12 August, 2011

Add shared folders to your VMware VM

Having a few different VMs, but unable to edit them due to not having VMware Workstation can be a hassle. But if you understand the configuration file, *.vmx, and the available options you can actually change up quite a few things. The latest for me was adding a shared folder, so i could get some files from the Host to the VM.

Even though I'm using Windows, the Ubuntus Sharing blog had an article the helped me. With the following lines, I shared the C and E drives, with E being Read Only.
isolation.tools.hgfs.disable = "FALSE"

sharedFolder.maxNum = "2"

sharedFolder0.present = "TRUE"
sharedFolder0.enabled = "TRUE"
sharedFolder0.readAccess = "TRUE"
sharedFolder0.writeAccess = "TRUE"
sharedFolder0.hostPath = "C:\"
sharedFolder0.guestName = "C"
sharedFolder0.expiration = "never"

sharedFolder1.present = "TRUE"
sharedFolder1.enabled = "TRUE"
sharedFolder1.readAccess = "TRUE"
sharedFolder1.writeAccess = "FALSE"
sharedFolder1.hostPath = "E:\"
sharedFolder1.guestName = "E"
sharedFolder1.expiration = "never"
"isolation.tools" was the command that enabled shared folders, while the other entries defined what was shared. I believe the settings are self explanatory.
If you want to learn more, sanborrow.com has an explanation of many of the VMX file parameters. If you want to create a new VMX file, try sanborrow.com VMX Builder.

10 August, 2011

Add a network adapter to your VMware VM

I recently downloaded 5 VMs from a cloud service my company is using, and 4 of them couldn't create a network connection. I discovered that the 4 that failed had named network connections for their network adapters, and that it required VMware Workstation to change (which I didn't have).

Through some research and help from others I discovered that additional network adapters could be added to an existing VM by editing its *.vmx file with a text editor such as Notepad. As noted in Step 2 of Jesin's Blog post, "Adding Custom Network Adapter in VMware Player", you can added a few lines to the end of the file to add the new network adapter.

I didn't follow Step 1, which is defining another network card on the Host, I just modified the file to use the existing network card. The key is to reference the next available network card in the VM and the network card reference in your Host. I did use the VMware Network Editor (vmnetcfg.exe), which came with the VMware Workstation trial, to identify the VMnetwork name (VMnet0) on my PC (the Host). I suspect if you're running this on a PC, yours will also have the same name (VMnet0).
Here's my entry:
ethernet1.present = "TRUE"
ethernet1.virtualDev = "vmxnet"
ethernet1.startConnected = "TRUE"
ethernet1.connectionType = "custom"
ethernet1.vnet = "VMnet0"
Be sure you add it to the end of the file, and replace ethernet1 with the appropriate value if there's already 2 or more network adapters defined (starts at 0).
Once the file has been updated, run the VM with VMware Player. If it doesn't immediately recognize the new adapter and connect the network, then restart the VM OS and it should recognize the new adapter.

09 August, 2011

Remove Outlook 2007 Add-Ins

In Outlook 2003 you needed to go to Tools | Options >> Other >> Advanced Options >> Add-In Manager... and COM Add-ins...; Close and Re-open Outlook to remove various Add-ins. Unfortunately if you try that in Outlook 2007 you wont find the same choices.

In Outlook 2007 go to Tools | Trust Center... >> Add-ins and you can see what Add-ins are installed, and of those which are active and which are inactive. Select COM Add-ins in the Manage drop-down and click Go.... The COM Add-Ins screen will pop-up. Uncheck the Add-Ins you want to disable (check those you want to enable). When you are completed, click OK. Close and Re-open Outlook for the changes to take affect.

Once you're satisfied that by disabling your Add-in, there was no negative effect, you can return to delete the Add-ins. Go back to Tools | Trust Center... >> Add-ins >> COM Add-ins (Go...). From the Comm Add-Ins screen, select the Add-in you want to delete and click the Remove button.

05 August, 2011

Free Photoshop file viewer

With the high cost of Photoshop, I don't have it on every computer I use. This can be an inconvenience when I simply want to view some (Photoshop) PSD files. With the Free File Viewer utility, I can now preview PSDs without having Photoshop installed. Free File Viewer will also allow you to view many other file formats including Word, Excel, PowerPoint, DivX, and FLV.

One note of caution, during the install you will be offered several other software "deals." It's likely you will want to decline each of those.