Zamba's VMware page


Since I used VMware for the first time I have been fascinated about the virtualization technology.

On this page I put up some useful things for use with VMware products. Have fun, but use at your own risk.

If you want to contact me, see the end of the page.


Overview

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(Software) VMRemote

VMware Workstation 5 includes a very nice tool, vmrun, that allows the user to control some VMware functions via the command line, mostly to start and stop virtual machines.

The tool VMRemote takes this further by exposing vmrun's commands to the network so they can be executed from another computer. VMRemote and its client require the .NET Framework 1.1.

Features of version 1.2:

DownloadDownload VMRemote 1.2    Requires .NET Framework 1.1

DownloadDownload VMRemote 1.2 Client API docs (for developers, extract into client directory)

VMRemote Client

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(Software) Shell extension for VMware DiskMount

As part of the VMware Virtual Disk Development Kit, the tool DiskMount can be downloaded which allows offline mounting of VMware virtual disks as a drive letter.

The shell extension lets you mount such virtual disks via a Windows Explorer context menu.

DownloadDownload shell extension (for x86 systems)

DownloadDownload shell extension (for x64 systems)

Shell Extension

Note: This software was created before VMware Workstation 6.0 was released. In VMware Workstation 6.0 and higher, there is a built-in feature to mount disks offline. This also includes a shell extension.

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(Software) MS-DOS / Windows 3.1 / Windows for Workgroups 3.11 driver package

I've put together a package containing drivers and important updates for using with MS-DOS, Windows 3.1 and Windows for Workgroups 3.11 within VMware products.

I call this collection the "31pack" (pronounced "three-one pack").

For users of the previously separately released DOS / Win 3.1 and WFW 3.11 driver packages: These packages are no longer provided, and all software that was in these packages is now in the 31pack. There is one new software in this pack that was not present in the old packages: The WQGHLT tool to provide CPU idling for Win 3.1 and WFW 3.11 systems.

The 31pack is available as a simple set of files or as an ISO image, ready for mounting in a virtual machine. Enclosed in the ISO image download is also a floppy disk image that contains only the CD-ROM driver.

DownloadDownload driver package as a simple set of files

DownloadDownload driver package as ISO image

The package contains:

To install the software, either copy all files into an INSTALL directory within the virtual machine, such as C:\INSTALL, or mount the provided ISO image.

Below I'll outline the steps to install each component, along with the systems that the driver or update applies to.

Networking
Microsoft Network Client
[X] DOS
[X] Win 3.1
[ ] WFW 3.11

Microsoft Network Client 3.0 / Network card driver:

  • In DOS mode, change to the MSCLIENT directory and run SETUP.EXE.
  • As the adapter, select "*Network adapter not shown on list below" and enter C:\INSTALL\AMDPCNET\DOS as the driver directory to install the drivers for the "Advanced Micro Devices PCNET Family" adapter.
  • Configure other settings & protocols as you wish. There is a good step-by-step article at WindowsNetworking.com.
  • The TCP/IP protocol, which is vital for connecting to the Internet, is not installed by default. If you want to use it, you must explicitly select it during installation.
Windows 3.1 network configuration
[ ] DOS
[X] Win 3.1
[ ] WFW 3.11

Activating the network in Windows 3.1:

  • In Windows, open Windows Setup and go to Options > Change System settings > Network
  • Select "Microsoft Network (or 100% Compatible)". "Microsoft LAN Manager 2.1" also works.

Important: The MS-DOS network drivers must be loaded for the network to function in Windows.

WFW 3.11 network drivers
[ ] DOS
[ ] Win 3.1
[X] WFW 3.11

Network card driver:

  • Requires that the Microsoft Network was installed when Windows was installed.
  • In Windows, open Windows Setup and go to Options > Change Network Settings > Network Drivers > Drivers > Add Adapter > Unlisted or Updated Network Adapter
  • Browse to the AMDPCNET\WFW311 directory to install the drivers for the "Advanced Micro Devices PCNET Family" adapter.

TCP/IP protocol driver:

  • This protococol is vital for connecting to the Internet.
  • In Windows, open Windows Setup and go to Options > Change Network Settings > Network Drivers > Drivers > Add Protocol > Unlisted or Updated Protocol
  • Browse to the TCP32B directory
  • If you only want to use the TCP/IP protocol, you can remove the other protocols like IPX/SPX or NetBEUI. If you want to keep other protocols, you might want to set the TCP/IP protocol as the default protocol.
CD-ROM
CD-ROM install program
[X] DOS
[X] Win 3.1
[X] WFW 3.11

CD-ROM driver: In DOS mode, go into the CDROM directory and run INSTALL.EXE. You should use the "Easy Install" option unless you have problems.

Sound
SB16 install program
[X] DOS
[X] Win 3.1
[X] WFW 3.11

Sound driver:

  • The included drivers are for DOS and Windows.
  • First you have to change a setting in the virtual machine config file, to get the SB16. This is because VMware products supply a different type of sound card per default. Power off the VM, open the configuration file (.vmx) in an editor, find the line starting with "sound.virtualDev" and change it to sound.virtualDev = "sb16". The line may not be present, in this case you have to add it. After the change power on the VM again.
  • In DOS mode, go to the SB16 directory and run INSTALL.EXE. You should accept the defaults unless you have problems.
Display
Super VGA driver patch
[ ] DOS
[ ] Win 3.1
[X] WFW 3.11

Super VGA driver patch:

  • This is a patch Ken Kato wrote to make Super VGA work under WFW 3.11 in a VMware environment. It might also work for Win 3.1, but I did not test that.
    Note: The web site linked to is no longer active. It has possibly moved to this page.
  • The patch files are in the VGAPATCH directory, be sure to read the included documentation.
  • To test the new graphics mode, I used a colorful LCARS image I found on the net as a wallpaper.
CPU Idling
DOSidle tool
[X] DOS
[ ] Win 3.1
[ ] WFW 3.11

DOSidle tool:

  • MS-DOS does not idle the CPU when there's nothing to do. This does not affect the operating system, but when running in virtualized environments, it takes up all the processor power on the host.
  • In DOS mode, start DOSIDLE.EXE from the DOSIDLE directory to activate CPU idling.
  • Put it into your AUTOEXEC.BAT to start it automatically when booting.
WQGHLT tool
[ ] DOS
[X] Win 3.1
[X] WFW 3.11

WQGHLT tool:

  • Windows 3.x does not idle the CPU when there's nothing to do. This does not affect the operating system, but when running in virtualized environments, it takes up all the processor power on the host.
  • To install WQGHLT, copy WQGHLT.386 from the WQGHLT directory to C:\WINDOWS\SYSTEM, add a line to C:\WINDOWS\SYSTEM.INI's [386Enh] section, like this:
        [386Enh]
        ...
        device=WQGHLT.386
    

    and restart Windows.

Operating System Updates
Y2K compliant WFW 3.11 File Manager
[ ] DOS
[ ] Win 3.1
[X] WFW 3.11

Y2K Update for File Manager:

  • The File Manager shows wrong dates for files changed in or after the year 2000. To fix this, go to the WFWY2KUP directory in DOS mode and run INSTALL.BAT with the name of your Windows directory as parameter, for example "INSTALL C:\WINDOWS".
  • The update in the WFWY2KUP directory is for english Windows versions. If you have a german Windows version, you can use the update in the WFWY2KDE directory instead.
Euro support in WFW 3.11
[ ] DOS
[X] Win 3.1
[X] WFW 3.11

Euro support:

  • This updates the keyboard drivers and fonts to include the Euro (€) symbol.
  • In DOS mode, go into EURO_DEU directory and run W31_EURO.BAT with the name of your Windows directory as parameter, for example "W31_EURO C:\WINDOWS". Note that this install batch is german.
  • The last output of that script should read "Fertig", meaning "Done".
  • Then copy the additional Euro fonts from the EUROFONT directory to C:\WINDOWS\SYSTEM.

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(Article) Logging on to a Windows Server 2003 domain from older DOS/Windows systems

If you have an MS-DOS or older Windows system running (Windows NT 4.0, Windows 98/ME or below), logon attempts from such versions to a Windows Server 2003 domain fail out of the box because Windows Server 2003 domain controllers have communication signing (SMB signing) enabled by default and the old systems do not support it. SMB signing was introduced to prevent malicious users from tampering or intercepting network traffic.

If you need a quick-and-dirty solution for compatibility reasons, simply turn of SMB signing at the domain controller - see below for how to do this. For more details about this issue and ways to resolve it, see Microsoft's KB entries 811497 and 555038.

How to disable communication signing on Windows Server 2003:

Disabling communication signing on W2K3

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(Article) Finding the right virtual sound card and driver for your guest operating system

The default sound card emulated in VMware Workstation is a Sound Blaster PCI 128. By modifying the machine configuration file (VMX file), the card can also be changed to a different one, like the Sound Blaster 16, which is especially useful for MS-DOS and Windows 3.x VMs.

The following table shows which drivers to use for for Windows and MS-DOS operating systems:

Card short nameCard name(s)Operating systemsVMX file entry1Driver to use2
ES1371Sound Blaster PCI 128,
Creative AudioPCI (ES1371, ES1373)
Windows XP (32-bit),
Windows XP (64-bit),
Windows Server 2003 (32-bit),
Windows Server 2003 (64-bit),
Windows Vista (32-bit),
Windows Vista (64-bit),
Windows Server 2008 (32-bit),
Windows Server 2008 (64-bit)
sound.virtualDev = "es1371"VMware VMaudio driver - included in the VMware Tools of VMware Workstation 6.5.
ES1371Sound Blaster PCI 128,
Creative AudioPCI (ES1371, ES1373)
Windows ME,
Windows 2000,
Windows XP (32-bit),
Windows Server 2003 (32-bit),
Windows Vista (32-bit),
Windows Server 2008 (32-bit)
sound.virtualDev = "es1371"Sound Blaster PCI 128 driver for Windows 2000 (SBPCI128Setupus_w2k.exe)
ES1371Sound Blaster PCI 128,
Creative AudioPCI (ES1371, ES1373)
Windows 98 SE,
Windows ME,
Windows 2000,
Windows XP (32-bit),
Windows Server 2003 (32-bit)
sound.virtualDev = "es1371"

Sound Blaster PCI (WDM) Drivers V 5.12.01.5017 (SBPCI_WebDrvsV5_12_01.exe) + 8 MB Waveset (eapci8m.ecw)

A 2 MB waveset is already included with the driver. A larger waveset means better sound quality. To install the waveset, copy the file into the Windows system directory and use the Device Manager to add the waveset to the SB PCI(WDM) driver. Reboot after adding the waveset.

ES1371Sound Blaster PCI 128,
Creative AudioPCI (ES1371, ES1373)
Windows 95,
Windows 98
sound.virtualDev = "es1371"

READ THE NOTES BEFORE USING THIS DRIVER!
Sound Blaster PCI 128 driver for Windows 9x (SBPCI128Setupus_w9x.exe)

This driver causes new Windows 95 and 98 VMs created under VMware Workstation 6.0 and 6.5 to crash (blue screen) at driver installation. Also Windows 95 and 98 VMs that have been created with previous Workstation versions that have this driver installed crash after upgrading of the virtual hardware to Workstation 6.0 or 6.5.

Workarounds:

  • For new Windows 95 VMs use Workstation 5 hardware.
  • For new Windows 98 SE VMs use the WDM driver instead of this driver, it does not have this issue.
  • For new Windows 98 first edition VMs there is no known workaround because it is not supported by the WDM driver.
  • For existing Windows 9x VMs with this driver don't upgrade beyond Workstation 5 hardware.
SB16Sound Blaster 16Windows 95 MS-DOS mode,
Windows 98 MS-DOS mode
sound.virtualDev = "sb16"Sound Blaster 16 driver for Windows 95 MS-DOS mode (95dosapp.exe)
SB16Sound Blaster 16MS-DOS,
Windows 3.1
sound.virtualDev = "sb16"Sound Blaster 16 driver for DOS/Windows 3.1 (sbbasic.exe)

1The entry is only for selecting the sound card device, not to add a new virtual sound card. It might not be present if the default emulated sound card is in use.

2Some of the systems might already include the necessary drivers and in this case no separate driver needs to be installed.

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(Article) Playing games in virtual machines

I also like playing games, not only current ones, but also older games. The following is a list of operating systems that can or cannot be used for playing games in a virtual machine.

This list is specific to VMware Workstation and is solely based on my own opinion.

Guest OSCan Play?Comments
MS-DOSNoSlow. Problematic hardware setup. Don't use. Use DOSBox instead.
Windows 3.1MaybeI only tried small games and no VMware Tools are available, so it may not work for more demanding games.
Windows 95YesLooks ok.
Windows 98YesLooks ok.
Windows MEYesLooks ok.
Windows 2000MaybeMay work if games don't require graphics hardware features (T&L, shaders, etc.).
Windows XPMaybeVMware Workstation 6.5 includes DirectX 9.0c support for Windows XP. You need a decent machine to make this work.
Windows VistaMaybeMay work if games don't require graphics hardware features (T&L, shaders, etc.).

Experiences with the new Direct3D Support in VMware Workstation 6.5

When I tried out this feature the first time, I set all graphics settings in the games to minimum. It was still too slow for me, not fluid enough. Either my machine was too old for this or there is some improvent potential on VMware's side. On the host, I was able to play all the games in high quality without noticeable problems.

The first lesson I learned, was that upgrading to the Workstation 6.5 hardware version is absolutely necessary, to get something useful regarding 3D performance. Done that, the performance was still unsatisfying. In the end, it turned out that my host machine was underpowered for this task (Intel P4 "Prescott" @ 3 GHz with an ATI Radeon X800 GT).

So a decent machine is required, even for older games. I upgraded the host's hardware and it became better (Intel Core2Duo @ 3,16 GHz with an ATI Radeon HD 3850).

I tested the following games with the new host hardware:

Graphics settings for Max Payne 2:
Max Payne 2 settings

Graphics settings for Half-Life 2: Episode Two:
Half-Life 2: Episode Two settings

Warning message when launching Half-Life 2: Episode Two about video hardware not meeting the minimum requirements:
Half-Life 2: Episode Two unsupported graphics card
The link points to this page.

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Links

The page author is not responsible for the contents of the linked pages.

http://www.vmware.com Official VMware site
http://www.vmaschinen.de German site about virtual machines
http://boling.us/ebs/apps/vmmaster "VM Master", a tool to automatically start and stop Workstation 5 virtual machines.
http://www.vmware.com/communityOffical VMware discussion boards
http://chitchat.at.infoseek.co.jp/vmware
Site is no longer active. Possibly moved to http://sites.google.com/site/chitchatvmback/
"VM Back", Ken Kato's page with info about VMware internals as well as various tools and drivers.
http://vmware-forum.de Unofficial german VMware forum
http://www.sanbarrow.comHomepage of a virtual machine "mad scientist".

 

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Page history

September 24, 2011:
  • The 31pack is now also available as an ISO image, ready for mounting in a virtual machine. Enclosed in the ISO image download is also a floppy disk image that contains only the CD-ROM driver.
  • Changed links to Ken Kato's original "VM Back" web site, which is long gone, to a new address, which looks like a replacement for the old site. I'm not 100% sure though whether this isn't just one more of the unofficial mirrors that exist.
May 21, 2011:
  • Added a clarification that the 31pack replaces the older DOS / Win 3.1 and WFW 3.11 driver packages. Re-added also the old anchors for other web pages that still link to the old drivers.
May 5, 2011:
May 11, 2009:
  • Updated info about Windows 9x sound drivers
  • Changed all outgoing links to open in a new window
  • Added SVGA patch to WFW311 driver package
  • Fixed a number of HTML errors
  • Fixed link to Microsoft Network Client tutorial
January 24, 2009:
  • Updated sound driver article:
    • Added info about VMware Workstation 6.5 driver problems
    • Changed driver links to link to the one download instead of the product support pages
    • Added new SB WDM driver
November 25, 2008:
  • Added more guest OSs to the list of OSs that are supported by the VMware VMaudio driver
  • Added experiences with virtual Direct3D support to the virtual gaming article.
October 25, 2008:
  • Added VMware VMaudio to sound driver article
  • Edited a few articles for clarity
  • Added screenshots to the DOS/Win driver package documentation
  • Updated shell extension for VMware DiskMount.
October 15, 2008:
  • Renamed title of the sound driver article to a more appropriate one
  • Added clarification about 32-bit systems
  • Added clarification about ES1371 sound card name.
October 9, 2008:
  • Added info about games in virtual machines.
August 23, 2008:
  • Updated info about getting sound to work:
    • Windows 95 MS-DOS mode drivers
    • Windows Vista info
    • Updated links to sound drivers
    • Added VMX file entries.
  • Updated entry for the shell extension for VMware DiskMount.
April 4, 2006:
  • Added info about sound drivers
  • Changed some texts
  • Included sound driver in MS-DOS package again.
November 28, 2005:
  • Updated VMRemote to version 1.2
October 23, 2005:
  • Added MS-DOS / Windows 3.1 driver package
October 2, 2005:
  • Updated VMRemote to version 1.1
September 3, 2005:
  • Initial release

 

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VMware is a trademark of VMware, Inc. I'm not affiliated with this company in any way, just another user of their great software.

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