VMWare Fusion 5 – Touch Keyboard keeps reappearing in Windows 8 VM

Surprisingly annoying, by default Windows 8 seems to think it’s running on a tablet instead of inside of a computer; you likely won’t need the touch keyboard toolbar unless you are running Windows 8 on a touchscreen tablet. It irked me every time I saw it reappear after disabling it in Taskbar Properties. Here’s how to permanently disable it:

How to disable the Touch Keyboard and Handwriting Panel Service in Windows 8:

1. Move the mouse to the bottom-left corner of the screen and right-click to reveal the “secret” admin menu.
2. Click Computer Management
3. Expand Services and Applications, and click Services
4. Find “Touch Keyboard and Handwriting Panel Service” and right-click -> Properties
5. Click the Stop button near the bottom
6. Change the “Startup Type” to “Disabled”. Click OK.

Cisco AnyConnect and Windows 8

If you are trying Windows 8 and can’t get Cisco AnyConnect 2.5 (or other versions, I suppose) working, specifically getting the below error message…

“AnyConnect was not able to establish a connection to the specified secure gateway. Please try connecting again”

…you should know that Cisco AnyConnect on Windows 8 takes some work to get working. Doing the below worked for me:

1. Registry tweak
a. Open regedit, go to HKEY_LOCAL_MACHINE\SYSTEM\CurrentControlSet\Services\vpnva
b. Change DisplayName to “Cisco AnyConnect VPN Virtual Miniport Adapter for Windows x64″. (It’ll already be there but have a bunch of junk before “Cisco AnyConnect VPN Virtual Miniport Adapater for Windows x64″, remove it so it only says what’s in quotes here.)

2. Install certificates
a. Open IE as administrator (shift+click icon or shortcut -> run as administrator)
b. go to the VPN URL, and accept the certificate warnings.
c. Once it shows the red “x” certificate error button, click it and then click View Certificates.
d. Click Install Certificate
e. Specify Local machine and click Next
f. Select “place all certificates in the following store”
g. Click browse and choose Trusted Root Certificate Authorities. Click OK
h. Click Next, click Finish
i. Click the red “x” certificate error button again and then click View Certificates.
j. Click Certificate Path
k. Click the root certificate which should be at the very top of the list and click view certificate
l. Click Install Certificate
m. Specify Local machine and click Next
n. Select “place all certificates in the following store”
o. Click browse and choose Trusted Root Certificate Authorities. Click OK
p. Click Next, click Finish

Enable DTS passthrough for .dts audio files in XBMC

XBMC by default will not pass DTS to your audio receiver when playing .dts files or DTS .wav files. This is because XBMC by default plays all audio using PAplayer, which apparently does not handle DTS; the audio is downmixed to 2 channels. You can easily get around this by playing the audio via XBMC’s DVD Player. You can’t do this song-by-song as XBMC will only let you open video files with the DVD Player via the interface. There’s a fix that allows you to make XBMC play your DTS files via DVD Player automatically via the Music menu, though:

Find your playercorefactory.xml file (is at /usr/share/xbmc/system in XBMC live/XBMCbuntu) and add this line somewhere below the line “<rules name=”system rules”>”, and before “</rules>”:

<rule filetypes=”(dts|wav)” player=”DVDPlayer” />

Note: Visualizations won’t work and there is a ~1 second delay before you hear audio after hitting play, so each song is missing the first one second. It’s certainly better than your 5.1 mix outputting over only 2 channels though.

Default Gateway Disappearing From TCP/IPv4 Properties

You might’ve experienced a strange problem, perhaps after cloning a sysprepped Windows VM, where the default gateway you set in TCP/IPv4 (TCP/IP if on 2k3) properties just disappears. You’ve tried rebooting, setting it back to DHCP, and it keeps happening. Give this a shot!

Disclaimer: This will reset all network interfaces’ configuration, so use with caution.

In an elevated command prompt:

netsh int ip reset resetlog.txt

Then Reboot. If you still see this issue, give this one a try too:

netsh winsock reset catalog

VMWare ESX 4.1 update oddities

initrd /initrd.img

Error 15:File not Found

Press any key to continue …

See this? Want to scream? It’s okay, I might have a solution for you:

1. Boot into Troubleshooting mode.
2. cd /boot
3. ls -al (see if there’s an initrd.img link that is broken, it will show up red)
4. rm initrd-2.4.xx-xxx.esx.img (remove the oldest initrd .img file if there is more than one)
4. ln -s initrd-2.4.xx-xxx.esx.img initrd.img (Replace x’s with the newest version that is actually there, which will re-link the broken link to another img, if one is available. You will if you are seeing this for the same reason I saw it.)
5. reboot

Ignore all the kernal mismatch errors you will probably see, and wait about 5-10 minutes. Then:

6. cd /boot
7. ls -al (see if the missing initrd .img version from step 3 is actually there now. It will be a newer version than the one you linked in step 4.)
8. ln -s initrd-2.4.xx-xxx.esx.img initrd.img (link to the newer one you now should see, since vmware now has had the chance to finish its update script.)
9. reboot

That should do it. What probably happened was your update script tried to copy a new version of the initrd image into /boot, but since you followed vmware best practices and there is obviously a bug in their update software causing old versions to not be removed, the /boot partition was full. The script should try to recover once you boot up with that old initrd, though. :)

Hope that helps any.

Looking for passphrase ideas?

If you’ve been tasked with changing some passwords and would like some great ideas, check out IMDb quotes. Sci-Fi movie quotes always make good passphrases.

Total Recall quotes