VMware and Local Proxy

I had a very strange issue where my VMware Workstation would not open any VM I had or after I used the wizard to create one, it would just hang. I would click "open", browse, select and ... nothing. No errors in the event viewer or in the local file directories.

Using msconfig I did a diagnostic startup and it worked. Then came the tedious task of the process of elimination. Ruling out Antivirus and other security software. Then ruling out various audio, video, and network helper applications. Then when I disabled the proxy application (which should not have been in use), it worked.

Turns out there was a local proxy rule for the loopback / address. Once I removed it, things started working again in VMware Workstation. What is really odd was I swear it was working before and I had not changed anything. I am glad it is fixed for now.