VMware: Windows VM – No Mouse & Cannot Install VMware Tools

KB ID 0001370


Every time this happens to me I have a rant about it, and everyone looks perplexed, surely this does not only happen to me? Using ESX6.5 I build a new Windows VM, and theres no mouse, web client has nothing, try the VMRC then I get a mouse pointer, but it’s as responsive as trying to play chess with a firehose! 

Once you install VMware tools it’s fine, but here’s the problem – try installing VMware tools with no mouse! Now before you all start typing ‘We didn’t always used to have mice, learn to use a keyboard doofus’ comments. Let’s be clear, I’m a keyboard ninjutsu legend, I can navigate with Tab and Spacebar!

And when I can get a command windows open, I can launch VMware tools install from CLI- Yay! Then when the installer re-opens the install window and it’s not the active window, Alt+Tab wont work – I swear louder.


Don’t forget to present the VMware Tools disk to the virtual machine before you start! 

OK this is more of a work around than a solution. First challenge is to get logged in. That’s simple; just keep pressing ‘Tab’ and the first letter of your password until you start seeing the password appear.

Log in VMware no mouse

Now you are in, get a command window open, by either pressing ‘Tab’ until you see the ‘start button’ highlighted, then press {Enter}, you can then type cmd {Enter}. OR, if you have a Windows keyboard press the ‘right click/menu’ key and create a shortcut for ‘cmd’.

At command execute the following command;

setup64.exe /s /v”/qn reboot=n”

VMware Tools Silent install

It will look like nothing is happening, go and have a cup of coffee, in fact have two. When you return reboot the VM. Use ‘reboot -r -f’ if you’re still at command line. When the VM reboots, VMware tools will be installed, and all will be well with the world.

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Author: PeteLong

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  1. You Sir, are a legend. I was actually considering moving to Hyper-V as this problem annoys me all the time.

    Good workaround!

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  2. Thank-you so much! This was so frustrating and drive me bat-$hit crazy!

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  3. That’s great thanks, was driving me nuts!

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  4. There is another Way to do this, at least in Windows Server 2016.

    – Start to install the VmWareTools
    – You will see that a new Device was found
    – Press the widows Key on your Keyboard
    – Type This PC and hit Enter
    – Now you can navigate with your Arrow Keys and open the Setup
    – BUT the Setup will go in the Background…
    – Press Alt+Tab – Hold Tab and navigate with your arrow keys
    – you can now use alt+underlined key to finis the install
    – Restart the server with the VMRC and you are done

    (sorry for the bad english)

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