Tuesday Feb 17, 2009

How to set up a USB Flash Drive from Windows to Windows in Virtual Box

Read the User Manual, available on http://www.virtualbox.org/wiki/Downloads and think "all that stuff you need to know that's a bit poor". Then,

  1. Make sure the windows guest is dormant
  2. Plug the Flash Drive into the Computer
  3. Edit the VM Settings
    1. Enable USB
    2. Enable USB 2.0
    3. Create a Filter
      • move the mouse over the add filter button and the USB devices will appear in the display box. This box is active. Select the one you want. If this is not obvious, then you can test this by removing the USB In the example above I have also taken Sasquatch's advice and created an empty filter which will assign all USB devices to the guest operating system. This is however disabled.
  4. Start the VM and wait for Windows to do its plug and play magic.
Virtual Box USB Settings Editor

This process was developed using a Windows Vista 32 bit guest and a Windows Vista 64 bit host, and a patched version of Virtual Vox 2.1.3

I have left the "All Devices" filter disabled. It will do all devices and thus some system devices will become visible to the guest such as the fingerprint reader, and whatever Chicony Electronics provide.

Sasquatch is a regular correspondent at virtual box forums and offered his advice in a thread called "USB on Windows host and Windows guest".

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Thursday Aug 21, 2008

Laptop Diaries, don't do this.

I feel a complete and absolute fool about this one. Longtime readers will know that I have from time to time mucked around with the operating system I use on my laptop, from single to dual boot, experimenting with various Windows, Solaris and Linux iterations. At home I have a couple of desktops running windows, (XP at the moment), primarily because they come with it, but it also runs games, and supports the UK education system's curriculum. I have been experimenting with Virtual Box; at home, mainly to give me x-windows access to my Qube. On my work's laptop, I have vm's running Indiana, Nevada and Ubuntu 7 & 8. I plan to do some pretty exciting things with it when I can find the time. At home, I installed an Ubuntu 8 VM, but i have a very important piece of advice for people using Windows as a host operating system, which I discovered on one of my desktops.

Don't use FAT or FAT32 file systems.

I made a mistake, I can't remember how, but my new HDD has a FAT32 file systems. This has a 4Gb file size limit, so while the virtual box manager will let you define the max file size as whatever you want, when the VM tries to extend beyond the 4Gb limit, the VM reports a disk full error. Fortunately I don't have very much on this disk yet, so the repair is fairly painless.

I documented this here at the virtual box forum, unfortunately the title's not so useful. As I said, I have been working with UNIX too long, I'd forgotten what 32 bits means.

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Saturday Jun 23, 2007

Plazes 2.0

Plazes, which I wrote about here...  just updated, actually a couple of days ago,  their agent and presumably the back-end infrastructure and proved the Web 2.0 permenant Beta adage as the true as ever. Its an interesting problem with their architecture that they need to update the laptop clients. I hope they have improved their network update functionality as the automatic update failed to work on my XP client and the manual downloads did not become available for a couple of days. I was still able to use the phone to update the web site though so no catastrophe.

The web site functionality seems much richer so thats good.

To me one of the biggest outstanding problems is that they don't stimualte a self-help community. It would be easy enough to copy the games companies, or even Dell and Sun's developer forums. Its sort of interesting who does and who doesn't. For instance I can't find a Sony-Ericcsson official community site but have found an unofficial bulletin board for Sony Errison users. Flickr has a help site although I have only found two forums, New Ideas and everything else. My favourite of the official sites are the games sites of which Bioware Forums are a good example offering personalisation tools to allow people to track their own interests. Several of the Bioware fan forums use Invision's community management software. Two implementations that illustrate the strength of community and the personalisation capability within this tool  are Gibberlings 3 and Spellhold Studios, while RPG Dungeon uses Simple Machine Framework. As ever, you need to read the small print to discover which are free and open source. Both these solutions have RSS.

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