As our company's secure VPN software doesn't work on my Linux box, I decided to install an XP VM to use as a launchpad to my corporate network. Unfortunately, VMware Player failed to install my XP with the message:
An error has been encountered that prevents Setup from continuing
One of the components that Windows needs to continue setup could not be installed.
The parameter is incorrect.
Press OK to view the Setup log file
The Main Issue
This indicated that either my media or the DVD drive was bad. To find out which one was the true culprit, I used my Macbook's Disk Utility to convert the XP installer CD to an ISO. You want to select an Image Format of "DVD/CD master", as shown in the graphic below:
As is my open source bent, I'd rather be using mkisofs, but I was under some time pressure to get some videos out the door. In any case, I scp'd the ISO version of the install CD over to my main box with VMware Player and low and behold, the ISO version worked just fine. So it looks like my bloody DVD drive is going! Off to Newegg..
In retrospect, the occasional problems I've been experiencing over the last two years with my bootable installs were now probably due to the DVD drive having trouble reading ISOs! Argh. I tell you, its tough being an idiot. Still odd, as the DVD burner works fine for recording and reading DVDs. It just doesn't seem to like booting install media. Ah well.
Another Problem Creeps Up on The Guy
While I was successful in installing the XP OS into a VM, once I started the VM and used it for its intended purpose, that of logging into my corporate network, up crops a problem with the Juniper client:
dshostchecker.exe has exited unexpectedly
logged to eacHttpNar.dmp
Double Yarg! This time, in order to resolve the issue, I decided to use a new OS as basis for a VM: Win7. I should have used in the first place, but the Win7 install takes 7GB and the XP install only takes 1.5GB, so I opted for the lighter XP.
Win7 to the Rescue!
As before, I converted the Win7 install media (a DVD) to ISO file using the Mac's Disk Utility. I copied the ISO to my main rig and lo and behold, the ISO installed perfectly into VMware Player. Lastly, I had no issues with my secure VPN installation.
Moral of the story: don't disregard a problem! It will bite you in the rear later!
Things I learned along the way
1) mounting a UDF disk
mount -t udf /dev/dvd /mnt/dvd
2) interesting scheme to use VMware as a host for Windows XP Linux Application
3) haven't tried this, but this link has a way to create a Windows bootable CD/DVD using mkisofs
4) Windows System Assessment Tool for Win7 comes on when the box is idle and consumes a shitload of CPU
- disable that f*ckr by following these directions