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Monthly Archives: October 2010

How to install VMware Tools in a Windows virtual machine that is running on VMware Fusion

We have updated Knowledgebase article: Installing VMware Tools in a Fusion virtual machine running Windows to show you how to install VMware Tools in your VMware Fusion virtual machine that is running Windows.

This video applies to all version of Windows and VMware Fusion. VMware Tools comes with drivers that help to ensure your virtual machine runs smoothly in the Fusion environment.

 

If you encounter any errors when installing VMware Tools, see Troubleshooting a failing VMware Tools installation in Fusion (1027797).

How to upgrade a VMware Fusion virtual machine from Windows XP to Windows 7

We’ve just updated our Knowledgebase article: Upgrading a VMware Fusion virtual machine from Windows XP to Windows 7 to include a video walk-thru of the process to upgrade your Windows XP virtual machine to Windows 7 in VMware Fusion.

The video provides any information that you need to be aware before performing the upgrade and walks you through each step, including the installation of VMware Tools.

Note: Windows 7 is supported in Fusion 3 and higher. For more information about upgrading to Fusion 3, see the VMware Fusion Product Page.

More VMware View Resolution Path Articles

 Another in our Resolution Paths series, here are a couple more ResPaths for those of you who use VMware View. Recall that a ResPath article outlines a step by step process to resolving an issue.

Let’s start by looking at the Respath titled: Cannot connect to VMware View Composer

This ResPath will walk you through the following steps:

  • Confirm that an available network port exists
  • Confirm that the necessary VMware View manager services are running
  • Confirm that permissions/credentials are correct for QuickPrep
  • Confirm permissions/credentials are correct for vCenter/VirtualCenter user
  • Confirm that the network is configured correctly for use in a VMware View environment
  • Verify that the Composer database is not corrupt

Another problem addressed by our Knowledgebase is this ResPath: Cannot connect to vCenter/VirtualCenter server

The individual steps to resolve this issue include:

  • Confirm that an network port exists and is available
  • Confirm that the necessary VMware View manager services are running
  • Confirm that the network is configured correctly for use in a VMware View environment
  • Confirm that name resolution is operating correctly in your environment
  • Confirm permissions/credentials are correct for vCenter/VirtualCenter user
  • Confirm that third-party interaction issues do not exist with the OS

If you ever find that these steps do not resolve your issue for these two problems, be sure to add your details to the feedback section at the bottom of these KB articles. That will help us improve the quality.

Kernel panics and Windows blue screens

BSOD Another in our Resolution Paths series from Stephen Gardner, here are three Resolution Path Knowledgebase articles that will help you sort out kernel panics and Windows BSODs in VMware Fusion.

No one likes to see an Operating System crash. Chances are good that the crash isn’t due to Fusion, but we’ll offer a few tips and some advice.

The first Respath discusses what to do if your Mac kernel panics while a virtual machine is running. Our developers and QA folks try very hard to make sure this won’t happen, but there are always some exceptions (particularly if the kernel is for a different reason). Short of combing the system logs and the crash log for a reference to Fusion, there’s little way to determine what’s at fault. So, treat a kernel panic while a virtual machine is running just like a regular kernel panic. Reboot, reboot in Safe Mode, check your RAM, and check Mac OS itself. Thanks are due to Technical Support Engineer Catrina Stranges for her assistance with this article.

Here’s the Resolution Path: Troubleshooting a kernel panic while using Fusion

Windows computers have been known – dare I say it – to show a blue screen (BSOD) with cryptic messages, both while the computer is running or while it’s first starting up. Fusion gets around some of the issues that might cause these blue screens, but we can’t solve all of the problems in the world. The second path details the various steps to take, from simple reboots (both your virtual machine and the Mac!), to a virtual disk repair, through some modifications to the SCSI controller in the .vmx, to Windows troubleshooting and repair, to checks of the Mac itself. We can’t promise a speedy resolution, but we hold out hope for a successful one.

Here’s the Resolution Path: Troubleshooting a Windows blue screen in a Fusion virtual machine

Even worse than a Windows blue screen is a Windows black screen, and the dread message: No bootable device found. On a physical computer, this means the hard drive has come unplugged or has become corrupted. On a virtual machine, it might be virtual disk corruption, it might be virtual machine corruption, or it might be corruption at the Mac OS level. Or, Windows might just need to be repaired. This path tackles each potential cause in turn, from the least time-consuming to the most.

Here’s the Resolution Path: Troubleshooting the Fusion virtual machine error: No bootable device found

How to configure VMware vCenter Orchestrator

Here’s the second in a new series of videos related to VMware vCenter Orchestrator. This video shows you how to configure VMware vCenter Orchestrator.

The video includes the steps for configuring networking, LDAP, the database, server certificates, and licenses. In this example, we’re installing on Windows 2008 64-bit.

How to configure VMware vCenter Orchestrator

 

VMware vCenter Orchestrator is a fairly new addition to our management tools which allows administrators to capture their best practices and turn them into automated workflows.

CD/DVD drives, mice, keyboards, USB devices, and printing with VMware Fusion

Another in our Resolution Paths series from Stephen Gardner, here are four Resolution Path Knowledgebase articles that will help you get all of your peripheral devices working like a charm with VMware Fusion.

Generally speaking, after connecting an external device to your Mac (or putting the disc in the drive), you just have to connect it to Fusion (or not even do that, in the case of printers), and you’re ready to use it. Since that’s not always the case, we’re here to help you out.

Our first Respath helps when trying to use your CD/DVD drive.  Problems in this area could be with Fusion, Windows, or your Mac, but we’ll tell you how to fix it. [Linux users: If you’ve encounter an error with this that we haven’t tackled here, let us know in the comments or provide feedback on the KB article!]

Here’s the CD/DVD drive Resolution Path: Making sure you can use the CD/DVD drive in a Fusion virtual machine

Our second Respath talks about troubleshooting issues with your mouse and/or keyboard in a Fusion virtual machine. The article walks you through checking your Fusion settings,  ruling out third-party utilities on the Mac and in the guest, and re-installing Tools. A second mouse/keyboard (to augment the one that’s not working or not working well in Fusion) is helpful, but not required.

Here’s the mouse/keyboard Resolution Path: Fixing a mouse or keyboard that is not working or is slow to respond in a Fusion virtual machine

Our third path looks at USB devices. We get a lot of support calls about this, but that seems to be due to the sheer number of different USB device types and makers out there. A malfunctioning USB device in Fusion could be a Mac issue, could be a connection issue, could be a Windows issue, or could be a Fusion issue. This article rules out all possibilities, with some help from the Apple Knowledge Base.

Here’s the USB Resolution Path: Troubleshooting USB device connection and functionality in a Fusion virtual machine

The fourth Respath looks at printing from your virtual machine. We have a few articles about printing already, but this path tries to bring everything together. We also provide some new information about the services that should be running in Windows (and may need a restart, which is often true even in a non-Fusion environment).

Here’s the printing in Fusion Resolution Path: Nothing happens when printing from a Fusion virtual machine

How to install VMware vCenter Orchestrator

If you’ve never heard of VMware vCenter Orchestrator that’s because it’s a fairly new addition to our management tools which allows administrators to capture their best practices and turn them into automated workflows.

Manage the complete VM lifecycle from provisioning, deployment, maintenance and de-provisioning We just created a brand new KBTV video which walks you through the process of installing VMware vCenter Orchestrator. In this example, we’re installing on Windows 2008 64-bit.

Install VMware vCenter Orchestrator

 

This video is the first in a new series of videos related to VMware vCenter Orchestrator. Watch this space for more!

Got VCB? Time to Switch to VDR!

Today we have another post from Arun Pandey, a Tech Support Engineer in Bangalore, India. Today’s topic revolves around VMware’s announcement to end support for VMware Consolidated Backup and what Arun recommends you do about it.

 

Though VDR has been there for more than a year, I still see threads in our Community Forums where customers want to use VCB and seem unaware about its end of availability.  Hopefully this blog post will be helpful for you in planning your backup strategy as there are a few competitors (Veem, VizionCore, ShadowProtect, and more) in this space.

If you are using VMware Consolidated Backup (VCB) for your virtual machine backups, here is an important update for you.

“New major or minor versions of the vSphere platform beyond vSphere 4.1 will not be supported with VCB.” For more information, please see VMware vSphere 4.1 Release Notes—ESX Edition

I have been working with VCB for quite a long time, but have always had the following “Wish List” and was hoping that these requirements could be added in the backup software that I would use for my Virtual Infrastructure:

  • Eliminate the need to have a Windows physical/virtual machine which would act as a proxy for the backup.
  • Though I am not opposed to using CLI with VCB, a GUI interface with more options (creating backup jobs, selecting data and time, virtual machines) would be great alternative.
  • File Level backups for Linux virtual machines.

VMware offers a wide range of products to manage your Virtual infrastructure; VMware Data Recovery (VDR) is one of the applications from the VMware arena that can be used as a backup solution for your entire Virtual Infrastructure.

VDR is a part of these editions:

  • vSphere Essentials Plus
  • vSphere Advanced
  • vSphere Enterprise
  • vSphere Enterprise plus

VDR is available as a Virtual Appliance, which can be downloaded and imported; once the appliance is imported and powered on, it can be configured in a few easy steps as follows:

1. Add Destination

2. Create a Backup Job

(i) Select the Virtual Machines to be backed up

 

(ii) Select the Destination where you want to save the image. If you have multiple options, you can sort them based on how critical the virtual machines are:

(iii) Select the backup window:

Isn’t VDR easy to configure and use compared to VCB? I am now spared from having to use the “automount” and “vcbMounter” commands to configure and backup the virtual machines. Nice!

More options to choose the Destination

The destination to save the backups can be configured easily because VDR provides Disk to Disk backup, where you may choose from a wide range of options (DAS, iSCSI, FC, CIFS shared as target directly to the appliance, VMDK on NFS). This is an advantage, because in VCB the only option was to use the volumes presented to the backup proxy server.

Ease of manageability with multiple VDR appliances

Using VDR 1.2, you can now manage multiple instances of VDR appliances. I use one appliance configured for Production and other for Test environments.

Leveraging the Deduplication functionality

VDR uses data deduplication to store virtual machine data in the dedupe store. Same files in multiple images get stored only once. For example, if 30 virtual machines run the same copy of Windows 2003, without deduplication, the base OS would be stored 30 times. However, with deduplication only a single copy of the OS data is stored.

Just imagine the amount of space you would save when using VDR as compared to VCB!

Using Changed Block Tracking in VDR

Using Changed Block Tracking (CBT), VDR can identify the blocks that have changed since the last backup and backs up only those blocks that have changed. This reduces the amount of data to be checked and transferred. This is a new feature in VDR and was not available in VCB.

Hot-Add feature

The Hot-Add mechanism on the VDR appliance allows the appliance to attach a VMDK directly from the target virtual machine to the VDR appliance. This mechanism does not need a helper VM like the VCB hot-add mechanism and decreases the backup time to a great extent because it eliminates the need to copy over the network. For more details on this, see our Knowledge Base article VMware Data Recovery 1.0 and Essentials Plus licensing (1012295).

Backup and Restore

VDR supports incremental, differential, and full virtual machine image backup options for Windows and Linux Guests. The first backup is always a full backup and the subsequent backups can either be incremental or differential.

Fast Image and File level restores are much simpler and faster in VDR when compared VCB. To restore virtual machine backups using VCB, I would have to rely on VMware Standalone Converter or use the not-so-user friendly vcbRestore command.

NOTE: The faster you restore the backup, the less the downtime and more $$$ you save

To do a Image Level Restore:

(i)Select the Restore Point

You have an option to Rename the virtual machine and select the Datastore when you restore the virtual machine image.

VDR also provides an option to do an easy file level restore option for Windows and Linux Guests for this and many more information about VDR, please see the VMware Data Recovery Documentation.

I hope this short introduction to VMware VDR gives you some insight into its clear advantages over VCB. I for one, am pretty excited about this evolution in our backup solution.

Scheduled Maintenance October 30

VMware will be performing a system upgrade to several VMware Support Web applications on Saturday, October 30 at 1:00 AM PDT, and ending at 7:00 PM PDT. If you need to file a high severity support request while the upgrade is in progress, please call VMware Technical Support for assistance. Because of this extended maintenance window, you may experience longer than normal wait times on the phone. We encourage you to submit your lower severity support issues via the online case logging option once the Website becomes available again.

While this upgrade is in progress, you will be unable to:

  • Access or manage your VMware account
  • Submit support requests online
  • Download, purchase or register VMware products
  • Manage VMware product licenses
  • Download, purchase or register VMware products Manage VMware product licenses.
  • Access VMware Communities

Please note this maintenance window does not affect the VMware Knowledgebase or the various Product Support Centers where you may find articles and notes that will help you resolve issues you may encounter.

Additionally, customers will continue to have access to websites for SpringSource, Zimbra, Gemstone, Integrien and TriCipher and the support tools associated with them.

We appreciate your patience during this maintenance period. These system upgrades are part of our commitment to continued service improvements and will help VMware better serve your needs.

VMware View Resolution Path Articles

Another in our Resolution Paths series from Brett Rutherford, here are four Resolution Paths for those of you who use VMware View.

What do you mean my desktop source is not available? It was just there a minute ago!

VMware View, as a product, is a robust Virtual Desktop Infrastructure solution, allowing administrators to bring an already solid Virtual Infrastructure solution to the end users in the form of virtual desktops. What happens, though, when you have all of these perfectly configured virtual desktops, and for one reason or another, you cannot connect to them? I’m here to give you a couple tips and tricks to help ensure that you don’t run into these issues yourself!

Can Not Connect to VMware View Virtual Desktops

The first article I’m going to highlight for you deals with connecting to your VMware View virtual desktops in general. In this article, we troubleshoot your VMware View environment and related infrastructure as a whole before moving further to troubleshooting issues with the display protocols themselves. As professionals in our field, we all know that Information Technology is not about reinventing the wheel; more so about making sure that wheel still spins. We’re going to help you accomplish these goals with the least amount of work, because we all know you’ve got more on your plate than this. Without any further introduction, here is the resolution path: Can Not Connect to VMware View Virtual Desktops.

Unable to connect to View Desktops using RDP

There are multiple ways to connect to your Virtual Desktop infrastructure. I’m going to focus on the Microsoft Remote Desktop Protocol (RDP) as well as the PC over IP (PCoIP) protocol. Both display protocols have their strengths and weaknesses, and we’re going to tell you what these are, and how to overcome minor configuration issues with both.

The second article deals with connecting via RDP. In this article, we review infrastructure requirements, as well as user permissions. We also ensure that authentication is not being hindered by SmartCard failures and that Group Policies aren’t interfering with your successful connections. Here is the resolution path: Unable to connect to View Desktops using RDP

Unable to connect to View Desktops using PCoIP

The third article deals with connecting via PCoIP. In this article, we review infrastructure requirements, check to see that we’re configured optimally for PCoIP connections, ensure that the supporting software for a PCoIP connection is installed and configured correctly, and also that SmartCard authentication isn’t throwing a wrench into the works. There are a few caveats to utilizing this protocol, but here is some guidance to help ensure you’ve configured your virtual desktops properly for successful connections. Here is that guidance: Unable to connect to View Desktops using PCoIP

Black screen when logging into VMware View virtual desktop using PCoIP

I’ve saved the best for last. There are certain circumstances when utilizing the PCoIP protocol, where the View Client appears to connect to your virtual desktop and all you get for all your hard work is a black screen. Yes, it is worrisome, but this issue happens to the best of us, and we’re here to help you get around this. Here is what you need to do: Black screen when logging into VMware View virtual desktop using PCoIP