Ian McShane Rotating Header Image

Laptop consolidation

Continuing my “Switch To Mac” project, i’ve been trying to work out how far I can go in replacing my work laptop with my own Macbook.
Now, my work laptop is a real bone of contention. It’s a piece of crap Dell Latitude D600. In the past 9 months, the HD has gone three times, a memory module has bust and it has had to be re-imaged by the internal IS&T team 4 times in total. Each time it is re-imaged is two days of almost 100% downtime.
Unfortunately this re-imaging can’t be done myself as our VPN solution requires a specific AD tied RSA token and without AD domain admin style access I can’t generate a new token and assign it to my account.
I was checking out the ‘Black Friday’ sale that Apple ran for the UK yesterday (30th November) as i’d decided to pick up a license for iWork ’08 whilst it was on sale, when I saw VMWare Fusion on there also at a discounted rate.
I’d nearly bought Parallels a couple of days ago but was waiting to speak to a colleague who has recently picked up a MBP to use for work. He’d mentioned Fusion before but I hadn’t heard how he was getting on.
This led me over to the VMWare Fusion site where I noticed the VMWare Converter. An application you can use to create an exact virtualised replica of a physical device (providing you have administrative access to it obviously). I’d heard about the Enterprise version of this app but hadn’t realised that they had released a kind of consumer version.
I downloaded Converter and the 30 day trial of VMWare Fusion (VMF from now on) and set about taking an image of my work XP SP2 install.

After 3 failed attempts at taking an image (Notes: Turn off screensavers, turn off power management) I finally managed to get a good image, weighing in at just over 16GB. Transfered to my MB, load into VMF and shazam.
I’ve set the NIC to bridge to the network so it appears as it’s own device rather than NATing my MB address.
Everything works, VPN and all. Amusingly, performance of the VM is _actually_ better than the physical machine!

Now, just need to get iSight working in XP….


  1. Scott Lowe says:

    I believe you will be able to get iSight working in Fusion by using Apple Boot Camp to create a CD with Windows drivers for the Apple hardware, then installing those drivers in the VM under Fusion. Good luck!

  2. Macca says:

    Yeh, almost.
    All I had to do was to use the MSI installer on Leopard CD2 to install all of the Apple hardware drivers. Works like a champ.

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