As of late I’ve started using the VMWare products for virtualizing my development environments again as a replacement for Hyper-V.

Today I wanted to access some files of my virtual machine on the host in order to write a blog post on some code I had saved in there. The VMWare disk files are stored as a VMDK file and it’s not possible to mount these type of files in Windows like a VHD file.

In order to mount a VMDK file you’ll need some third party software. Most people tell you to download the VMWare Disk Mount Utility (note the date: 2005-11-29). This probably was a valid solution back in the day, but it appears this software isn’t compatible with the recent versions of the Microsoft Windows operating system.

When installing the VMWare Disk Mount Utility I’m receiving the following event when checking out the event viewer:

Windows Installer installed the product. Product Name: VMware DiskMount Utility. Product Version: 1.00.0000. Product Language: 1033. Manufacturer: VMware, Inc.. Installation success or error status: 1603.

While troubleshooting this error you’ll probably stumble across the following KB article which tells you to set the appropriate security permissions on the Program Files folder. I’ve tried setting these permissions for both the SYSTEM account as the Administrators group, but to no avail. So I think it’s safe to assume this software doesn’t work properly anymore.

I did find some other piece of software from PassMark, called OSFMount. This piece of software installed like a charm and it’s capable of mounting VMDK files also.

When staring up the application you’ll see a very self explanatory screen.

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Just push the Mount new… button and you’ll be prompted to select the appropriate image file.

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After selecting the VMDK file I did have to explicitly select the partition which I was in need for. When I selected the option Use entire image file Windows notified me it wasn’t able to do something with the new disk and I should format it.

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Once selected all data on the earlier screen will get updated appropriately and you’ll be ready to use the newly mounted disk.

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In my case the mounted disk is automatically added to the Windows Explorer list of disks.

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It’s too bad the OSFMount software isn’t high on the search index yet. Hope this post will help a bit.

I finally succeeded in setting up a VM with OSX Lion installed. Setting up an OSX environment in any VM tool has always been hard, but since Apple has decided to build for the x86 platform it has gotten a lot easier.

In the past couple of years I’ve tried to set up an Apple VM, but never really succeeded in it. Today I decided to try again. Apparently there are a lot of torrents out there containing OSX VM’s, so I’ve downloaded one of them to try out the OS.

After setting up the VM in VMWare Workstation and booting up I received an error telling me this guest OS couldn’t run with software virtualization and I had to enable hardware virtualization. My development machine has the VT-x option (Intel Virtualization Technology) in the BIOS, so enabling that fixed this issue.

Now, booting the guest OS again gave another error. VMWare Workstation told me the guest OS wasn’t Mac OS X Server. Changing this option to ‘Other 64-bit’ didn’t help either.

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The virtual processors kept failing when booting up.

Lucky for me, the guys at SysProbs had already created a fix for this problem. Running the windows.bat file which is nested in the tar file of their download added a new option to the VMWare Workstation software

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Now you’ve got the option to select Apple Mac OS X from the Guest operating system list and select a proper version.

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I decided to go for the highest 64-bit version in the list and see if it works.

This has worked out quite nicely, booting up the machine works quite nicely.

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Also, after installing the VMWare Tools, which are supplied in the darwin.iso, I was able to set the resolution to a normal setting also.

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Even the App store appears to be working just fine.

If I can just try to get Unity to work it’ll be perfect. Having Windows AND OS X in 1 environment sounds great to me! Otherwise I’ll just have to sacrifice 1 of my monitors for OS X and the rest for Windows.

I heard Ruby development is quite nice in OS X, so I guess I’ll have to check it out some time soon now!

Note: The referenced binaries can be found on SysProbs also, just added them here for future reference in case the links go down.

Waar ik eerst bijna altijd VMWare Workstation gebruikte, ben ik nu genoodzaakt om toch vaak VMWare Player te installeren. Op zich geen probleem, aangezien VMWare Player tegenwoordig voldoende toereikend is waar ik het voor wil gebruiken (namelijk draaien van ontwikkel images). Hier heb ik momenteel nog niet echt perse de extra features van Workstation voor nodig.

Nu heb ik bij een klant waar ik zit alleen toegang tot het draadloze netwerk. Op zich geen probleem, echter hebben m'n meeste images een Bridged connection op de netwerkkaart. Deze bind zichzelf aan een netwerkkaart op het systeem en dat is niet altijd de draadloze netwerkkaart. Ik kon me herinneren dat dit kon worden geconfigureerd bij Workstation, maar had de optie nog niet gezien bij de gratis Player.

Blijkbaar is het standaard niet mogelijk om de netwerkconfiguratie in te stellen bij VMWare player. Gelukkig kwam ik op een blog post waar exact staat uitgelegd welke stappen moeten worden genomen om dit toch te kunnen doen.

Wat je moet doen is eigenlijk alle bestanden van VMWare Player uit de installer uitpakken en daarna het bestand vmnetcfg.exe uit network.cab kopieren naar de locatie waar VMWare Player staat geïnstalleerd.

Omdat het doelloos is om een goed stappenplan slecht te vertalen, hier een quote van de gelinkte blog post:

The vmnetcfg.exe is included in the installer, but won't be installed.
1. Run the installer with /e option. For example:
VMware-player-3.0.0-197124.exe /e .\extract
All contents will be extracted to "extract" folder.
2. Open "network.cab" and copy vmnetcfg.exe to your installation folder,
typically "C:\Program Files\VMware\VMware Player\".

Binnen de applicatie kan de gekozen netwerkkaart worden gewijzigd, zie afbeelding hier beneden.

Zelf heb ik de executable nu aan m'n startmenu vast gemaakt, zodat ik dit ook weer snel kan switchen, aangezien ik op alle andere plaatsen waar ik kom wel gewoon een bedrade netwerkverbinding heb en geen draadloze.