Updating vmware tools without reboot
The interactive installation will mount an iso containing the VMware-Tools installed in the CD/DVD drive of your VM and allow you to run the installer yourself, but will still require a reboot.If you are running an RPM-based Linux distribution, such as Red Hat, updating VMware-Tools on your VM should be quick and easy.After VMware Tools is updated, the virtual machine is restarted unless the No Reboot parameter is specified.Parameters Specify the v Sphere servers on which you want to run the cmdlet.Once completed, the missing feature is now installed.Note that you can also use a script that calls the installer, or just bake this into your template / bootstrap process.You will be prompted to select an interactive or automatic installation.If you pick the automatic installation it will update VMware-Tools and then restart Windows.
As for your concerns, VMWare don't have to test a million drivers on different OS's - they test the stuff they do make pretty well - but if you're really worried try them out in your dev/test/reference environments first.
If you’re looking to fix one server, this method would suffice. Let’s install Guest Introspection to a bunch of VMs, easily.
If you take a peek at the v Sphere 5.5 public documentation, you’ll see a page that describes a few VMware Tools silent installer examples.
But I would like to add a possible alternative: If you already package software and deploy and update it (like a third-party AV or something) automatically with a generic solution, you can get the latest VMware Tools version from here and do the same. I had exactly this problem a few years ago so asked the very wonderful William Lam (well known VMWare consultant/employee/blogger) who kindly wrote me THIS script in Perl for the VMa - then someone below in the comments wrote the same thing in Power CLI script - so there you go!
Tools Upgrade Policy = "Upgrade At Power Cycle" Get-View -View Type Virtual Machine | % I agree with Greg L.