Various ways to address the "Safely Remove Hardware" Tray Icon issue

Since a long time VMware supports device hot plug in its Virtual Machines. This leads to the "Safely Remove Hardware and Eject Media" tray icon to be displayed in Windows VMs, and it allows a user to eject the network card and even hard disks from the machine. While the latter will fail in most cases, because the hard disk is in use by Windows, ejecting the NIC will succeed ... and it will do exactly this. The NIC will disappear from the VM, which will disconnect from the network until a VMware administrator re-adds a new NIC to it!

How many times were curious Windows Admins or VDI desktop users not only tempted by this possibility, but even used it - only to find themselves disconnected from their machines with no way to re-connect ;-) ?! The first few times this may be funny, but then you will want to look for ways to prevent this.

Google is you friend, and you will easily find many different ways to address this issue, but scattered across even more blogs and sites. This is my attempt to collect all of them in one blog post.

Top VMware and Virtualization Blog voting 2014 now open

Eric Siebert over at has kicked off this year's Top vBlog voting. This time it's bigger than ever, and Veeam is sponsoring some cool prizes to win for both voters and bloggers!

You will find this blog not only in the overall favorites list, but it is also participating in the categories "Best Scripting Blog" and "Best Independent Blogger". If you have found useful information, scripts or tools here at the VMware Front Experience Blog or/and are a regular reader then please show your support by voting for me.

Head over to to cast your vote - Thanks!!

[Release] ESXi-Customizer-PS 2.2 - The ESXi image customization script

I have released version 2.2 of my PowerCLI ImageBuilder based ESXi customization script ESXi-Customizer-PS! This version integrates Online Depots as a source for customization packages.

Here are the changes in detail and some examples of how to make use of them.

An analysis of the vSphere 5.5 VMware Tools for Windows installation

It is a good practice to update VMware Tools on your VMs after you have updated your vSphere environment to a new major or minor release. VMware tries to make this very easy by providing means to automate the VMware Tools installation/update (through the vSphere legacy and Web Client, and PowerCLI), but in a lot of environments there is a requirement to take complete control over software provisioning on Windows servers and/or the need to customize the VMware Tools installation and remove unwanted features that are installed by default.

For this purpose you will want to take a careful look at the VMware Tools MSI package. I did this with the latest Tools version of vSphere 5.5, and here are my findings.

How to upgrade your VMs' virtual hardware to version 9 with ESXi 5.5

After upgrading your ESXi hosts to 5.5 the "Upgrade Virtual Hardware" function of the legacy vSphere Client will update the virtual hardware of a VM to version 10, although the legacy client is not able to edit the properties of version 10 VMs (see my earlier post about How to update to ESXi 5.5 ...). Only the Web Client is able to do this with version 10 VMs, and that requires vCenter. If you do not have vCenter available or do not feel comfortable with the Web Client for other reasons then you want to avoid upgrading virtual hardware to version 10. But how can you upgrade to only version 9?