esSJae's Virtualization Blog

Virtualization and other IT topics

VMware Workstation 12 released 26Aug2015

Posted by essjae on September 1, 2015

A little late, I know!

Also, VMware Workstation Player (formerly known as Player Pro) – See more

Player, Workstation, and Workstation Player Comparison

VMware Workstation 12 Pro Release Notes

VMware Workstation 12 Pro | 24 AUG 2015 | Build 2985596

Last updated: 26 AUG 2015

Check for additions and updates to these release notes.

What’s in the Release Notes

The release notes cover the following topics:

About VMware Workstation Pro

VMware Workstation Pro enables technical professionals to develop, test, demonstrate, and deploy software by running multiple x86-based Windows, Linux, and other operating systems simultaneously on the same PC.

You can replicate server, desktop, and tablet environments in a virtual machine and allocate multiple processor cores, gigabytes of main memory and graphics memory to each virtual machine, whether the VM resides on a personal PC or on a private enterprise cloud.

For more information, see the broader VMware Workstation documentation or specifically the VMware Workstation 12 Pro Documentation Center.

What’s New

The following support is new in Workstation 12 Pro:

  • Full support of Windows 10
    VMware Workstation Pro provides the following support for Windows 10:

    • Run Windows 10 as a virtual machine
    • Run Windows 10 as a host operating system
    • Windows 10 Auto Detect and Easy Install
    • Unity support for Windows 10
    • Migrate Windows 10 PC to a virtual machine
  • New guest operating systems support
    Support has been added for the following operating systems:

    • Ubuntu 15.04
    • Fedora 22
    • CentOS 7.1
    • RHEL 7.1
    • Oracle Linux 7.1
    • VMware Project Photon
  • Advanced graphics
    Support has been added for the following standards:

    • DirectX 10
    • OpenGL 3.3
  • Performance improvements for suspending and resuming encrypted virtual machines
  • Improved vCloud Air Integration (Workstation Pro on Windows only)
    • Power operation on remote virtual machines
    • Enhanced user experience
  • Support IPv6 NAT network
  • Tear away tabs
    You can drag open tabs out of the Workstation Pro window into new or already existing Workstation Pro windows.
  • Automatically suspend virtual machines upon host shutdown
  • Support 4K monitors with high resolution UI
  • Support for multiple monitors with different DPI settings
  • Echo cancellation for voice and video calls with Microsoft Lync and Skype
  • Added USB 3.0 support to Windows 7 virtual machines (with the latest Intel USB driver)
  • Improved standard installer
  • Added NAT network configuration in Virtual Network Editor on Linux hosts
  • Respect left-handed mouse setting on Windows host

The following features have reached end of life in Workstation 12 Pro and have been removed:

  • Unity mode on Linux guest and host operating systems
  • Integrated Virtual Debugger Visual Studio
  • Connection to the VMware vCloud Air subscription service (The VMware vCloud Air OnDemand service is still fully supported)

Posted in Virtualization, VMWare, Workstation | Tagged: , , , , | Leave a Comment »

VirtualBox 5.0 Released July 9!

Posted by essjae on July 14, 2015

VirtualBox 5.0 (released 2015-07-09)

This is a major update. The following major new features were added:

  • Paravirtualization support for Windows and Linux guests to improve time-keeping accuracy and performance (see the manual for more information)
  • Make more instruction set extensions available to the guest when running with hardware-assisted virtualization and nested paging. Among others this includes: SSE 4.1, SSE4.2, AVX, AVX-2, AES-NI, POPCNT, RDRAND and RDSEED
  • xHCI Controller to support USB 3 devices (see the manual for more information)
  • Drag and drop support (bidirectional) for Windows, Linux and Solaris guests
  • Disk image encryption (see the manual for more information)
  • VMs can now be started in separate mode. The VM process is started headless while the frontend runs as a separate process which can be terminated without stopping the VM.
  • GUI: VM guest-content scaling support (including 3D acceleration)
  • GUI: New User Interface settings page for customizing status-bar, menu-bar and guest-content scaling
  • GUI: New Encryption settings tab for customizing encryption options for disk images
  • GUI: HiDPI support including application icons and optional unscaled HiDPI output on Mac OS X (including 3D acceleration)
  • GUI: Hot-plugging support for SATA disks
  • New, modular audio architecture for providing a better abstraction of the host audio backends
  • Support for the NDIS6 networking framework on Windows (default on Vista and later)

Download here

Posted in VirtualBox, Virtualization | Tagged: , , , , , | Leave a Comment »

Configuring/Removing Password Policies in Windows Server 2012 for Lab/Demo environments

Posted by essjae on June 24, 2015

The default password policies are pretty strict for a lab or demo environment.  If you’re not in a domain, it’s easy to modify these settings from the Local Security Policies:

  1. Run gpedit.msc
  2. Under Computer Configuration–>Windows Settings–>Security Settings–>Account Policies–Password Policy
    1. Change the Policy Security Settings you want.

Under a domain controller, you can do this via the Active Directory Administrative Center

  1. Run dsac.exe, or via the GUI it’s under Administrative Tools–>Active Directory Administrative Center
  2. Go to YourDomain(local)–>System–>Password Settings Container
  3. Click New from the Tasks menu
  4. Create your Password Settings

Here’s the window, note that I’ve already created a password policy.  A new forest/domain will not have anything populated in it.


I don’t recommend disabling all these settings if you’re in a production environment.

Posted in Sysadmin, Windows 2012 | Tagged: , | Leave a Comment »

TinyBorders for Win8 replaced with Winaero Tweaker

Posted by essjae on May 25, 2015

I posted a while back about a nice little utility I use on all my Windows 8.x systems to reclaim those lost pixels from Win 8’s giant, padded borders.

It’s recently been replaced with a new tool, Winaero Tweaker, link:

A new feature with Winaero Tweaker allows you to change colors, which is nice when working with Windows Server 2012 R2.

If you try to change the color you’ll see this:



Winaero Tweaker launches with an error in Windows Server 2012 R2, but it doesn’t seem to affect the programs ability to change border size or color.


As you can see, I changed the color from cyan to a light purple, shown in the Winaero Tweaker page






Posted in Computers, Utility, Windows 2012, Windows 8, Windows 8.1 | Tagged: , , , , | Leave a Comment »

Windows 10 Hyper-V: Installing Linux in Gen2 VMs

Posted by essjae on May 15, 2015

Important Notes:


Disable Secure Boot


SCSI Controller:

Add a DVD drive for your ISO file


Posted in Hyper-V, Virtualization, Windows 10 | Tagged: , , , , | Leave a Comment »

Windows 10 Hyper-V: Setting up Networking Shared and Bridged Options

Posted by essjae on May 14, 2015

Update: Build 10586.3–Loopback adapter was missing, added back, and checked Hyper-V Extensible Virtual Switch.  This seems to happen with each build update.  A reboot may also be required.

This procedure shows you how to set up bridged and shared (NAT) networking with a single physical network card.

Standard Bridged Networking

  1. Start the Hyper-V Manager and click Virtual Switch Manager
  2. Select External and click Create Virtual Switch
  3. Enter Bridged or similar to identify this network as being on your physical network
  4. Select the correct network adapter under External network, this should be an active network card, i.e. one that is connected to your network and your host is using.
    1. If you only have one network card, verify that Allow management operating system to share this network adapter.
    2. If you have multiple network cards, and want to use this card exclusively for VMs, uncheck Allow management operating system to share this network adapter.
  5. Click OK and the new virtual switch will be created.
  6. Verify that you don’t have any ongoing network tasks before clicking yes, as your network connection will likely be disrupted when the virtual switch is created.
  7. This will create a network adapter under Network Connections called vEthernet (name_used), in this case, vEthernet (Bridged)

Shared Networking

Manually add a loopback adapter

  1. Open a cmd prompt with Administrator privileges.
    1. Type cmd, right-click on the search result and click Run as administrator
  2. Type hdwwiz and press enter
  3. add-new-hardware-wizard
  4. Click Next to start the wizard.
  5. Select Install the hardware that I manually select from a list (Advanced), and click
  6. Highlight Network Adapters, and click Next.
  7. Select Microsoft from the Manufacturer column and Microsoft KM-TEST Loopback Adapter from the Model column and click Next.
  8. ms-loopback
    1. Click Finish to complete the wizard.
    2. Open Network Connections (CTRL+X and select Network Connections), locate the newly created loopback adapter, right-click it and click Rename, and rename it from Ethernet 2 or Ethernet 3 to Loopback.

Create the Shared Virtual Network Switch in Hyper-V

  1. Open the Hyper-V Manager and click Virtual Switch Manager
  2. Select External and click Create Virtual Switch
  3. Enter a descriptive name, like Shared or NAT. This will create a network adapter under Network Connections called vEthernet (name_used), in this case, vEthernet (Shared)
  4. Select the Loopback adapter under the External Network selection box, click OK, then click Yes, this operation will not disrupt your host networking.

Connect the Loopback Adapter and Virtual Switch to the Network

  1. Open Network Connections (CTRL+X and select Network Connections)
  2. Click Change adapter settings
  3. Right-click and select Properties on the vEthernet (Bridged) network adapter created under Standard Bridged Networking.
  4. Click the Sharing
  5. Click Allow other network users to connect through this computer’s Internet connection.
  6. vEthernet(bridged)
  7. Select the Shared network connection, it should be listed as vEthernet (Shared), or whatever name was used in place of Bridged.
  8. Click Ok.

Note:  The Hyper-V networking is very fragile here, and you may need to reboot if you get errors when trying to connect and share the connections.

Here’s the completed Network Connections Window, note the Bridged and Shared Hyper-V adapters. Apologies for the pixelation, the Hyper-V Manager is not 4K screen friendly.


Here’s two VMs using the Shared networking, note, the 192.168.137.x network, the default used by ICS.  Also shown is a third VM using the host network and the host’s IP.


Posted in Computers, Hyper-V, Windows 10 | Tagged: , , , , | Leave a Comment »

Windows 10 Hyper-V: Accessing ISOs from a Network Share

Posted by essjae on May 13, 2015

Keeping ISOs on a server/network share is a great way to save space for all your installation ISOs.  Unfortunately, Hyper-V does things a little different (it’s called constrained delegation) and can’t directly access an ISO file on a network share or mapped drive with your user account.  Hyper-V will ignore any mapped drives you’ve got, but with Windows 10 you can add a network location from Windows Explorer’s Computer tab (1). This makes it easy to get to a remote network share quickly.

You’ve got 2 options:

  1. Go to the ISO location and mount it as a physical drive. This tricks Hyper-V into thinking the disk is local and not network shared.  It works great for everything but Gen2.
  2. Constrained delegation configuration
    1. On a domain: this is easy, you just need to add your Hyper-V computer’s domain joined account to the network share.
      1. Go to the shared drive/folder and right-click–>Properties.
      2. Click the Sharing tab, click Advanced Sharing.
      3. Click Permissions, click Add.
      4. Click Object Types and select Computers, click OK.
      5. Enter the computer’s name, and click Check names, click OK to add.
    2. Workgroup/Microsoft accounts: this is a little more involved and care should be taken if this is used anywhere other than a home or lab network as you’re changing some security settings
      1. Go to Administrative Tools–>Local Security Policy, in Security Settings–>Local Policies–>Security Options change these settings:
        • Network Access: Do not allow anonymous enumeration of SAM accounts and shares – Change to: Disabled
        • Network Access: Let Everyone permissions apply to anonymous users – Change to: Enabled
        • Network Access: Restrict anonymous access to Named Pipes and Shares – Change to: Disabled
        • Network Access: Shares that can be accessed anonymously, add the name of the share on the Windows server, i.e. if the share name is “ISOs” add “ISOs” here. *I don’t have a non-Windows NAS, if you do and have found a solution for this, please let me know and I’ll post it


Footnote (1)


  • Add a network share:
    1. Open This PC via the start menu, or Win+E.
    2. Click Computer, click Add a network location
    3. add-network-location
    4. Follow the Add Network Location Wizard to finish
      1. For a standard Windows share, use the syntax: \\servername\sharename replacing with the actual name of the server and share.

**Content created and tested on Windows 10 Pro Insider Preview Build 10074

Posted in Computers, Hyper-V, Virtualization, Windows 10 | Tagged: , , , , | Leave a Comment »

VirtualBox 4.3.28 Released

Posted by essjae on May 13, 2015



This is a maintenance release. The following items were fixed and/or added:

  • VMM: fixed a Guru Meditation when rebooting certain guests (for example Solaris doing fast reboot) by fixing the implementation for INIT IPI
  • VMM: added some information for diagnosing rare VERR_VMX_INVALID_VMXON_PTR Guru Meditations (VT-x only)
  • GUI: HID LEDs sync: prevent synchronization if VM window has no focus (Windows and Mac OS X hosts only)
  • GUI: fixed drag and drop moving the cursor between guest screens on certain hosts
  • 3D: fixed a crash on restoring the VM state on X11 hosts (bug #12737)
  • 3D: fixed a crash on Linux guest shutdown (bug #12772)
  • VRDP: fixed incompatibility with rdesktop 1.8.3
  • VRDP: fixed listening for IPv6 on some systems (bug #14038)
  • Storage: don’t crash if creating an asynchronous I/O context fails (e.g. when starting many VMs) and show a proper error message
  • Floppy: several fixes
  • Audio: improved the behavior of the volume control for the HD audio device emulation
  • USB: increase the number of supported drivers from 3 to 5 (Windows hosts only)
  • PS/2 keyboard: synchronize the LED state on VM restore (Windows and Mac OS X hosts only)
  • NAT Network: when running multiple NAT networks with multiple VMs, only stop the respective services when stopping VMs (bug #14090)
  • NAT: don’t kill UDP bindings on ICMP errors (bug #13475)
  • NAT: bandwidth limit now works properly with NAT (bug #11485)
  • BIOS: fixed the returned size value of the VBE 2.0 PMI function 0Ah (4.2.0 regression; bug #14096)
  • Guest Control: fixed parameter quoting in Windows guests (bug #13157)
  • Webcam passthrough improvements for Linux (V4L2) hosts to support more webcam models
  • API: don’t fail starting a VM with VBOX_E_INVALID_OBJECT_STATE under certain conditions (bug #13617)
  • API: be more verbose on VBOX_E_INVALID_OBJECT_STATE if a medium is attached to a running VM (bug #13560)
  • API: fixed a bug which could result in losing certain screen resize events with multi-monitor guests
  • rdesktop-vrdp: fixed path to the keymaps (bug #12066)
  • rdesktop-vrdp: switch to version 1.8.3
  • Windows hosts: more hardening fixes (e.g. bugs #14051, #14052)
  • Linux hosts: another fix for activated SMAP on Linux 3.19 and newer (Broadwell and later; bug #13961)
  • Linux hosts: Linux 4.1 compile fix (bug #14081)
  • Solaris hosts: fixed using of VNIC templates with Crossbow based bridged networking to be compatible with vanity interface names
  • Mac OS X hosts: fixed crash during VM termination under rare circumstances
  • Windows Additions/WDDM: improved video memory utilization and allow more/bigger guest screens with large resolutions (including HiDPI)
  • X11 Additions: prevent flickering when updating mouse cursor
  • Solaris Additions: fixed incorrect usage of ‘prtconf’ while installing Guest Additions (Solaris 10 only)

Posted in VirtualBox, Virtualization | Tagged: , , , | Leave a Comment »

VirtualBox 4.3.26 Released

Posted by essjae on March 17, 2015


This is a maintenance release. The following items were fixed and/or added:

  • GUI: in the snapshots pane, protect the age of snapshots against wrong host time (bug #13955)
  • NAT Network: fixed a bug which prevented to propagate any DNS name server / domain / search string information to the NAT network (4.3.24 regression; bugs #13915, #13918)
  • NAT Network: don’t delay the shutdown of VBoxSVC on Windows hosts
  • Mouse support: the mouse could not be moved under rare conditions if no Guest Additions are installed (4.3.24 regression; bug #13935)
  • Storage: if the guest ejects a virtual CD/DVD medium, make the change permanent (bugs #9858, #12885)
  • VGA: made saving secondary screen sizes possible in X11 guests
  • SDK: fixed the VirtualBox.tlb file (4.3.20 regression; bug #13943)
  • rdesktop-vrdp: make it work with USB devices again (4.3.14 regression; bug #13901)
  • USB: fixed a possible BSOD on Windows hosts under rare conditions
  • iPXE: enable the HTTP download protocol on non-Linux hosts (bug #13628)
  • Mac OS X hosts: don’t panic on hosts with activated SMAP (Broadwell and later; bug #13951)
  • Linux hosts: don’t crash Linux 4.0 hosts (bug #13835)

Posted in Uncategorized | Leave a Comment »

VMware vSphere 6.0 Released

Posted by essjae on March 12, 2015

vSphere 6.0 now available.  A big update for VMware and ESXi users.

What’s New

A little more usability from the free product with the free management client.

Hardware version 11

New OS support including Ubuntu 14.04, OS X 10.10, Oracle Linux 7

Make sure to check your backup provider before upgrading!  Not all vendors are ready yet.


Posted in Uncategorized | Leave a Comment »


Get every new post delivered to your Inbox.

Join 34 other followers