neil on the web!

wheels of confusion

2009 Sep 27

I can boot and run my windows partition again. I have windows booting and running in VMware Fusion. I lost a whole day getting there and I could not have done it without Winclone. I take back up images of my Boot Camp partition from time to time. I had one from just before I tried to upgrade Parallels from 3 to 4. I thought that version 4 was now stable but I was so wrong.

Parallels gives wrong advice about fixing the missing or corrupt hal.dll. This does not work in all cases and never in my case. Parallels gives wrong advice about how to manually remove Parallels Tools from windows XP after a safe boot for my MacBook Pro. After a safe boot into XP the neither the mouse or keyboard work: dah! In my opinion reinstalling XP is not an acceptable solution.

A Neil and his money go separate ways. Parallels made money off me for a buggy product that lost me a day of work.

I switched to VMware Fusion.

VMware Fusion would not boot at first because the Boot Camp partition changed between using the trial version and upgrading to the full version.

Unfortunately neither Parallels or Fusion really uninstall themselves when using their respective uninstall programs. Both leave files in the Libraries and User directories. I went through at least two loops of uninstalling and then reinstalling Fusion. I eventually found all the files from previous installs and deleted them allowing a clean install.

The Fusion help entry for installing Fusion Tools is not good. I ended up with windows activation problems as a result of not installing tools but thinking that I had installed Tools.

Fusion help says:

With the virtual machine powered on, choose Install VMware Tools from the Virtual Machine menu, and follow the on-screen instructions in the Installation Wizard.

Fusion help should say something like:

  1. With the virtual machine powered on, choose Install VMware Tools from the Virtual Machine menu.
  2. Click on Start Menu.
  3. Click on My Computer.
  4. Double click on the CD/DVD (usually drive D:).
  5. Double click on Setup.exe.
  6. Follow the on-screen instructions in the Installation Wizard.

Parallels installs Parallels Tools automatically, we must install Fusion Tools manually.

I will not be buying Parallels again and I advise you not to buy it either. I will see how Fusion works out.

I consider these to be essential tools when using any virtualization software on OS X:

I used NTFS-3G (it includes MacFUSE as well) to take copies of my windows XP activation files. I might need them one day to reset the activation in the event of a Fusion crash.