How to install VMware Tools in VMware Player

After creating a 'new' virtual machine I noticed that I couldn't do a few things that I could do in the other VM (the one that served as a base when creating a 'new' one):
  • I could not move the mouse between the guest system and the host system. Each time I wanted to move from one OS to another, I had to click to grab input and press Crtl+Alt to release it.
  • I could not use the toolbar at the top of the VMware Player without leaving the guest system.
  • I could not use the guest system in fullscreen mode.
  • I could not change the size of the guest system (in a way similar to changing screen resolution) by simply resizing the VMware Player window.
After a short while I realized that the difference between these two virtual machine was the fact that VMware Tools were installed in the old one, but not in the new one.

I installed VMware Tools and it solved all the problems.

This article explains how to install VMware Tools in VWware Player.


How to create a 'new' virtual machine using only VMware Player

Well, not exactly new, hence the quotation marks.

But if you:
  • already have a virtual machine,
  • need a new one with another operating system, but do not need another configuration for this new machine (for example, smaller or bigger HDD),
you can simply:
  • make a copy of the existing virtual machine's folder,
  • run the machine from the new location,
  • put an installation CD of the new operating system and change the booting device to CD-ROM.
Quick and dirty method, but it works - I installed an evaluation copy of Windows Server 2003 this way.

And if you have more time, you may find these articles interesting:
  How-to: VMware player modification
  How to create virtual machines using VMware Player


Visual Studio - Command Window vs. Immediate Window

While debugging in Visual Studio, I often use Command Window to check values of variables (?mySqlStr), assign values to variables (mySqlStr = "SELECT FOO_ID FROM dbo.FOO") or execute short code snippets (myDS.Fill()).

Today I closed Command Window and re-opened it after a while. And I could no longer evaluate any expressions. I also noticed a > prompt that I've never seen before.

It turns out that Command Window has two different modes (clicky):
  • Command mode - used for executing Visual Studio Commands directly in the IDE, bypassing the menu system, or for executing commands that do not appear in any menu,
  • Immediate mode - used for debugging purposes, evaluating expressions, executing statements, printing variable values, and so forth.
Command mode (notice the prompt)

Switching from Command mode to Immediate mode (type immed and press Enter)

Command Window - Immediate mode (no prompt)