Wednesday, 30 July 2008

Sometimes it IS that simple

Just recently, I have been having trouble getting my VMware machines to accept keyboard input.
The patterns:
  1. Not a problem in unity mode. Which doesn't help when you are trying to log in to the machine.
  2. Happens to both my Boot Camp image and to true virtual machines. Also happens on XP images and my Ubuntu image.
Of course, google was my first port of call. Plenty of options, but none really matched my exact situation. The VMware forums had a few solutions, but again the problems described were not the same as mine. Windows seemed to be the only culprit and normally just the Boot Camp partition.

One thread almost hit the nail on the head though. They talk there about some programs like SecureInput taking control of keyboard input and to not run them at the same time as Fusion. Didn't seem to exactly match, so I gave up there and went looking further.

Unfortunately, I didn't find anything useful. Some of the threads suggested rebooting and doing all sorts of basic stuff like that. Lacking any specific solutions, I tried that... Rebooted both the VMs and the host machine.

When I first came back in to my account, I ran Fusion and only Fusion. VM booted nicely and allowed keyboard input. Nice. Opened iTunes (as I am wont to do) and things were fine to start. Then I had an interesting thought...

I run the last.fm client and it is set to open after iTunes does. Unfortunately (and I'm not certain why) it doesn't play nicely on the ISA-controlled network out at Wongutha. When it opens, it doesn't log into my account automatically, but sits there with a login screen waiting for me to hit enter. So my brainwave suggested that I hit enter. I did, last.fm logs in and I get keyboard input back.

Nice.

I will be very surprised if anyone out there has the exact same circumstances I have, but if the big G sends you here, just try logging into your last.fm client. Or just turning it off. Worked for me!!