A quick note about g4u – g4u (Ghost for you) is a hard disk imaging tool similar to Norton Ghost, but without the cost. g4u allows you to image hard disks to both files and physical media. This can be accomplished within a physical machine, a virtual machine, or by using an FTP server on either of the two.
Parallels announced today the updated features of the newest iteration of Parallels Workstation.
Big new all around for Windows, Mac and Linux users.
Here’s the breakdown (from the newsletter):
Parallels Desktop for Mac is the first solution for running Windows and OS X at the same time – without rebooting!
The Desktop for Mac Official Update includes a number of powerful new features, such as:
- Works on ANY Intel-Mac with ANY memory configuration with no system modification. This includes Mac Pro towers with up to 16GB of RAM, and the full line of Core 2 Duo iMacs
- Support for Windows Vista as a guest OS
- Support for Mac OS X 10.5 “Leopard” as a Primary OS
- Better USB support, including support for isochronous devices and Windows Mobile 5 devices
Parallels Workstation 2.2 for Windows & Linux is a powerful, cost effective virtualization solution which boosts productivity and lowers IT costs by letting users run multiple OSes simultaneously – without rebooting – on any Windows or Linux PC.
The new version includes a variety of new features and improvements:
- Full support for AMD Secure Virtual Machine Technology, and stronger support for Intel Virtualization Technology
- Support for Windows Vista as a Guest OS
- A new shared folder utility lets users share files and folders between OSes
- Better networking
- Better USB support, including support for webcams and Windows Mobile 5 devices
This hack will allow you to connect multiple time to your Microsoft Windows XP machine using an RDP client coming from a Mac, Linux, or another PC like a real Terminal Server, or a Windows Server running Citrix.
In detail, this hack patches many pieces of Windows XP in order to allow the same Terminal Services functionality that you find in Microsoft Windows Terminal Server, but without the licensing costs. The stability of the hack has not been verified, but the virtual machine used has been running for over a week now with 20 conenctions to it and has yet to fail once.
In order to perform the hack you will need one external file, some guts, and a backup. The backup is extremely important. I highly recommend that you test the procedure using virtualisation technoloy like Parallels, Virtual Server (free), or VMWare Server (also free). You have no excuse to procede without a backup – consider yourselves warned.
The file needed for the hack is actually a combination of some registry tweaks and DLL/EXE patches made by “antiwpa”. antiwpa is known for dealing with another Windows XP issue that we won’t get into here – I’m sure you can guess what it is easily.
No that you have the file, and backup, we’ll extract it and start the install process. It’s quite simple – you double-click on the application, it starts a command line window, you press a key and the patch commences. Eventually the command line portion will end and you will get a Windows warning regarding system files having been replaced – we’ll cancel the restore “feature”, and let Microsoft know that we are running untested code by pressing the “yes” button on the next window.
A second patcher launches with full GUI this time. We click on the “patch” button and we are finished. Easy huh?
Moving on… If you try to connect to the XP machine now, you will notice that the maximum number of connections has been reached. This is easy enough to fix, but it’s readily apparent where we need to go. Click on Start, then Run, and type in:
Once the Group Policy Editor has opened, navigate to “Computer Configuration”, “Administrative Templates”, then “Terminal Services”.
In the “Terminal Services” tree, you’ll see a policy named “Limit number of connections”. Double-click on this policy. Set the policy to enabled, and adjust the maximum connections to suit your need. I recommend trying “2″ to start off with.
Now reboot your machine, and attempt to connect the amount of times you have specified. If you need mre connections, navigate back to the policy editor and set the maximum amount higher.
Once you have completed your testing, back the machine up once more for good measure. If you don’t have disk imaging software, I’d recommend using the open source g4u – otherwise commercial applications such as Symantec Ghost will work.
Moving on, if you feel the need to manage the users (log them off, control sessions) like on a real Terminal Server, you can grab a copy of the “tsadmin.exe” file from a Windows Server 2003 machine’s “SYSTEM32″ folder and copy to the Windows XP machine’s SYSTEM32 folder. Running TSAdmin is as easy as clicking on Start, Run, then typing tsadmin, but you might also want to make a shortcut to the file for good measure.
I’ve been using Parallels Workstation on my beefy Windows test host alongside VMWare Server and Windows Virtual Server. Parallels, though a relatively new piece of software, is remarkably good.
Recently I received an email about the new Apple Mac version which adds a lot of features that have me very excited. I have been debating a MacBook Pro purchase, and this announcement just may be the tipping point.
So let’s hear them out on this spam, and have a look at why I’m so excited.
Big features to mention:
- Support for new quad-processor Mac Pro towers outfitted with up to 3.5GB of RAM
- This addition means that Parallels Desktop for Mac is now compatible with all Intel-powered Apple computers, which in addition to the Mac Pro includes the MacBook, MacBook Pro, iMac, and Mac Mini!
- Compatibility with developer build of Mac OS X 10.5, code-named “Leopard”
- Experimental support for Windows Vista
- Solaris guest OS no longer hangs after suspend/resume
- An improved Parallels Tools package
- Full support for OpenBSD 3.8 as a guest operating system
- G4U hard disk cloning tool now works in virtual machines
The new Parallels release candidate adds many exciting features including (but not limited to):
- USB improvements — easily use multi interfaced and isochronous USB devices (including Windows Mobile 2005 and webcams)
- Mac OS X performance improvements — optimize Mac OS X or guest OS performance by switching off the Mac cache function
- Graphic performance improvements — enjoy faster, smoother video playback
- Keyboard support improvements — use all of the keys on your Mac keyboard, such as the eject CD button, right-left and Shift/Ctrl/Alt (option)/Windows keys, in any virtual machine
- Unicode path support improvements — name files and paths in national languages
- Shared folders performance improvements — open folders and files faster, and transfer data across OSes with almost zero lag