Set Up VMWare Player
Download VMWare player for free at VMWare.com
Get an ISO that contains an OS that can be run as a virtual Machine. If you don't know how or where to get this refer to the simple steps at the bottom of this post for a Linux ISO
Run VMWare Player.
Click Player in top menu, then File, then New Virtual Machine.
Click Installer disc image file (ISO):
Click browse to select your ISO.
Select the correct OS and version.
Name your machine whatever you want.
I chose default for the rest of the options.
Your VM is now in the list of available VMs to "play" in VMWare.
Play Your VM
Click on your VM in the list. On the right side click "Play Virtual Machine"
Stop your VM
Click on Player at the top. Then Power. Then suspend to pick up where you left off later or shut down to completely stop the VM.
Edit VM Settings
Get to settings for a VM that is not running: click on VM in list and then "edit virtual machine settings"
Get settings for VM that is running: Ctrl-Alt to get your mouse. Click down arrow next to Player in top menu, then Manage, then Virtual Machine settings.
You can also use the Ctrl-D shortcut to get to settings for running VM (after Ctrl-Alt if you have clicked in the VM)
Error starting VM
PXE-E53: Check virtual machine settings. Make sure it is using the correct OS and version for your ISO and the correct ISO file is selected. Double check all settings. For example you need to choose 32 bit OS from drop down for a 32 bit ISO.
When you install VMWare on windows you will see two new network adapters. These support the different types on network access allowed for your VM.
Change these in your VM settings. Go to Settings. Then click Network Adapter on Hardware tab.
Bridged VM has full network access via host machine using host's Ethernet adapter
NAT uses tne network adapter named VMNet8.
Host Only No network access outside the host machine. Uses network adapter named VMNet1.
Custom Customized network setting
Once you have your VM up and running install VMWare tools on it if you want to do things like copy from the VM terminal to the guest machine.
Click on Player, Manage, then Install VMWare Tools
Follow the instructions. There is a link to more help.
Determine the IP address of your VM
Determining the IP of your Host
Use the same as above for the host but note the main adapter IP address.
From your host, ping the VM IP and vice versa.
After pinging use arp to see the correct IP and MAC address for the VM got in your arp cache.
Troubleshoot Bridged Mode
Go to VMNet8 adapter as described above.
Hard code an IP address.
Disable adapters you are not using if they are getting selected anywhere.
In VM network settings where you selected bridged mode click advanced and select the main network adapter for your host.
Troubleshoot Host Only
Make sure the VMNet01 adapter is set to DHCP or the VM won't be able to reach the network.