Workstation 14 Upgrade – Authorization Service error 6000009

Workstation 14 upgradeMy main PC was recently updated to the Windows 10 Fall Creator (1709) release. So I thought it was a good time for a VMware Workstation 14 upgrade. The reason for version 14 was that it supports Windows 10 Creator release. For more information see the release notes here. The upgrade went smooth as always but when I tried to start a Virtual Machine I got the following error message:

VMware Workstation failed to start the VMware Authorization Service. You can try manually starting the VMware Authorization Service. If this problem persists, contact VMware support.

I search for the VMware Authorization Services under services and tried to start it manually, but also with no success. I checked the Windows Application and Systems logs and found this:
Application Log

Source vmauthd – Version mismatch with vmmon driver: expecting 329.0, got 308.0.

System Log

The VMware Authorization Service service terminated with the following service-specific error:

I also check the VMware communities and found a hint which states that the vmmon driver is implemented through the vmx86.sys file located under C:\Windows\System32\drivers\. I checked the file details and found this:

As you can see the file was not updated during the Workstation 14 upgrade. That now the reason why the VMware Authorization Service can’t start.
How to fix this?
This problem was easy to fix. Follow the following steps:

  1. Configure vmx86.sys to not load during windows boot. To do this use either SysInternals Autoruns (uncheck vmx86 under Drivers) or Registry Editor.
  2. Reboot Windows.
  3. After the reboot rename vmx86.sys under C:\Windows\System32\drivers\ to vmx86.sys_old (or whatever you prefere).
  4. Run a VMware Workstation Repair Installation
  5. After another reboot check again the vmx86.sys which should look like this

I hope this will help everybody who also encounter this problem.

22 Responses

  1. Laszlo says:

    thanks a lot, you saved my life 🙂

  2. dylan666 says:

    Great post, it works flawessly

  3. Stuart says:

    You are a legend.  This worked so well, and rescued me from otherwise going crazy at our IT department.

  4. Andrew Dennehy says:

    Manfred, If you wouldn’t call yourself a legend, then I wouldn’t dream to either.
    Having said that, this worked great and the VM I need to build before a flight to China on Sunday is booting as I type. So, thank you.
    P.S. You’re a legend.

  5. Greg says:

    Worked with the Autoruns in step1 for me.  My only question is was I supposed to download a fresh installer at step 4 or is there supposed to something lying around in some directory already?

  6. Devesh Shukla says:

    Thank you so much !! Its a correct solution and BUG in Vmware installer.

  7. Len McWilliams says:

    Thanks Manfred! This worked. Upgrading from 14.1.1 to 14.1.2 ran into this problem. The replaced vmx.sys had a create date of 8/8/2017.

  8. WK74 says:

    Thanks! More kudos. Details made it easy to recover from this.

  9. Midas says:

    Just as Len McWilliams, I ran into this problem while upgrading from 14.1.1 to 14.1.2 ran into this problem. This solved it. Thanks a lot!

  10. Scott says:

    Thank you! You saved the day for me too!

  11. Ed says:

    Crazy, this worked for vmware workstation 15.1! You’d think they would have fixed it by now! Thank you!

  12. Alan Wallwin says:

    Excellent explanation and pointers to resolution Manfred. Thank you. My problem was with VMWare Player 15 and all I needed to do was run step 4 after downloading the latest version.

  13. Salva says:

    Thank you so much for this. Super helpful.

  14. rolastri says:

    Thanks, worked for update 15.5 => 15.5.2

  15. 1111 says:

    Holy crap, thank you

  16. Bella says:

    This worked! Thanks a lot 🙂

  17. candide says:

    thanks so much, this issue followed me for some version changes and was annoying again and again

  18. Andreas Peters says:

    Perfect! Thanks a lot!

  19. Sonthaya Nongnuch says:

    It work !, thank you so much.

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