KB4517211 causes VMware Workstation Pro 14.1.7 to fail

Good morning,

I have discovered that my installation of three updates on Saturday September 28 2019 has caused the failure of VMware Workstation Pro 14.1.7 to start. On Sunday, when I attempted to run VMware Workstation, it produced a Notification that said "VMware Workstation Pro can't run on Windows". 

Luckily, I was able to find that, when I uninstalled the three updates, it was the uninstallation of KB4517211 that allowed VMware to run.

Now, this morning, KB4517211 has installed itself autonomously - I thought that should not happen any more - and VMware again "can't run".

So, once again uninstall KB4517211, restart and VMware can now run. Microsoft Updates now paused for 7 days.

I would like someone to tell VMware about this: I cannot find a way to do it myself. Even better if Microsoft and VMware can sort this out.

I hope that this post is not unnecessarily duplicating news from others: this is the first time I have posted anything, so don't really know where (or how) to do it.

Happy days, Guy

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This update also breaks VMWare 12.5.9 from running as well.

VMWare 12.5.9 was the last version that supported older CPU's so upgrading VMWare is not an option.

Is there a workaround?

Neither upgrading VMware nor disabling windows updates is an option for us - with about 100 licenses I would have to pay 13000 EUR for the upgrade to v.15.x.

In case of doubt I have to switch off Windows updates in the whole company...

I'm having the same problem.

Just in case there is something we have in common:

I am running VMware Workstation 14 player

My CPU is an AMD 3700

I've confirmed that hyper-v is disabled

virtualization is still showing as enabled.

Oracle VM VirtualBox still works.

I need VMware Workstation 14 because 15 does not work with GNS3 yet.  

Dear Humpix,

Sorry, I know nothing more than I have already posted.

For example, I did not know that v.15 is on offer. I have not been invited to upgrade.

Perhaps, with 100 licenses, you are in a position to tell VMware what KB4517211 does to their product and get them to sort this out with Microsoft?

Thank you very much, yes I had the idea too...

I have already phoned VMware today - short answer - yes, we have a discount but nothing else we can do - but you can have it for 11500 :) I never get through the budget. There will be no fix from VMware, hopefully Microsoft will notice the impact and step in.

So we've turned off the Windows updates completely. This is actually the last thing you want to do as an admin, but what else we can do? I'm glad about every idea...


I also had the same problem. But yesterday I've found following article and tried to follow the instructions described there. In brief: this approach replaces current sysmain.sdb file with an older one. Read more in that article...


Now I can run Workstation 12 under latest Windows 10 i.e. including KB4517211 without problem.

Hi Radim,

Many thanks. That sounds a much cheaper solution than upgrading to VMware v15 - which might not work anyway.

I will give it a try.

Does anyone know a way to edit the shim database (c:\windows\apppatch\sysmain.sdb) instead of changing the access rights and replacing them with another? That maybe causes other side effects with this build?

That might be a solution?

I did the  sysmain.sdb change but didn't download that one from that post.

I copied my existing one before the upgrade and then put it back to replace the new version from the WIn 10 update.

@Humpix, I was looking and still looking at same thing, is there a way to edit the shim DB or change a a value in the registry where the shim DB is scanning to make it think VMW is version 15.5 (whatever latest version is)

There is a Compatibility Administrator Toolkit out there from Microsoft.

As I understand it, you can make custom sdb´s with it. In the registry these will be included. I think this could work. Unfortunately I can't get the thing to work, I get a message when saving that the compiler can't be executed. Also don't find anything about the error on Google. Anyone have an idea?

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Last updated November 23, 2020 Views 15,674 Applies to: