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VMware Running MS XP Pro Streets & Trips 2009
majx
My base OS is Fedora 10 with vmware workstation 6.5 running XP Pro and I can't get the Pharos gps device to be seen, turned on or running properly in windows.

Has anyone been successful at installing the device? I really want the 2009 version because it'll work in Cancun. I've tried working the Pharos support but i don't think they've tested it with this configuration.

My laptop is an HP AMD Turion X2, 64 bit.

Thanks
Ken in Regina
Vitrtualization software has a variety of quirks when it comes to trying to virtualize hardware. All of the products out there have their own individual issues. USB seems to have the most problems because there is so little standardization. For instance, most USB GPS receivers aren't really. The driver most of them install is actually not a USB driver at all. It's most often a USB-to-Serial converter. So it just makes the problem that much more complicated.

Microsoft's Virtual PC doesn't even try to virtualize USB.

I've also tried the open source VirtualMachine. It's supposed to do USB but I had no success getting any of my GPS receivers to work with it, with Vista or with Windows 7 running in it.

You would be much better off trying to work with VMWare. It's really not a Pharos issue. I would agree with you that they probably have never tested this particular configuration. VMWare should at least have some idea how you can make sure you've got the USB virtualization working. I wouldn't waste your time or Pharos's time until you've firmly established that it's not a virtualization problem. Or even a problem with the underlying USB support in Fedora.

...ken...
oakgrove
I realize this is an old thread but, I have the solution to this problem and I've looked everywhere and apparently no one else does. I have verified this problem on every kernel from 2.6.27 - 2.6.31 on several different distributions so it seems to be kernel specific and not distribution specific. The issue is the kernel module "pl2303" isn't initializing correctly when you plug your GPS in. Here's what you do:

Plug it in then open a terminal. In the terminal type this:
Code:
$ sudo modprobe -r pl2303
This will unload the module since it didn't load right in the first place anyway. Then boot up your virtual machine. After the vm is booted up, type in that command you just did above in the terminal again. Reason being is, vmware, when it hunts around for usb devices upon booting the vm, will reinitialize the dud pl2303 driver. After you've done this, go into your vmware menu under removable devices and click the box for the Prolific USB serial controller and presto! it works.

Check and make sure the following will work for you on your distro. If you are using a recent version of Ubuntu or Debian (as I've verified this step on those two), do the following to blacklist the module and keep it from ever reloading:
Code:
sudo cp /etc/modprobe.d/blacklist.conf /etc/modprobe.d/blacklist.conf.bak
sudo echo 'blacklist pl2303' >> /etc/modprobe.d/blacklist.conf
Again, make sure your module blacklist file is the one outlined here. If yours is different, you need to adjust these instructions accordingly.

And, Ken in Regina, vmware, and virtualbox are both definitely capable of running USB devices. Apparently, virtualpc in the version of Win7 that has the XP vm built in also can do USB pass through, however that isn't particularly relavant to most home users as they won't be running that version of Win7. Most other versions of virtual pc are not capable of using USB devices. But, back to vmware, the problem is that with the 2.6.27 kernel revision and later, this particular device stopped working (although it does work in VirtualBox without having to do this blacklist). I know as I've been locked into that kernel until recently when I figured out the little tidbit I posted above.

Any questions, just post.
Ken in Regina
Hi oakgrove,

Thanks for posting that update. Yes, I understood that VMWare and VirtualBox support USB. That's why I recommended VMWare. And thanks for confirming what I suspected, that even when a virtualization product supports USB it still may have issues with those USB-to-serial drivers. The Prolific driver is notorious for problems even in a live environment so it's no surprise it gives virtualizers problems.

When I decided to play more seriously with Windows 7 I decided it was easier to just build myself another computer out of the spare parts box than it was to fight with a virtualizer. Not least because there's also a learning curve associated with just figuring out how to use a virtualizer for anything other than the most basic stuff. I'm a genuinely lazy sod, so if I can find an easier way to do something I will.

...ken...
oakgrove
Hi Ken,
Hey, no problem, I didn't mean to be rude. It's just this problem has dogged me for many months and I'm extremely excited to have been the one to find such an easy solution.
Marvin Hlavac
oakgrove, thanks for sharing the solution with us , and :welcome: to Laptop GPS World.
taoyue
Quote:
Originally Posted by oakgrove
And for ken in regina, unlike virtualpc, vmware, and virtualbox for that matter are perfectly capable of running USB devices.
Actually, Virtual PC for Windows 7 does have USB passthrough. Only the newest version, though, which only runs on Windows 7.
Ken in Regina
Hey oakgrove, I didn't take it as rude at all. I'm happy you were able to share a solution with us. Thanks

Tao, is it Virtual PC that now does USB passthrough? Or is it just Windows 7 "XP Mode" that does it? I thought they were two different animals. .

On MSDN I can't see any download for Virtual PC beyond the "2007" version, which still doesn't support USB passthrough. And XP Mode only comes with certain versions of Windows 7. There does not appear to be any "Virtual PC" product available for Windows 7 that I can see. It seems like you need to buy one of the versions of Win/7 that includes XP Mode as the only way you can get it.

I raise this distinction because it would be misleading to allow anyone to think they could just get a standard version of Win/7 and later add Virtual PC onto it. That does not appear to be an option, at least not presently.

That's too bad, too, because there will be lots of us with unused legal licenses for XP kicking around (after we upgrade to Win/7) who could use them with Virtual PC to create our own homegrown "XP Mode".

...ken...
taoyue
Windows Virtual PC does the USB passthrough.

You do NOT need XP Mode to get "Windows Virtual PC" (for Windows 7). It works on non-Professional Windows 7 as well, though this will be an unsupported configuration. (There's no change from Virtual PC 2004 and 2007, which were also unsupported on non-Professional editions of XP and Vista.)

Windows Virtual PC is currently at RC and has not reached RTM yet. It should reach RTM by the time Windows 7 reaches General Availability in October.

The RC is currently available at: http://www.microsoft.com/windows/virtual-pc/download.aspx Note that it is a separate and much smaller download from XP Mode (which is basically just a preconfigured virtual machine).

If you have a spare license of Windows XP, then you can install that inside Windows Virtual PC. (If you've already got a VHD of XP for Virtual PC 2007, you should be able to transfer that directly over and skip doing the install.) After that, you can install the RemoteApp integration components for Windows XP to get applications installed into XP to run seamlessly and show up on the Windows 7 taskbar and start menu: Download details: Update for Windows® XP SP3 to enable RemoteApp? The result will be essentially equivalent to what you'd get with XP Mode.
Ken in Regina
Thanks for the clarification, Tao. I haven't messed around with Virtual PC much since golf season started back in the spring. I'm hoping for it to last at least another month around here before I have to refocus on indoor activities. I'll grab the latest Virtual PC at that time.

...ken...
taoyue
Apparently, Virtual PC 2007 got official support for the "Home" editions of Windows in February with a hotfix. So running XP on WVPC on Windows 7 Home Premium may end up being a supported configuration, rather than a "works just fine, but don't call us up" wink-and-nod.

Anyway, General Availability is over a month away, so what will and what will not be officially supported is still a bit up in the air.
Ken in Regina
Support isn't a really big issue for me. I've been an IT professional for over thirty years now. I started playing with PCs in 1977. So by the time I'm out of ideas and things to try and have to resort to contacting tech support I usually discover I know as much or more about the product as the tech support person I end up dealing with, for any product.

With something like Virtual PC I expect exactly as much support as I paid for. If I get more, it's purely a bonus.

...ken...
ruffdaddy43
Quote:
Originally Posted by oakgrove
I realize this is an old thread but, I have the solution to this problem and I've looked everywhere and apparently no one else does. I have verified this problem on every kernel from 2.6.27 - 2.6.31 on several different distributions so it seems to be kernel specific and not distribution specific. The issue is the kernel module "pl2303" isn't initializing correctly when you plug your GPS in. Here's what you do:

Plug it in then open a terminal. In the terminal type this:
Code:
$ sudo modprobe -r pl2303
This will unload the module since it didn't load right in the first place anyway. Then boot up your virtual machine. After the vm is booted up, type in that command you just did above in the terminal again. Reason being is, vmware, when it hunts around for usb devices upon booting the vm, will reinitialize the dud pl2303 driver. After you've done this, go into your vmware menu under removable devices and click the box for the Prolific USB serial controller and presto! it works.

Check and make sure the following will work for you on your distro. If you are using a recent version of Ubuntu or Debian (as I've verified this step on those two), do the following to blacklist the module and keep it from ever reloading:
Code:
sudo cp /etc/modprobe.d/blacklist.conf /etc/modprobe.d/blacklist.conf.bak
sudo echo 'blacklist pl2303' >> /etc/modprobe.d/blacklist.conf
Again, make sure your module blacklist file is the one outlined here. If yours is different, you need to adjust these instructions accordingly.

And, Ken in Regina, vmware, and virtualbox are both definitely capable of running USB devices. Apparently, virtualpc in the version of Win7 that has the XP vm built in also can do USB pass through, however that isn't particularly relavant to most home users as they won't be running that version of Win7. Most other versions of virtual pc are not capable of using USB devices. But, back to vmware, the problem is that with the 2.6.27 kernel revision and later, this particular device stopped working (although it does work in VirtualBox without having to do this blacklist). I know as I've been locked into that kernel until recently when I figured out the little tidbit I posted above.

Any questions, just post.
Hi Oakgrove,

I too am stuck with the same gps problem but am unsure were to type in the code. If I understand correctly you want me to plug in the gps in an open usb port while in snow leopard. But were do I enter the code you posted? And once the code is entered you then want me to open VMware. At that point I think you again are asking me to enter the same code but I am not sure where to do so. Would you please further instruct me on the location to enter the code.

Thanks
Crazy Chris
Hi, ruffdaddy!

I'm running Fedora 12 Linux and I installed Streets 2010 on a Windows 7 virtual machine using Sun VirtualBox and didn't have any problems with the USB gps device. The sound under VirtualBox was a total mess, so I'm in the process of moving over to VMWare. I haven't yet installed Streets or tried the gps, so I'm not sure if I'll have this problem or not.

Anyway...

Since you mentioned Snow Leopard, I'm assuming that you're on a MacIntosh? If so, you want the Terminal.app which is in the Utilities folder.

BUT...

Those are Linux Unix commands, not OSX Unix commands. Although all unix variants are similar, they're not 100% the same. So, I'm not sure if those commands will work on the version of Unix that underlies Snow Leopard? Also, more out of curiosity than anything else, are you using VMWare Fusion for MacIntosh?

Regards,

Chris
taoyue
Mac OS X is based on Darwin (BSD + NeXTSTEP + others), with the XNU hybrid kernel.

modprobe doesn't exist on Mac OS X. It was designed for the Linux kernel.
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