Wednesday, April 16, 2008

Ubuntu 7.10 install in VMware Server gotcha

Trying to install Ubuntu 7.10 in VMware Server 1.04, I came upon a lot of these messages as Ubuntu was trying to install itself into the virtual machine's hard drive:
sd 2:0:15:6 rejecting I/O to offline device

A caveat to installing most Linux distributions within VMware Server for XP is that you need to set the SCSI driver to Lsilogic in the configuration file for the virtual machine. The config file will be a file with the extension ".vmx" in the VM's directory. For example, the config file for my Ubuntu install was "Other.vmx"

Here is the line you need to add to your .vmx file:
scsi0.virtualDev = "lsilogic"

My entire .vmx file ended up looking like this:
config.version = "8"
virtualHW.version = "4"
scsi0.present = "TRUE"
scsi0.virtualDev = "lsilogic"
memsize = "1024"
ide0:0.present = "TRUE"
ide0:0.fileName = "Other.vmdk"
ide1:0.present = "TRUE"
ide1:0.fileName = "auto detect"
ide1:0.deviceType = "cdrom-raw"
floppy0.fileName = "A:"
Ethernet0.present = "TRUE"
displayName = "Ubuntu 7.10"
guestOS = "other"
priority.grabbed = "normal"
priority.ungrabbed = "normal"
ide0:0.redo = ""

ethernet0.addressType = "generated"
uuid.location = "56 4d 32 f1 73 c7 b5 15-26 b3 bf 4b eb 77 4f c6"
uuid.bios = "56 4d 32 f1 73 c7 b5 15-26 b3 bf 4b eb 77 4f c6"
ide1:0.autodetect = "TRUE"
ethernet0.generatedAddress = "00:0c:29:77:4f:c6"
ethernet0.generatedAddressOffset = "0"
numvcpus = "2"

Of course, the line you add may differ if you have more than one SCSI device. Once the line is added, you'll need to restart your virtual machine for the change to take effect.

Good luck!

Tuesday, April 08, 2008

black screen/no video in VLC

I noticed a problem in VLC on XP the other day. While watching a music video, I starting getting sound but no video. I thought it was some sort of display problem, but then tried QuickTime and found I could watch the video in QuickTime. Just to see if it would help, I logged off and back on. Still giving the same problem. I didn't change any settings, so I thought it was a hardware problem. So I shutdown the box and turned it back. Same problem. Argh.

I then realized that it must be some issue with VLC itself, so I started digging through the Settings menu; specifically, Preferences. Looking in Preferences -> Audio with "Advanced options" checked, I saw that "Audio desynchronization compensation" had reset to -10000000! Woah! How did that happen? I reset this value to 0 (zero) and played back my original video. Voila! The video played perfectly.

I don't know what key combination or bug I may have triggered, but that is a wacky one. Hope this helps someone in similar distress.

Feel free to drop me a line or ask me a question.