Installing old versions of the VMware VI client

The old VI client installer packages don't work with the  latest windows installer. Here's how to work around the problem:

The old versions of the vmware-viclient.exe pass the wrong options to the windows installer. You have to extract the .msi file from the .exe file manually.

1. Download the viclient from the esx server, save it somewhere.

2. open a command prompt and cd to the directory you saved the file (downloads in this example)

cd c:\downloads

3. run this command:

VMware-viclient.exe /x /d c:\downloads\first 

(you must use the full path after the /d switch, Windows is not a real OS like linux that understands things like current working directory)

4. cd to the right place:

cd c:\downloads\first\bin

4. run this command:

vmware-viclient.exe /a /s /v" /qn TARGETDIR=C:\downloads\second"

5. browse to c:\downloads\second

double click the .msi file

this wont install any shortcuts in the start menu, but if you install the latest esx 4.1 client, it will load the older clients automatically when connecting to an older host.

Rob Friday 27 May 2011 - 3:57 pm | | Tech Stuff
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One comment


Thanks for this post… it solved my problem! One note… in Step 3, I would do a dir on the directory to confirm the name of the vmware-viclient.exe file. I was trying to load the VIclient for 4.0, and the name of the .exe file was vmware-viclient4.0.exe (slightly different than the command in step 3). The syntax in step 4 is accurate however, and after correcting that one little mistake the process worked like a charm.

mhillard, - 20-07-’11 11:27
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