Fixing “hgfs service failed to start” error in VMware

If you are installing VMware tools in a Windows VM on VMware Server and you get an error in the eventlog similar to the following after a reboot:

The hgfs service failed to start due to the following error:
The system cannot find the file specified.

Try this simple command from a command prompt to fix it:

sc delete hgfs

The problem seems to be that a default install of VMware tools installs shared folders, which is not valid in VMware Server. You need to do a custom install and deselect this. I’ve been mainly upgrading VMware tools in VMware Workstation VM’s that I’ve migrated to VMware Server, so I’m not sure if this happens with a fresh install.

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