Base | Lab | MCSE | Servers | VMWare

2004 06 10

Base | Lab | MCSE | Servers | VMWare


Using an ISO image instead of a CD drive

Whilst I was on the VMWare site looking for the exact command line parameters to use in a custom shortcut for Server01, I came across the marvellous idea to create an ISO file from a CD-ROM and mount that ISO file as a virtual disk in a virtual machine.

That would allow me to do all kinds of install without having to even have the Windwos Server 2003 CD available, or even the drive.

What's more, the transfer of files at installation time is likely to go a lot faster than when reading from an external device.

2004 06 09

Base | Lab | MCSE | Servers | VMWare


No, wait, hang on

Rather than wait for a web master to get back to me, I figured I might as well have a browser window babysit the site that I am interested in. So I called up the page again and whilst it was still loading (or not, rather) I set an autoreload on the tab.

Contrary to my expectations, the page loaded, although it surely took its time. I proceeded to download the binary, cancel the download in eMule and sent a message to the web master to never mind about full outage.

Base | Lab | MCSE | Servers | VMWare


Alternative means

Normally, I shy away from this kind of thing, but given the circumstances I will forgive myself.

Seeing as I can't seem to reach the download section of the VMWare site, I have looked for a copy of the binaries on the eDonkey network. As luck would have it, it also had me stumble onto a key generator. That will save me from having to register for an eval key with no intention of buying the product. Actually, it saves VMWare more time than me. I promise (as I have done before---and made good upon) to buy a licensed copy as soon as either I can afford it or I can get an employer to fork out for it.

Base | Lab | MCSE | Servers | VMWare


Getting a copy of the binary

Simple enough: head over to and find the binary download section.

No such luck: for some reason, I could not get to the actual page to download a binary copy. In fact, it seems like everythign that has anything to do with the 'vmwarestore' just is not responding. It is not completely dead either: FireFox would have times out much earlier if there would have been an actual network problem. It seems like the web server is just keeping the client hanging on.

I confirmed my findings in several ways and killed off other programs that might be choking the network on my end (such as eMule, which has a habit of exhausting network sockets). Other web sites seem to be fine, though. As is, in fact, most of the VMWare site itself. I have sent an email to the web master to alert them of this problem.

Base | Lab | MCSE | Servers | VMWare



The initial idea I had was that I would blow the dust off the Linux box in the server cabinet in the attic and create myself some Virtual Machines for this purpose; I still have a copy of VMWare (properly licensed and all) on that machine, from way back when.

There were some problems with that plan, though:

  • Although it has 748-something MB of RAM, the CPU is a lowly 800MHz P3. (at best, it might even be a lesser spec).
  • The copy of VMWare is of the 1.x or 2.x variety; not likely to support Windows Server 2003.
  • The disks in that machine do not have a great deal of space available, because I have been dumping all kinds of stuff on there for ages. Nothing that could not be cleaned out or archived to CDs or something, but that would still be several days' worth of sifting through files.

Then it hit me: my primary workstation is a laptop with a 1.6MHz Centrino and a whopping 1GB of RAM. Also, I have a 250GB external harddrive attached. Disk performance over USB2.0 will not be fantastic (maybe I shouls switch it to FireWire to see if that makes a big difference) but with that amount of RAM, it is likely to be allright. Better, in any case, than anything I could possibly do on that Linux box.

What's more: I can download an eval copy of VMWare 4.5.1 and be assured of the latest and greatest in features and support.