December 14, 2007

Even Virtual Windows Can Drive You Nuts

I've been a very happy VMWare Fusion customer for a few months now. Getting into the world of dual operating systems on my MacBook Pro has been almost universally rewarding from day one - starting with ditching my old Dell laptop, and being able to use Microsoft Outlook, use Internet Explorer 7 and other applications unavailable to us Mac folks - but in a single virtual window, letting me use the Mac the other 95% of the time.

Yet, the other day, while working on e-mail or catching up on RSS feeds, I heard the familiar "Windows is shutting down" chimes, and confirmed it by looking at my VMWare Fusion application. In full text, Windows was informing me my settings were being saved, and indeed, the operating system was shutting down. And no, I didn't tell it to, and no, I don't have any idea why. I told a friend at work, who laughed and said, "Windows needs a reason to shut down?"

I caught Windows in the act of bailing on me this morning...

It happened again yesterday morning. Going to my VMWare Fusion application, I sent the Ctrl-Alt-Del command to the Windows virtual machine, and it didn't come up. I closed Fusion and reopened it. Still no dice. I went to my virtual machine library, selected Windows XP and hit "Run". Nothing. It actually took rebooting the Mac for the Windows virtual machine to launch correctly again!

So guess what... 10 minutes ago, I heard the chimes again. Windows is shutting down. Again. Without rhyme or reason. Again. Now, I have to see if I can trick it into relaunching without making me reboot my Mac. Again.

I'm happy I'm not using Windows as my primary operating system, but even this is annoying. How do people live with themselves day to day in this type of OS hell? Ridiculous.