5 Replies Latest reply on May 8, 2019 2:51 AM by wila

    VmWare Player vs the machine

    oligarch Lurker

      I moved (same UUID) an XPVM to a second machine. Both machines have Windows 10 (1809) installed with VmWare Player. Both also have a PCI (not PCIE) parallel adapter card installed, with a single parallel LPT port into which two Sentinel SuperPro hardware locks (keys) are plugged in. These are required by two CAD programs installed on the XPVM.

       

      According to Device Manager, on both the host and the guest, the LPT port is enabled, working properly, and without I/O conflicts. The XPVM shows that it is connected to the physical port on the host. However, the second machine refuses to recognise the SuperPro keys! I have tried to:

       

      1. Adjust the BIOS settings in the guest. The host has nothing in the BIOS about Parallel Ports, since it is a "modern" machine;

      2. Reinstall the SuperPro driver on the guest;

      3. Reinstall both CAD programs on the guest;

      4. Reinstall Windows 10, VmWare Player, and the XPVM on the host;

      5. Check hardware and software settings on both.

       

      The SuperPro keys are not dead, since they work perfectly on the old machine. So, my question is: is the problem with the hardware on the new machine (possible but unlikely), or the moved XPVM? Does moving a VM modify it somehow? The SuperPro keys are hardware devices, so no licence files are generated in software, and as such cannot be overwritten in any way. The keys are just that, and plugging them in should just work and unlock the CAD programs, but they don't.

       

      Where should I be looking to resolve this issue? The host OS/Hardware or the guest OS? Does VmWare Pro have additional settings or features that might fix the problem? Thanks in advance!

        • 1. Re: VmWare Player vs the machine
          RDPetruska Guru
          vExpertUser Moderators

          I'm surprised you were able in the past to get the parallel port dongles to work.  In my experience, I had to trade in the parallel port Sentinel keys for the USB versions to use in a virtual machine.  Also, I have never had any luck stacking the keys - always was told one per port.

          Having said that, I don't believe that simply moving the VM from one host to another should change this behavior.  Especially if you selected "I copied it" to the prompt when you first powered on the moved/copied VM.

          • 2. Re: VmWare Player vs the machine
            oligarch Lurker

            Thanks for the reply RDPetruska. I have tried "l copied it" as well as "I moved it", but the SuperPro keys still refuse to show up. I believe that the only difference between the two methods is that moving retains the UUID, while copying does not.

             

            Unfortunately, the keys cannot be exchanged for USB, since both CAD programs now use online activation. What is also puzzling is that the two machines are almost identical in terms of hardware. The old one is a Dell T7610, while the new one is a T7910. They are one generation apart.

             

            I believe that the cause of my problem is the move, and the way that VmWare handles it, but will wait for other answers before giving up! There must be an answer (fingers crossed).

            • 3. Re: VmWare Player vs the machine
              wila Guru
              vExpertUser ModeratorsCommunity Warriors

              Hi,

               

              I would have said to you to use "move" and not "copy" to retain the UUID in the VM.

              It all depends a bit on how the logic of the hardware keys work though and if they are locking themselves to the hardware of the virtual machine or not.

              If they do, then the change of the CPU might also be an issue.

               

              You said:

              1. Adjust the BIOS settings in the guest. The host has nothing in the BIOS about Parallel Ports, since it is a "modern" machine;

               

              Nowadays on modern machines you tend to get UEFI firmware, not BIOS.

              Most of the times however there is a special mode in the UEFI to mimic BIOS for systems that cannot use UEFI for whatever the reasons.

              My guess is that you wanting to use old PCI based parallel ports might be such a case.

               

              The special mode the firmware operates in when it mimics BIOS is called CSM (Compatibility Support Module) and I would certainly look if that is enabled.

              Note that if you change that setting that chances are big that your Windows 10 no longer boots, so you would have to reinstall it (or fix it somehow) if you want to use the CSM setting.

               

              Most likely it will be time consuming to sort this out, so be sure to figure out if it is worthwhile to try and fix this way before burning a lot of time on it.

              --

              Wil

              | Author of Vimalin. The virtual machine Backup app for VMware Desktop Products
              | Vimalin : Automated backups for VMware Fusion and VMware Workstation Professional
              | More info at https://www.vimalin.com
              | Twitter @wilva
              | VMware Wiki at http://www.vi-toolkit.com
              • 4. Re: VmWare Player vs the machine
                oligarch Lurker

                Thanks Wil! I am familiar with legacy BIOS vs UEFI. In fact, I reinstalled Windows 7 as well as Windows 10 together with VmWare etc. under both, but without luck.

                 

                I just don't get it! Both machines have PCI slots that are recognised as ISA bridges. The port on the parallel adapter card is configured as ECP. According to device manager it is working properly and there are no conflicts. The virtual machine is set up to use the physical LPT3 port, and connects to it. Yet the SuperPro locks are not found! It's very frustrating, when only one of two almost identical machines works!

                 

                I am also thinking that the Intel chipset may be responsible. The Dell T7610 uses C602, while the T7910 C612. I don't want to waste your time, but why do you think that the CPU may have something to do with it?

                • 5. Re: VmWare Player vs the machine
                  wila Guru
                  Community WarriorsUser ModeratorsvExpert

                  Hello,

                   

                  In regards to the CPU. It depends.. I do not believe that the CPU is a reason for the parallel port functionality not working.

                  OTOH, if the license is not just tied to the hardware key, but also to the hardware of the VM then it might make a difference.

                  My guess would be that it does not make a difference.

                   

                  Is the vmparport service up and running at the host level? (see also: How to attach a parallel port? )

                   

                  --

                  Wil

                  | Author of Vimalin. The virtual machine Backup app for VMware Desktop Products
                  | Vimalin : Automated backups for VMware Fusion and VMware Workstation Professional
                  | More info at https://www.vimalin.com
                  | Twitter @wilva
                  | VMware Wiki at http://www.vi-toolkit.com