14 Replies Latest reply on Nov 12, 2019 9:46 PM by oligarch

    VmWare Player vs the machine

    oligarch Novice

      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
          User ModeratorsvExpert

          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 Novice

            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
              User ModeratorsCommunity WarriorsvExpert

              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 Novice

                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
                  User ModeratorsvExpertCommunity Warriors

                  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
                  • 6. Re: VmWare Player vs the machine
                    oligarch Novice

                    Hello again,

                     

                    Apologies for the long delay, but I got sidetracked until now. I had another go yesterday, but the computer still refuses to recognise the hardware locks.

                     

                    The vmparport sys file is installed.....both the host and the guest show in device manager that the LPT ports are using the parport service.....according to the VM settings the parallel port connects at start up, and stays connected.....the problem is the same in WMware versions 12.5, as well as in 14.1 and 15.5.

                     

                    The only other difference between the two computers is that one is using SATA SSD drives, while the other NVME PCIE. The hardware locks work fine on the computer with SATA, but not on the one with NVME. I'm clutching at straws here but could this make any difference? I am about to give up, but before I do can anyone offer some final suggestions?

                     

                    P.S. I did fresh installs today of Windows 10 and VMware Player on three different drives on the problem computer, a PCIE NVME (Intel 750), an M2 Samsung 950 Pro, and a SATA SSD, but the problem remains. So.....it has nothing to do with drive type.

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

                      Hi,

                       

                      As you say, it has nothing to do with the disk drive type.

                       

                      The parallel ports working in a VM can be quite a bit of trial and error.

                      Initially I would make sure that it is working correctly at the host level. As long as it doesn't work there, I wouldn't expect the guest to be able to use it.

                      Not sure how easy it is to figure out it works OK at host level, unless you have an old parallel printer or something laying around...

                       

                      Once it works at the host, the next step would be making sure it works OK at guest level.

                       

                      FWIW, I recently got some parallel printers to work OK on Windows 10, version 1903 hosts.

                      That worked fine, but I had a serious headache before I got there....

                      --

                      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
                      • 8. Re: VmWare Player vs the machine
                        oligarch Novice

                        Wil, if you don't mind me asking, which model printer worked for you? There are quite a few cheapies on eBay with parallel ports, such as Epson Stylus or HP Deskjet, but none of them come with Windows 10 drivers.

                         

                        I am happy to buy one for testing, but I refuse to spend a lot of money, since it will end up being thrown out anyway.

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

                          Hi,

                           

                          That was a few very expensive star micronics printers used in a medical point of sales type of setup.

                          The main reason we didn't just replace the printer was because of that it was expensive.

                          The printer didn't have Windows 10 drivers either.

                           

                          I don't think you need much drivers as long as you print in a DOS screen to LPT1 you can just output text.

                          If it prints.. it works. I also tested it that way. Made a simple text file and then copied it to LPT1.

                           

                          Only if you want to send a file from within Windows itself (not DOS) then you need a driver to be able to select it.

                          The star printer did have Windows 7 drivers which I ended up installing. We used the same driver for different models of that printer. It didn't matter as the program used old fashioned escape key sequences for communicating with specific features on the printers.

                           

                          If there's really no driver and it's an old printer. Then in Windows 10 type Windows Key+ R then type "control printers" (without the quotes) and enter.

                          In the screen that popups select "Add a Printer", "The printer that I want isn't listed" -> "Add a local printer or printer with manual settings" -> Use an existing port "LPT1" -> Manufacturer "Generic" -> choose the printer on the right hand site that matches best.

                           

                          Alternatively in that same screen you can verify if there's an existing windows 10 driver for the printer you want to buy.

                          --

                          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
                          • 10. Re: VmWare Player vs the machine
                            oligarch Novice

                            I found a utility on the internet which troubleshoots Sentinel hardware locks (see the attachment below). According to this utility the driver is not installed properly…..but it is! I downloaded the latest driver, checked in the registry for the installed version, but the result is the same. It may not be a hardware issue after all.

                            • 11. Re: VmWare Player vs the machine
                              wila Guru
                              Community WarriorsvExpertUser Moderators

                              Hi,

                               

                              Is this specific for your sentinel? Because there's a lot of different kinds and they all are pretty specific.

                              If it is not for your exact model then I would disregard its outcome and continue with the normal troubleshooting.

                               

                              (SafeNet seems to ring a bell with me for the medical stuff I've bumped into and you mentioned CAD programs)

                              --

                              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
                              • 12. Re: VmWare Player vs the machine
                                oligarch Novice

                                OK, for some reason the moved VM sees the installed parallel Sentinel key, as a USB device, and is looking for USB drivers. Here is an extract from the log file:

                                 

                                 

                                *************************************************

                                        SafeNet Inc. :: Sentinel Keys Diagnostic Tool V 1.0.0

                                *************************************************

                                Log File Version : 1.0

                                Start Date : Tue Nov 12 11:50:06 2019

                                End Date : Tue Nov 12 11:50:06 2019

                                           

                                 

                                KEY MODULE : 1.0 Tue Nov 12 11:50:06 2019

                                 

                                DRIVER FILE : SNTNLUSB.SYS Present

                                File Size is 20800 bytes

                                 

                                DRIVER FILE : Sentinel.SYS Present

                                File Size is 64512 bytes

                                 

                                DRIVER FILE : skeysusb.sys is  not present

                                The system cannot find the file specified.

                                 

                                DRIVER REGISTERED : Not Registerd

                                 

                                DRIVER LOADED : SafeNet USB SuperPro/UltraPro Driver not found

                                The system cannot find the file specified.

                                 

                                [USB KEY ATTACHED :]

                                 

                                 

                                I am unable to find skeysusb.sys to download. Does anyone have this driver on his or her system? Please attach it with your reply if you do. The million-dollar question, of course, is why is this happening? Is there a VM setting that I should change?

                                • 13. Re: VmWare Player vs the machine
                                  wila Guru
                                  Community WarriorsvExpertUser Moderators

                                  Hi,

                                   

                                  Wrong diagnostics tool. It isn't for diagnosing a parallel dongel, but a USB one.

                                   

                                  --

                                  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
                                  • 14. Re: VmWare Player vs the machine
                                    oligarch Novice

                                    Thanks again Wil! From the information that I was able to find on the internet, the tool is good for both parallel as well as USB. I must say that the driver installer is very odd, because despite selecting to only install the parallel driver, it installs only USB.

                                     

                                    In any case, I'm giving up. All the time spent on this is not worth it. It would have been good to nail down the problem though! Thanks for sticking with me through all this time. Cheers!