VMware as released VMware Fusion 1.1 VM software for the Mac. The software now fully supports Leopard. Additional new OS support includes 32 and 64-bit Vista along with 64-bit Windows XP. There’s over two dozen improvements and fixes listed in the release notes.
VMware also released a beta version of their VMware Importer. This can be used to convert a Parallels virtual machine into a VMware Fusion virtual machine. The VMware Importer can import Parallels 2.5 and 3.0 VMs that are running Windows 2000 SP4, Windows XP SP2, Windows Vista or Windows Server 2003. I used it to import my Vista Ultimate virtual machine.
I installed VMware Fusion 1.1 on my iMac and used the importer to import. The process was easy and straight forward. The installation was done by running the installer and is a simple wizard, no need for details. By default VMware Fusion creates a folder under Documents called Virtual Machines which is where it puts it’s VMs. Because of their large size I excluded this folder from both my Time Machine and Mozy backups.
The VMware Importer was harder to find but it’s available for download from the VMware website. It’s a zip file that contains the .app file. I dragged the file to my applications directory but I’m sure it can be run from anywhere.
The main screen is shown below.
The Parallels virtual machines are in ~/Library/Parallels. I dragged the Vista Ultimate folder contained here to the VMware Importer screen. Click the thumbnail for full size and color (236KB).
You’ll see the VMware Importer screen shows the VM info after I’ve dragged the folder to it.
Clicking the Disk options button shows that splitting the disk into 2GB files is selected by default. I uncheck it.
I clicked the convert button, accepted the default destination and kicked off the conversion. It took about 20 minutes to do the conversion. Neither memory or the dual core processor seemed stressed. I was watching a DVD and doing other work during the conversion.
When the conversion was finished I was given the option to quit, convert another VM or start the VM I just converted. I started the VM. A message in the bottom status bar of the window indicated I should manually install the VMware tools but the installation kicked off on it’s own.
I had to re-activate Vista which was expected since the VMware “hardware” is different than Parallels “hardware”. I did have a problem with the sound driver when starting the VM. Actually, the problem was there wasn’t a sound driver. The release notes had the answer:
Fixing sound problems in virtual machines running Vista 32-bit edition
When you install Microsoft Vista 32-bit edition in a VMware Fusion virtual machine, there is no sound output. To correct this problem, run Windows Update to update the sound driver from within Vista. To update the sound driver in a VMware Fusion virtual machine running Windows Vista 32-bit edition:
- In the virtual machine, from the Windows start menu, right-click Computer and select Properties.
- In the left pane, under Tasks, select Device Manager.
- When prompted for your permission to continue, click Continue.
Windows displays the Device Manager.
- Right-click the Multimedia Sound Adapter with a warning symbol (indicating that there is no driver) and select Update Driver Software.
- At the prompt How do you want to search for driver software?, select Search automatically for updated driver software. I selected search the internet.
- Windows finds and installs the appropriate driver for your virtual sound card.
- When you are prompted to restart, click Restart Now. I wasn’t prompted for a restart and sound worked.
Sound should now work in your Microsoft Vista 32-bit virtual machine.
The installation and conversion was almost problem free, with just the sound driver issue. The entire process, including researching the sound driver issue took about 45 minutes.
A 30-day trial of Fusion is available from VMware. VMware sells for $79 although they are currently offering a $20 mail-in rebate.