Tuesday, November 24, 2009

VMware pc2mac

I thought tonight was going to be the night.  I purchased a macbook pro about 6 weeks ago.  I've slowly been getting familiar with the mac, and realizing that I'll probably still need a PC image at least occasionally.  Last night I installed VMware Fusion for the mac (nice that it's called Fusion, that way it almost has something to do with this Oracle blog).  Tonight I was to create the image from my work laptop and test it out on the macbook.  Alas, try as I might, I still don't have an image.  This is my story.

I read the VMware readme (yep, I do that kind of thing).  I learned about pc2mac, the utility that lets you stream the image right off your running pc and onto an image on your mac.  I read the guides.  I installed the pc2mac utility on my PC, restarted my PC and the VMware Fusion PC Migration Agent screen opened right up.  I ran VMware on the mac and followed the instructions, typed in the four-digit passcode, the administrator password, clicked continue, and got an error:

Converter failed to connect to remote machine.
An error occured while transferring data
I tried a few times, but did not get any further.  I decided to come back later, but first, I returned to the PC to close out the migration agent.  Noticing the checkbox "Run the VMware Fusion PC Migration Agent Every time I start my PC", I realized that I probably don't want this to every time.  I unchecked the box.

Returning later to try again, I could not find a way to start up that migration assistant.  I googled.  I rebooted, re-installed pc2mac, rebooted, uninstalled, rebooted, reinstalled, rebooted.  Mind you, this was the PC I was rebooting--not a quick affair, much like this blog post.  I'll cut to the chase, even an uninstall and reinstall would not bring up that screen again.  I finally found the trick though.  Edit the registry:

HKEY_CURRENT_USER > Software > VMware, Inc. > PC Migration Agent
Edit RunAtStartup and change from 0 to 1.

Of course, the change from 0 to 1 was just a guess, but it worked.

Now, at 11:06pm, I'm back to having a pc2mac utility that will run the first screen, but it still does not work.  Now that's progress.  Oh, and my wife just said, "How do I find your blog?"  Good night everybody.

[Update: 25 Nov 2009, 4:53pm]  I also had an issue logging an issue with VMware.  The first problem was that I could not register the product.  The VMware registration website kept giving an error that it was not a valid code despite the fact that it was in the email and the product installation accepted it.  I was able to log a customer service issue about not being able to register, but I was not able to log a technical issue without first registering.

I called and spoke with an extremely helpful support rep.  She told me they were having issues with some registration numbers and offered to create the technical ticket for me.  She was so helpful that I went back to the VMware site to drop a note to anyone that would accept it.  This is the note I typed:

I recently purchased VMware Fusion.  I generally know my way around technology, but just registering my VMware software on the website was impossible (truly, as there is currently a bug in your system).  After quite a bit of frustration, though, I finally called and spoke with a support representative.  I'm sorry that did not get her full name, but she created a new SR for me, 1459858086, and it has been assigned to SGARDNER.

This support rep was very helpful, polite and overall reflected very well on VMware.  Though my issue has not been resolved, I had a very positive experience speaking with this rep.  If you have the ability to commend her I hope you will.
That's not bad, right?  Unfortunately, though, it never went anywhere.  The only page I could find a place type the note was here: https://www.vmware.com/contact/contact_sales.html
The page never allowed me to pick a Country or State.  It just kept showing "loading..." without ever showing a country.  Of course, those fields are mandatory.

Sorry friendly support rep, I'm afraid that note won't make it anywhere.


David Mann said...

I too made a switch to a MacBook. The last Mac I had was a Mac/SE 20 years ago.

I am liking the OS but wanted to use VMs for a few Windows apps I still need. I also wanted some RedHat VMs to test our Oracle installs and features.

I investigated virtualizing my work PC into Fusion and ran into problems with the process.

I even went so far as taking my hard drive out of the laptop and attaching it to a Windows desktop so I could use their VMWAre Converter utility - that didn't work.

I ended up installing a Windows VM from scratch. At least I am starting fresh don't have to deal with all the 'cruft' from my old system.

Anton Nielsen said...


Thanks for passing along your experience. I have not quite given up, but I'm getting close. My next plan was to do exactly as you describe, though. Now I'm not so sure. Hopefully my post will help someone who unchecks that checkbox, though.


Kevin said...

I will pass the kind words on to the support rep that you spoke to. Her name is Catrina.

If you have any further issues, please contact us at
1-877-486-9273 x 27043, Mon - Fri, 9:00AM - 9:00PM EST.

Kevin said...

Actually, I made a mistake in the previous post, the rep that helped you is Lisa.

Neelesh Shah said...

Anton, When I switched last year I installed XP for a project as Cisco 4.x VPN did not work properly on OS X.

But now I rarely startup Windows. I have pretty much everything I need running on Snow Leopard including Oracle Server, SQL*Developer and OSDM.


Raymond said...

I feel your pain, I have both parallels and vmware fusion on my Mac. I just upgrade to Parallels 5 and that gave me no issues. I have left vmware on 2.x as there are too many people reporting too many issues with version 3.0.

Regarding the CISCO 4.x VPN software , it runs fine on Mac, make sure you install 4.9.01(0080) NO issues on Snow Leopard

Andrik said...


I too switched to a Macbook pro. About a year ago. And I also need some windows applications now and then. I use Parallels 5 however. It really lets you run windows (or any other os) parallel to mac without you really noticing (thanks to coherence), so it comes highly recommended. For example I run an Oracle XE db under Parallels which I connect to from my macosx version of sqldeveloper. Works like a charm!

Good luck!

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