Get the vSphere Client Running on Windows 7

I found an article in the VMware forums that had these steps so I decided to document them a little better and blog about it so that I have it.  Until VMware releases the officially supported Windows 7 version of the VI Client, I guess this hack will have to do.

Make sure you have the VI / vSphere Client installed.  The typical installation works just fine.  You can also download the files attached at the end of this post, to make the process a little easier.

When I tried to run the client without following these steps, I got an error, as I’m sure many others have, upon trying to log in to the server.


Error reads: Error parsing the server “[server]” “clients.xml” file. Login will continue, contact your system administrator.

After a little research, I came across this solution…

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To make the VI / vSphere Client work with Windows 7, you need to track down a copy of System.dll from a non Windows 7 machine that has .NET 3.5 SP1 installed (provided in a zip at bottom of the page).  Copy the file located at:

Next, create a folder on the Windows 7 machine where the vSphere client is installed and copy the System.dll that you retrieved into this folder.  For example:
C:Program Files (x86)VMwareInfrastructureVirtual Infrastructure ClientLauncherhack for the 64-bit version of Win 7, or:
C:Program FilesVMwareInfrastructureVirtual Infrastructure ClientLauncherhack for the 32-bit version.

In the Launcher directory, open the VpxClient.exe.config file in a text editor and add <runtime> and <developmentMode> elements as shown:

<?xml version=”1.0” encoding=”utf-8”>

<developmentMode developerInstallation=”true” />


If you have UAC enabled, make sure you open notepad or your other text editor as an administrator (right-click and ‘Run as Administrator’) or you won’t be able to save your file.

At this point, you should have the “hack” folder which is within the Launcher directory, the copied System.dll in the hack folder, and the edited VpxClient.exe.config file.

Next you need to add an environment variable:  Click Start > Right-Click ‘Computer’ > Click Properties.


In the above window, click on ‘Advanced system settings’.  This will open another window.

In the ‘Advanced’ tab, click on ‘Environment Variables…’ toward the bottom of the window.


Click ‘New…’ to add an environment variable called ‘devpath’ and a path to the folder where you stored the System.dll file.  In my case, the path was:

C:Program Files (x86)VMwareInfrastructureVirtual Infrastructure ClientLauncherhack



Close the windows.  You should now be able to run the VpxClient (VI / vSphere Client) from the desktop or the Start menu.

All credit for this solution goes to Fernando Tubio on this thread:  He may not have originated the solution, but he provided it on that thread and that’s where I got it. 😉


For convenience, I’m including a copy of the System.dll and my VpxClient.exe.config file in this zip.

Note: In the thread, the solution provider discussed creating a .bat or .cmd file.  I could not get that method to work, so I used the environmental variables solution.

Good luck and hope this helps someone out.


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