md vmxnet3
expand vmxnet.cab -F:* vmxnet3\

copy vmxnet3n51x86.sys_32 vmxnet3n51x86.sys

In MOA use Kares DriverImportPE and show the tool the path to vmxnet3ndis5.inf

Or to add it to your build - use


and put them into ...pebuilder\drivers\net\vmxnet3 and rebuild
Make sure you have no conflicting drivers !!!

In a regular Windows use device manager - find the vmxnet3-nic and click "update driver" - click through the routine and point to the appropriate inf-file for your Windows-version.
vmxnet3ndis5.inf is good for NT 5.1
vmxnet3ndis6.inf is good for NT 6

Do not forget to make a copy of the driver you really need.
vmxnet3n51x86.sys_32 must be copied to vmxnet3n51x86.sys for 2000-sp4, XP and 2003 32bit

vmxnet3n61x64.sys_64 must be copied to vmxnet3n61x64.sys for 2008 64bit
and so on...

tested in Workstation 6.5.2 and this VMs:
2000 server-sp4
MOA 2.4




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