Stephen Gardner brings us some more Mind Map goodness for users of VMware ACE, Player, Server, and Workstation.

VMware products that enable virtualization within a hosted OS form a class by themselves. These products currently include VMware ACE, Player, Server, and Workstation. (Fusion fits the bill as well, and there’s a lot of crossover between the products, but we tend to handle documentation and such separately.) GSX Server used to be part of this group, but we no longer support it (migrate to Server or Workstation already!), and you'll still see it tagged on some articles. The Resolution Paths for VMware's hosted products have been newly revised, to keep up with new product and OS versions.  

We've just finished putting the Resolution Paths into our familiar Mind Map format, with a twist. The PDF contains an embedded Flash object, so that you can expand the paths to see the individual steps, and then collapse it again to get them out of the way. We've also written the steps out, so that you can get a good idea of the process just by looking at the PDF. There’s a blue link icon next to each KB article or documentation reference. We'd encourage you to actually open up the path and step articles, if you're encountering one of these issues, since the articles themselves have more information and some reference documents that aren't included in this PDF.

A sidebar thought about the Resolution Paths themselves. In all cases, I'd like to point out that these paths are for general issues. If you're seeing a specific error, please search our Knowledge Base for that specific error – chances are good that we have an article that covers it.

We have three paths that talk about problems using the product itself. I already posted about problems when installing Workstation, and these paths also cover what to do when your hosted VMware product won't start, and what to do when it crashes. In almost all of these cases, the problems point to an issue or conflict with the Host OS,  but these articles should help you resolve all of that.

We have one path that talks about what to do when your keyboard and/or mouse doesn't work in your virtual machine. This usually happens in an imported or converted VM, due to driver conflict issues, but host apps and services can also cause it. Regardless of the cause, it can have a serious impact on usability! The old article on this topic was in need of updating, so we've  delivered. We have new steps and re-written steps, and some links to new information. In the same section, we have one path that’s just for remote console connection troubles in VMware Server, and another path that talks about general networking connection issues across all of the hosted products.

We have four paths that talk about issues with the virtual machines themselves – trouble powering on, snapshot failures, performance issues, and trouble creating and deleting a virtual machine. This section is the one that has changed the most as the products updated, and we've done a lot of work here. (For instance, we used to have four separate articles about virtual machines that wouldn't power on, in various circumstances – there’s just one article now. But it’s more than just the sum of its predecessors, of course, and we hope you find it helpful.) As mentioned before, these articles are about general issues – if you encounter a specific issue, look for help with that issue!

We also have one path that talks about what to do when the Guest OS stops responding. This is a tricky topic to cover, since it’s important to distinguish between an application within the guest that’s stopped responding (and is tying up the system), a Guest OS itself that isn't responding with an active VM (hint: if the VMware product’s menus still work, then the VM itself is still good – you can still take a snapshot or suspend, for instance), and a VMware product itself that isn't responding. If it’s an issue internal to the guest, then you're barking up the wrong tree. Similarly, if the VMware product itself has frozen (we hope not!), then treat it like any other app freeze on your host OS. But, if the Guest OS has frozen and the VM is still responsive, it’s probably a communication issue between the guest and the host. That’s where we come in, and this path walks you through checking all of the possible problem sources.

Download the hosted products Resolution Paths mind map here

Notes about using the embedded Flash object:

  • Rather like using a virtual machine within a host OS, you'll have two sets of controls when you open this PDF – two scroll bars, two zoom tools, etc. I'd recommend using Adobe’s zoom tool to make the Flash object fit the window (125% for me, if I maximize Reader), and then the inner zoom tool to make the text readable. Similarly, after the document fills the window, use the inner scroll bars to move around the object.

  • The controls within the Flash object – the scroll bars, and also the +/- buttons to expand and collapse the paths – require a slow, deliberate touch. Wait for the control to highlight before clicking it, and don't move your mouse off the control before you've released the mouse button.

  • If you get lost, click the Flash object’s button to “Center the map in the display”.

  • There’s an icon proclaiming “Free Trial” in a bottom corner. We actually have purchased the software, and that’s just the vendor’s attempt to get you to investigate their free trial offering.