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VMware Workstation 3.2

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Configuring Sound in VMware Workstation

Configuring Sound in VMware Workstation

VMware Workstation provides a Creative Labs Sound Blaster 16 compatible audio device and supports sound in Windows 95, Windows 98, Windows Me, Windows NT, Windows 2000, Windows XP, Windows .NET Server and Linux guest operating systems. The VMware Workstation sound device is disabled by default and must be enabled with the Configuration Editor (Settings > Configuration Editor). Sound support is currently limited to PCM (pulse code modulation) output (that is, any application that produces sound without using MIDI).

Setting Up a Virtual Sound Card on a Windows Host

Setting Up a Virtual Sound Card on a Windows Host

  1. Be sure your physical sound card is installed and configured properly on the Windows host operating system. Refer to the documentation for your particular Windows operating system. You may need to install additional software on your system to support sound. VMware cannot provide support assistance in configuring sound on your host operating system. Please contact your host operating system support provider or sound card manufacturer for help.

  2. Add a virtual sound adapter to the virtual machine. By default, the virtual sound adapter is not installed in the virtual machine.

  3. In the Configuration Editor (Settings > Configuration Editor), click Add. The Add Hardware Wizard appears.

  4. Select Sound Adapter, then click Next.

    If you have more than one physical sound adapter in your host computer, you can choose which one to connect to the virtual sound adapter. You can also choose whether the virtual sound adapter should be connected when the virtual machine starts.

  5. Click Finish.

  6. Click OK to close the Configuration Editor.

  7. Configure the guest operating system to use the VMware Workstation virtual sound adapter. This adapter is compatible with a Creative Labs Sound Blaster 16.

Setting Up a Virtual Sound Card on a Linux Host

Setting Up a Virtual Sound Card on a Linux Host

  1. Be sure your physical sound card is installed and configured properly on the Linux host operating system. Refer to the documentation for your particular Linux operating system. You may need to install additional software on your system to support sound. VMware cannot provide support assistance in configuring sound on your host operating system. Please contact your host operating system support provider or sound card manufacturer for help.

  2. Add a virtual sound adapter to the virtual machine. By default, the virtual sound adapter is not installed in the virtual machine.

  3. In the Configuration Editor (Settings > Configuration Editor), click Sound.

  4. Provide the device name in the Device field. Type in or browse to the device that represents your sound card (for example, /dev/dsp).

  5. Click the Install button, then click OK to save the configuration and close the Configuration Editor.

Setting Up Sound in the Guest Operating System

Setting Up Sound in the Guest Operating System

Use your guest operating system's configuration tools to set up the virtual sound adapter.

Sound in a Windows XP or Windows .NET Server Guest

Sound in a Windows XP or Windows .NET Server Guest

  1. Click the Printers and Other Hardware link in the Windows XP or Windows .NET Server Control Panel (Start > Control Panel).

  2. In the See Also pane, click Add Hardware, then click Next.

  3. Select Yes, I have already connected the hardware, then click Next.

  4. In the Installed Hardware list, select Add a new hardware device, then click Next.

  5. Select Install the hardware that I manually select from a list (Advanced), then click Next.

  6. Select Sound, video and game controllers, then click Next.

  7. Select Creative Technology Ltd. in the Manufacturer list and Sound Blaster 16 or AWE32 or compatible (WDM) in the list of devices, then click Next.

  8. Click Next.

  9. Click Finish.

Sound in a Windows 2000 Guest

Sound in a Windows 2000 Guest

  1. Double-click the Add/Remove Hardware icon in the Windows 2000 Control Panel (Start > Settings > Control Panel).

  2. In the Add/Remove Hardware Wizard dialog box, select Add a New Device and click Next.

  3. In the Find New Hardware dialog box, select No, I want to select the hardware from a list and click Next.

  4. In the Hardware Type dialog box, select Sound, video and game controllers from the list and click Next.

  5. In the Select a Device Driver dialog box, select Creative from the manufacturers list and select Sound Blaster 16 or AWE32 or compatible (WDM) from the models list, then click Next.

  6. In the Start Hardware Installation dialog box, click Next to install the Sound Blaster 16 drivers.

  7. In the Completing the Add/Remove Hardware Wizard dialog box, click Finish and reboot the virtual machine. Sound should be working the next time the virtual machine boots Windows 2000.

Sound in a Windows NT Guest

Sound in a Windows NT Guest

If you have never installed a Sound Blaster 16 Card in this Windows NT system, you need a Windows NT 4.0 installation CD-ROM.

  1. Go to the Windows NT Control Panel (Start > Settings > Control Panel).

  2. Double-click the Multimedia icon.

  3. Click the Devices tab.

  4. Click the Add button.

  5. Select the Creative Labs Sound Blaster 1.X, Pro, 16, then click OK.

  6. Insert the Windows NT 4.0 CD-ROM in the CD-ROM drive when prompted.

  7. Specify D:\I386 (where D: is your CD-ROM drive), then click OK.

  8. Configure the Sound Blaster base I/O Address.
     I/O address
     0x220

    Click OK.

  9. Complete the Sound Blaster 16 Configuration.
     IRQ
     8-bit DMA
     16-bit DMA
     MPU-401 I/O address
     5
     1
     7
     Disable (MPU-401 MIDI device is not supported)

    Click OK.

  10. When prompted to restart, click Restart Now.

Sound in a Windows 95 or Windows 98 Guest

Sound in a Windows 95 or Windows 98 Guest

If you have never installed a Sound Blaster 16 Card in this Windows guest operating system, you need a Windows 95 or Windows 98 installation CD-ROM.

  1. Double-click the Add New Hardware icon in the Windows Control Panel (Start > Settings > Control Panel).

    Click Next.

  2. Select Yes for Do you want Windows to search for new hardware?

    Click Next.

  3. Click Next again. Windows runs the autodetection and says it is ready to finish.

  4. If prompted to do so, insert the Windows CD-ROM into the drive and click OK.

    Click Finish.

If you have problems with Windows autodetection, add the device manually.

  1. Double-click the Add New Hardware icon in the Windows Control Panel (Start > Settings > Control Panel).

    Click Next.

  2. Select No for Do you want Windows to search for new hardware?

    Click Next.

  3. Select Sound, video and games controllers.

    Click Next.

  4. Select Creative Labs Sound Blaster 16 or AWE-32.

    Click Next.

    Click Finish.

Sound in a Linux Guest

Sound in a Linux Guest

  1. Refer to the documentation for your particular Linux distribution. You may need to install additional software packages on your system to support sound.

  2. When configuring the sound, please use the following parameters:
     I/O port
     IRQ
     8-bit DMA
     16-bit DMA
     0x220
     5
     1
     7

Known Limitations of Sound Support in VMware Workstation

Known Limitations of Sound Support in VMware Workstation

Sound support is provided for Sound Blaster compatible PCM (pulse code modulation) output. This gives you the ability to play .wav, .au and Real Audio formats, among others.

MIDI sound is not supported.

Game ports and devices such as joysticks attached to game ports are not supported.

Sound does not work well with certain games, especially fast, interactive games.

Improving Sound Performance

Improving Sound Performance

If you notice that sound skips in your guest operating system, you may try adding two variables to your virtual machine's configuration file (.vmx on Windows hosts, .cfg on Linux hosts). These variables are sound.maxLength and sound.smallBlockSize.

VMware cannot provide you with specific settings to use; how these settings affect your sound quality depends on many factors, including your environment and the way you are employing sound. But here are some general rules of thumb to use when setting these variables:

  • Set these values to powers of 2, such as 64, 128 or 512.
  • To overcome skipping, setting these values lower than 512 should help.
  • The sound.maxLength setting should be greater than or equal to the sound.smallBlockSize setting.

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