Virtual Box 2.1 broke the IDM demo on Windows
By user12609114 on Jan 21, 2009
With the release of VirtualBox 2.1 we no longer need to use these virtual adapters. The install program for 2.1 will remove the virtual driver that previous version used and will allow direct access to the Network Adapters in Windows. This is a great update and all should rejoice!
Well what if someone actually built a demo assuming that virtual network interface was there? Today I got a call from an SE on our IDM team, because they upgraded to 2.1 and their IDM demo broke. After a bit of debugging, I discovered the demo works as a prepackaged VirtualBox VM. You then access the services running in the VM from your host operating systems. The demo assumes your host has the IP 192.168.100.100 and that the IDM VM has an IP of 192.168.100.101. Seems as though the IDM Demo guys, cleverly used the Virtual Network interface that installed with previous version of VirtualBox to give the Windows host an IP. While this was a very clever trick, and solved the problem of having to deal with getting the correct IP on the Windows host, obviously it no longer works with VirtualBox 2.1 because the virtual interface is gone!
My initial solution to the problem was to hard code the IP to the Ethernet Adapter in Windows. While not very effective for other uses of the system it would allow the demo to work. The catch here is that Windows network adapters only plumb up when they detect a link. Not very professional to walk into a customer and say you need to jack in to their network, don't even need an IP, just the link light to run your demo. Obviously this was not going to fly.
After some more research we found a Microsoft Knowledge Base Article that describes how to add a loopback interface that will plumbed up even without a network cable, thus allowing the demo to run.
If you have VM's that are hard coded to a fixed IP and you want to add a fixed IP to your Windows host, so that you can communicate with your VM's regardless as to if your Network Adapter has a link status, this Microsoft Knowledge Base Article is for you!
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