Unable to install VMware tools. Error 1606.

Today I had to virtualize several Windows 2008 R2 Terminal server. After a successful conversion I ran into a problem when installing the VMware Tools.

Error 1606. Could not access network location [servername]\[sharename]\desktop\programs\startup\.

This error is caused by a Group Policies that was redirecting the start menu to another server (also for the domain administrator and local administrator). Because I started the VM in an isolated environment it was unable to check the free disc space of the network share and gave me this error. This error is discussed in VMware KB1017886.

In my case there were two directories redirected to a server that was not reachable for this server. I also checked the Current User settings, but there was nothing directing to the unreachable server.

To solve the error change both register keys to their original settings. 

  • The “Common Startup” key should be “%ProgramData%\Microsoft\Windows\Start Menu\Programs\Startup”
  • The “Common Programs” key should be “%ProgramData%\Microsoft\Windows\Start Menu\Programs”

The original setting of all the keys. 

Restart the VMware Tools installation and now everything should work without any problems.

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The information in this article is provided “AS IS” with no warranties, and confers no rights. This article does not represent the thoughts, intentions, plans or strategies of my employer. It is solely my opinion.


Marco works for ViaData as a Senior Technical Consultant. He has over 15 years experience as a system engineer and consultant, specialized in virtualization. VMware VCP4, VCP5-DC & VCP5-DT. VMware vExpert 2013, 2014,2015 & 2016. Microsoft MCSE & MCITP Enterprise Administrator. Veeam VMSP, VMTSP & VMCE.