It all started when I upgraded to VMWare Workstation 9, and some of my guest machines would periodically freeze. About every thirty seconds, it would freeze up for about ten seconds on my Windows 7 x64 guest virtual machine and a couple other machines. It was an incredibly frustrating problem to solve, and hopefully this post will save others some of the aggravation that I went through.
Step 1 - Removed Unused Hardware
That's it. That's the only step! Go into the settings for the guest machine and you will see a screen that looks like this:
Now all you have to do is hi-light the hardware you don't absolutely need, like the floppy drive and the sound card, and click the Remove button.
Once I removed the hardware I didn't care about, the guest freezes went away! This probably works for other combinations of versions for VMWare and Windows. I was having the same problem with a Windows 8 guest, too.
Here's what the problem machine looks like now. All the freezes are gone.