Assessing 64-bit VM Guest Support on a 32-bit Operating System Print E-mail

Please remember that if you plan to work from home for class, this issue may affect whether you can use a personally owned machine to perform labs on 64-bit Windows.

VMware can run a 64-bit VM Guest Operating System on a 32-bit Host Operating System (the OS running on the real hardware) provided that the hardware can support 64-bit.

If a 64-bit Operating System is running on the hardware that will be used for class, the VM will work correctly - there is no need to read further.

Many of the business class desktops and laptops sold since 2005 have this capability.

Intel processors need both VT and "long mode" support to work.  

AMD processors must be one of the 64-bit editions.

Consumer (home) class machines may not be able to support 64bit.  For instance, Celeron processors do not support 64-bit.

To find out if your machine will support a 64-bit Windows 7 Guest VM on 32-bit Windows (XP or Windows 7), do the following:

  1. Download and run this VMWare utility: http://download3.vmware.com/software/wkst/VMware-guest64check-6.0.0-45731.exe or this GRC utility: http://www.grc.com/securable.htm
  2. If it reports that 64-bit is not supported, then the BIOS settings may be incorrect.  Ensure that VT support is not disabled in the BIOS.  If VT Support is configurable in the BIOS, it is usually in a BIOS configuration screen dealing with the CPU.
  3. IMPORTANT: If you find the machine has VT disabled, enable it and then COMPLETELY power down the machine - including the rear power switch if the machine has one (or unplug it).
  4. Re-run the VMWare utility.
  5. Some machines that have VT support still cannot run 64-bit VMs if they do not also support "Long Mode" (To read more and access a more detailed check utility, click here: http://communities.vmware.com/docs/DOC-8978)