Tuesday, December 29, 2009

Ubuntu Linux, VMware, 64-bit WinXP Guest: Getting Online

I was using Ubuntu 9.04 (Jaunty Jackalope). On Ubuntu, I was running VMware Workstation 6.5.2. In VMware, I had just installed 64-bit Windows XP. I was now trying to get online.

At first, I thought the problem was with my Linksys WRT54GL Wireless-G 2.4GHz 54Mbps broadband router. I inserted the Linksys setup CD and ran through its setup steps. It said, "Checking your computer settings, Please wait." After a minute or so, it gave me an error message: "Setup Wizard MFC Application has encountered a problem and needs to close." It did this repeatedly. But when I connected the computer directly to my DSL modem, bypassing the router, I still couldn't go online. Anyway, a post I saw somewhere said that the Linksys setup CD was to set up the router, not the computer. The router had already been set up from a previous installation, so that didn't seem to be the issue. I was able to access the Internet in Firefox in the underlying Ubuntu layer, so the problem was just with getting Windows connected from within the virtual machine (VM).

In VMware, I went to VM > Settings > Network. I saw that it was set to Bridged. I believed it was supposed to be NAT, not Bridged, so I changed it. I did the same thing with Network Adapter 2. I saved that and tried again to go to a webpage in Internet Explorer, but once again got "The page cannot be displayed." I connected the computer directly to the DSL modem again. This didn't seem to make any difference, but I left it that way for the moment, just in case I had more than one problem.

It occurred to me that maybe I was supposed to restart VMware in order for the changes to take effect, so I suspended the WinXP VM, closed VMware, and restarted it. Just to test it, I started a different VM and tried to go online. Internet Explorer worked with no problems in that machine, but still wouldn't work in the new 64-bit WinXP VM. I dug out my AT&T Yahoo SBC installation CD -- I had forgotten that I had such a thing, but I got reminded of it when I ran Start > Settings > Network Connections > New Connection Wizard > Next > Connect to the Internet. All the hardware was already plugged in, so I moved pretty quickly to AT&T's Software Installation dialog. When I clicked there, I got a message, "You need to install an Ethernet adapter in your computer." So the problem seemed to be that Windows was not recognizing the VMware virtual network connector.

Looking again at the VM settings, I noticed that the working VM only had one Network Adapter. There was no Network Adapter 2 there. The VMware FAQs said there could be problems if you had two network interface cards (NICs), so I deleted Network Adapter 2. This didn't help with the AT&T installation; I was still getting the message that I needed to install an Ethernet adapter. A Google search for that message didn't turn up anything.

I went to Start > Settings > Control Panel > System > Hardware > Device Manager, as I should have done at the beginning. There, I saw a yellow question mark and a yellow circle with a black exclamation mark next to "Ethernet Controller." I right-clicked on it and said, Update driver. The Hardware Update Wizard couldn't find a driver. Someone said they had resolved this problem by installing a new WinXP x64 VM using the 64-bit rather than the default 32-bit WinXP setup. I powered down the VM and checked in VMware's "Edit virtual machine settings" option for that VM. It showed that, under Options > Guest Operating System, I had already indicated that the guest was Microsoft Windows, Windows XP Professional x64 Edition. This didn't seem like it was the problem in my case, so I posted a question on it.



I had a similar problem porting an XP 64-bit image to a VM. Ended up editting the vmx file to change the virtual NIC. Made the change; came right up. Here's the link w/ the details: http://communities.vmware.com/thread/194536