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Author Archives: David Liu

Take Control of VMware Fusion 2 Series: Windows Activation

Cover_vmware_fusion_2 In this week's installment of our Take Control of VMware Fusion 2 blog series, we are going to talk about Windows Activation and Boot Camp. If you are new to the series, the ebook Take Control of VMware Fusion 2 by Joe Kissell, teaches you all the fundamentals of VMware Fusion 2, as well as tips and tricks to get the most out of running Windows on your Mac.

Here is this week's excerpt from Joe Kissell's new book Take Control of VMware Fusion 2:

Windows Activation

Unlike Mac OS X, Windows requires a serial number (called a product key) as well as an online activation process that ties your product key to one particular hardware configuration. When you purchase and install a retail copy of Windows for the first time, activation is simple. The Windows installer normally prompts you to activate at the end of installation; if it doesn’t (or if you ignore the prompt), you’ll see a pop-up notice in the system tray (in the lower-right corner of the screen) saying that you must activate the product within 30 days. Click this notice, and then follow the instructions to activate Windows. (After 30 days, you won’t be able to start Windows without activating.)

Behind the scenes, Windows records several pieces of data about your hardware, as well as your product key, and sends that data to Microsoft.

If you later try to activate a copy of Windows with the same product key but on substantially different hardware, Windows prompts you to reactivate. It overlooks certain minor hardware changes, and in some cases you can easily reactivate after adding, removing, or upgrading hardware. But if Windows suspects that you’re trying to violate your license agreement by reusing the same product key in two completely different places, you’ll be forced to call Microsoft. If you can convince the person you’re speaking to that you haven’t circumvented your license, you’ll be given a long code that you can enter to reactivate Windows.

A copy of Windows running under Boot Camp sees your Mac’s actual hardware, but Windows running Fusion sees the virtual hardware that Fusion creates to simulate a PC. So, if you activate Windows under Boot Camp and then try to use the same copy (with the same product key) in Fusion, you’re prompted to reactivate. See the section “Use a Boot Camp Partition in Fusion” for details.

To learn more about the book Take Control of VMware Fusion 2, or buy it, click here.

A Quick Note on Running Mac OS X Snow Leopard Virtual Machine in VMware Fusion 2.0.2

If you are a Mac developer, or Mac enthusiast, you may be interested in running/playing with Mac OS X Snow Leopard in the safety of a virtual machine on your Mac. VMware Fusion now allows you to do this, after the Fusion team fixed a kernel panic issue. We posted the fix in VMware Fusion forum. After applying the fix, you should be able to run current 32-bit Snow Leopard server builds in a VMware Fusion 2.0.2 virtual machine.

Take Control of VMware Fusion 2 Series: Introduction

Cover_vmware_fusion_2 I am pleased to introduce a new resource for both new and power users of VMware Fusion: Take Control of VMware Fusion 2, an ebook by Joe Kissell. The book focuses on using Windows on your Mac, and how you can take advantage of the full power of VMware Fusion 2. Joe has done a fabulous job unearthing some of the VMware Fusion's less obvious features, and explaining not just how VMware Fusion works, but how you can best make use of it to solve real world problems.

In a blog series starting today, I will give you a taste of what the book has to offer by posting some interesting VMware Fusion tips and tricks from the book. This series will run weekly in the next couple of months. So make sure you come back for more!  Without further ado, here is this week's excerpt from Joe Kissell's new book Take Control of VMware Fusion 2:

Automatic Screenshots

As you use your virtual machine, Fusion takes a screenshot of your entire Windows screen every 10 seconds, and displays a thumbnail of the most recent screenshot in the Virtual Machine Library window. If you drag a thumbnail from the right side of the window to your Mac Desktop (or another folder), the full-size image (in PNG format) is copied there.

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If you found this excerpt helpful, get more free samples in this PDF file. To learn more about the book Take Control of VMware Fusion 2, or buy it, click here.

Sixteen-(Virtual)-Core Mac Pros! And Another Reason to Upgrade to VMware Fusion 2.0.2

A couple of days ago, Apple announced spiffy new hardware, including the new Mac Pros. The top of line Mac Pro now comes with two, four-core Nehalem processors, which, thanks to Intel's Hyper Threading technology, each present eight virtual cores to Mac OS X. That's right: Mac OS X will see sixteen total cores on the new top of line Mac Pros. If you get yourself one of these beasts and are planning to run VMware Fusion on it, make sure you upgrade to the latest VMware Fusion 2.0.2 release, which is a free upgrade for all our customers (yes, including those who bought VMware Fusion 1 :). There was a bug in previous VMware Fusion releases that prevents the guest operating system from booting up on a sixteen-core Mac host machine, and we fixed it in VMware Fusion 2.0.2. Yet another reason to upgrade!

Update: for the tech heads among us (myself included), here is some great information at Real World Technologies on Nehalem's new virtualization features including Virtual Processor ID (VPID) and Extended Page Tables. Happy reading.

VMware Fusion 2 Driverless Printing Stops Working After Apple Security Update 2009-001

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Have you tried printing a document from your Windows virtual machine lately, using VMware Fusion 2's Driverless Printing feature? Chances are it stopped working. On February 12, Apple published Mac OS X 10.5.6 Security Update 2009-001, and with this update installed, shared printers made available by Driverless Printing no longer show up in the Windows virtual machine. Apple Security Update 2009-001 comes with some changes in the CUPS server, a print spooler, and these changes break ThinPrint – the underlying technology for Driverless Printing. We are working to solve the problem, and in the meantime, we posted several workarounds in VMware Fusion community forum to get your printer back to work:

  1. Configure local USB printer in your virtual machine
  2. Configure Bonjour network printer in your virtual machine
  3. Re-enable Driverless Printing by replacing your CUPSD binary with the original one that comes with Mac OS X 10.5.6

For more details on how to apply one of these workarounds or discuss this issue with other VMware Fusion users, visit the VMware Fusion community forum: Workaround for Printers Sharing not working after Mac OS X Security Update 2009-001.

VMware Fusion 2.0/2.0.1 and Mac OS X 10.5.6

Yesterday Apple released Mac OS X 10.5.6 update. For folks who are running Mac OS X Server 10.5.x in a virtual machine, you may see Software Update (in the virtual machine) offering to update your system. We recommend that you do not proceed with this update, or at least take a snapshot of your OS X guest first.

are some known issues with this OS update that cause WindowManager to fail under default setting in a OS X virtual machine, as well as some USB issues. Go to the updated VMware Fusion 2.0.1 Release Notes
for more details on these issues and
workaround in case you already updated your virtual machine to 10.5.6.

These issues will be fixed in the next maintenance release of VMware Fusion. And they do not affect Mac OS X 10.5.6 as a host.