Fixing the no network issue with Windows 11 64-bit Arm on VMware Fusion 13 Apple Silicon (m1)

Fixing the no network issue with Windows 11 64-bit Arm on VMware Fusion 13 Apple Silicon (m1)

Recently VMware released VMware Fusion 13 which also runs on Apple Silicon. So for us Mac users we have now run Windows on our mac.
In this post, I’ll explain how to get through the first steps and how to fix the issue of no network during setup!
Prepping the image

First off I’ll assume you have VMware Fusion 13 installed on your mac device.
Next up download the latest version of the Windows 11 ARM preview here. You may need to register for the Windows insider program to retrieve the image.
Problem with this image is, it is in VHDX format, which runs fine on (client) Hyper-V on Windows machines but you can’t import it directly into VMware Fusion.
To fix this you need to convert the image using the Qemu-img tooling you can install this on a Windows machine but if you have a Mac you can use Homebrew.
Installing Homebrew is really easy and you can follow the instructions on the website.

After installing Homebrew you need to install the Qemu-img tooling on your Mac. You can to this by typing these commands:

brew install qemu

After installing qemu you can run this command to convert the image from VHDX to VMDK. Just to let you know, you need to run this with the correct directory formatting. You also need at least 10 GB of free disk space to accommodate the image’s conversion.

qemu-img convert -p -O vmdk “Windows11_InsiderPreview_Client_ARM64_en-us_22598.VHDX” windows11.vmdk

Installing Windows 11

After this, create a new vm in VMware Fusion. Choose: create a custom virtual machine (because you have to add the newly created VMware disk).

Select Microsoft Windows and choose the Windows 11 64-bit Arm OS.

Next up is the boot firmware, this must be secure because Windows 11 needs this to correctly install.
The next step is to encrypt the disk (because of the TPM requirements of Windows 11). The best option here is to auto-generate a password and store it in the Mac’s Keychain. This way the VM will boot without prompting for a password, but if it is copied to another MacBook you will have to input the password to startup the VM.

Next step is to add the converted disk to the VM. In my case, I already created a folder in my Virtual Machines folder where I moved the VMDK to. This was to save some space. You need to select use an existing virtual disk and find your disk(in my case in the Virtual machines folder that already existed. The rest of the VM data will automatically be deployed inside the folder containing the VMDK file.

When choosing the disk select take this disk away from the virtual machine currently using it. This will ensure that the disk is not copied and that you can

After completing the configuration, boot up the VM. First up are the standard questions for installing Windows 11.

Choose the correct keyboard for your VM.

You can choose to add an extra keyboard if needed. In the next step, you need to connect to a network, but there’s the caveat the network driver hasn’t loaded yet so to add that you need to install VMware tools or you can change the OOBE experience, I’ll explain both possibilities.

For both solutions you need to go to the command prompt, you can do this by pushing the Shift + FN +F10 keys. this will start a command prompt.

Solution 1 change OOBE experience

type the following command in the command prompt


This will reboot the VM and you rerun the setup where you have the option for I don’t have internet and it will run a local install with a local user account. After installation has completed you can log on to the VM. when you have logged on start a Powershell session as and administrator.

When the Powershell window is open type the following command and type Y to confirm.

set-executionpolicy remotesigned

Next step is to mount the VMware tools DVD. For this go to the VMware Fusion menu and choose virtual Machines and select reinstall VMware tools

VMware tools DVD is then mounted to the VM after clicking the install button

browse the DVD and right click on the setup.ps1 Powershell script file. Choose run with powershell. this will install the drivers and you can use networking and have an overall better performance from your VM.

Solution 2 install VMware tools during setup

After starting the command prompt type Powershell to start a Powershell session. After you start Powershell run this command

set-executionpolicy remotesigned

Next step is to mount the VMware tools DVD, you can do this by navigating to the VMware Fusion menu and choose virtual machines and then choose Reinstall VMware tools

Choose install on the popup to verify you are mounting the VMware tools installer to the VM

Browse via the Powershell session to the DVD drive and run setup.ps1. This will do exactly the same as solution 1 and will install the Vesa and VMXnet3 drivers.

After that complete the setup. Hope this helps someone 🙂

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