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I have Windows 7 installed inside VMware, and another Windows 7 as host as well. I have firewall setup on both guest and host.

Now, I want to communicate with guest using host OS. Which is not happening. The ethernet cards of both system have IP of same network.

On the host system, there are 3 ethenets available

  1. Local Area Connection 192.168.1.x
  2. VMNet1 192.168.182.x
  3. VMNet8 192.168.254.x

On the guest, there is one ethernet available

  1. Local Area connection 192.168.1.x

Despite disabling the firewalls also these two system are not able to communicate.


However, I have noticed that if I connect my host to a router and then configure the network on the host and guest. Given condition of firewall is disabled, now the systems can ping each other. But, with firewalls enabled, the ping request give Destination host unreachable error. Even though, I have allowed their correspondings IPs to communicate with each other.

Can anyone explain me, what is happening, and what can I do to communicate with my guest systems with the firewall enabled?

P.S. I am using Bit Defender Total Security, for firewall configurations.

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2 Answers

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What is going on, is that despite them both residing within the same computer, they still operate the way that a real computers do. In order for real computers to communicate via TCP/IP, they must be connected via a switch/hub. So when you did that, they worked.

You have no virtual switch. I do not know what VMWare software you are using, but probably some version of VMWare Workstation, so I am not really familiar with that, but there are corporate versions of VMWare's products (I am not recommending them for your case) that do allow for the creation of virtual switches also.

The same main answer goes for the firewalls and pinging. All the traffic goes in and out just like on a real computer, and the firewalls are blocking it, despite them being one inside the other. You will need to open ports, although if all you are trying to do is transfer files, you can install the VMWare tools that allow you to do that. They will let you do that directly, bypassing the network and firewall.

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I think you are referring to vSphere which allows creation of virtual switches as well. However, I have no idea, to even get started with vsphere. About the firewall, despite a presence of the router, and firewall allowing both IPs either way cannot communicate, unless I disable the firewall completely –  Starx Jul 12 '11 at 6:26
    
vSphere is just the management for ESXi, which actually creates the virtual switch, and yes, I was just explaining it, but did not have any intention of you trying to use it (due to your hardware if nothing else). And yes, the firewall WILL block them unless you disable it or open the right ports. To each other, they are not on the same computer and the firewall WILL "protect" them, even from one another. –  KCotreau Jul 12 '11 at 6:39
    
What type of communications specifically are you trying to enable? –  KCotreau Jul 12 '11 at 6:41
    
I have to go to bed for now (almost 3 am here), will check your respons in the morning. –  KCotreau Jul 12 '11 at 6:43
    
The communication I am attempting for now is file sharing, internet connection sharing, printer sharing. But basically, I am trying to create a virutal network, with my host as a type of server. –  Starx Jul 12 '11 at 7:02
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I use this type of setup frequently on Domain and non-domain systems and there are a few other things to be aware of: On your VM if you set the NIC to use NAT then in most situations you can connect to your HOST easily assuming firewall settings allow - but that also exposes VM to any system outside HOST If you use HOST only connection there are situations where you can never connect to your local machine without a slight change - this article details and I have had to use this solution on several systems: http://www.petri.co.il/exclude-vmware-virtual-adapters-vista-2008-network-awareness-windows-firewall.htm

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