VMware Tools 10.3.0 depends on and ships Microsoft Visual C++ 2017 Redistributable version 14.0. While preparing the system for VMware Tools 10.3.0 installation, Microsoft Visual C++ 2017 Redistributable is installed on the system as a prerequisite.

Problem

When installing or upgrading to VMware Tools 10.3.0, different symptoms might be encountered as described:

  • Installing or upgrading to VMware Tools 10.3.0 on Windows versions before Windows 10 might fail with an error message if Windows OS level pre-requisites are not met.

  • Installing or upgrading to VMware Tools 10.3.0 on Windows versions before Windows 10 may appear stuck with "VMware Product Installation" dialog box carrying "Preparing 'VMware Tools' for installation..." message.

  • Installing or upgrading to VMware Tools 10.3.0 on Windows versions before Windows 10 asks for restarting the system without completing the install or upgrade.

  • Installing or upgrading to VMware Tools 10.3.0 on Windows versions after Windows 10 asks for restarting the system without completing the install or upgrade.

Cause

Since VMware Tools 10.3.0 depends on and ships Microsoft Visual C++ 2017 Redistributable version 14.0, it requires the Windows operating system to be at a certain service pack level. Microsoft Visual C++ 2017 Redistributable also includes Windows Update KB2999226.

Installing Windows Update KB2999226 on the system may take a while and may also need a system restart depending on the state of the system as mentioned in the article Update for Universal C Runtime in Windows

The installation might take a long time as described in the article Stuck while installing Visual Studio 2015 (Update for Microsoft Windows KB2999226)

Note:

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NOTE: This issue applies to only Windows Vista, Windows 7, Windows 8, Windows 8.1, Windows Server 2008, Windows Server 2008 R2, Windows Server 2012, and Windows Server 2012 R2.

Windows operating system might need a restart for different reasons

  • For pre-Windows 10 versions it might be either due to KB2999226 or due to the presence of an existing older version of Microsoft Visual C++ 2017 Redistributable DLL on the system that is already loaded by other applications.

  • For Windows 10 and later, the latter reason is a common cause of system restart.

Solution

  1. Keep your Windows operating system up-to-date with latest updates.
  2. Install the Microsoft Visual C++ 2017 Redistributable manually before installing or upgrading VMware Tools to version 10.3.0.
  3. Alternatively, install Windows Update KB2999226 manually before installing or upgrading VMware Tools, as it reduces some of the issues for Windows versions before Windows 10.
  4. Update the Windows operating system, Microsoft Visual C++ 2017 Redistributable and other Microsoft applications before installing or upgrading to VMware Tools 10.3.0.
  5. When the VMware Tools installation or upgrade is invoked with "REBOOT=ReallySuppress" argument, system might require a manual restart for completing Microsoft Visual C++ 2017 Redistributable installation. Reattempt the VMware Tools installation or upgrade after restarting the Windows system. vSphere Client can detect this situation by noticing no change in VMware Tools version and "guestinfo.toolsInstallErrCode=3010" in the guest variables or in the advanced configuration of the VM.
  6. When the VMware Tools installation or upgrade is invoked without any arguments, a system restart may occur automatically to complete Microsoft Visual C++ 2017 Redistributable install. After Windows system restarts, reattempt the VMware Tools installation or upgrade.