Microsoft Virtual PC and Shared Folders

Filed under Uncategorized

Ok, I admit it. I have a bias towards VMWare. It’s been around forever, and it’s solid as a Bob Seger song. But, the Microsoft offering (Vitual PC) is free and it’s at least usable. But it certainly has it’s share of, shall we say, quirks.

Here’s the latest.

I have 2 VPCs that I use for InstallShield install builds and testing. Both share a folder on the host machine so that I can easily pass installations back and forth between the two.

This morning, a subfolder of the share on one VPC turned up empty. I refreshed the view. Empty. Popped over to the host machine and looked in the folder. It’s there, and has all its files.

I reset permissions. No luck. I unshared and reshared the folder via VPC. Still empty. Rebooted both the VPC and the host machine. Still empty.

At this point, it’s cost me about 30 mins of a Saturday when I’d much rather be anywhere in front of a VPC. I finally just renamed the subfolder, thinking I’ll copy a new set of files down from the network. Lo and behold, the newly renamed subfolder shows up on the VPC, and it now shows its contents! Keep in mind that this folder worked properly yesterday, and that there are other sub-folders in the shared folder that continue to show their contents just fine as well. Just this one folder is at issue.

Hmmm. So I renamed it back to its original name. It goes empty again. Doesn’t show any contents.

Ah, computer voodoo. Or in this case maybe the more appropriate term Microsoft doodoo. At any rate, the install is rebuilt, and I’m off to do something that doesn’t require a plastic rat and 2,304,000 square colored dots.


  1. Ralf says:

    I feel your pain. It seems that the more complex software systems get, they develop the same neuroses and inexplicable behaviors of bilogical organisms. Soon we won’t be troubleshooting computers so much as psychoanalizing them.

    "So, why do you suppose the shared folder is empty?"

    "I hate my father."

    "And…? The folder reminds you of your father?"

    "No. Are you not my father?"

    "Erm, no. That would be Bill Gates."

    "Ah, well. Here’s your shared folder then. Sorry."

  2. Darin says:

    Too true. Some systems seem so complex (like SAP) that the implementations of them tend to implode on themselves. At least, I hear about situations like those in the media regularly.
    And you quotes made me think of a Darth Vader with a decidedly proper British accent. Now +that’s+ funny!

Post a Comment

Your email is never published nor shared. Required fields are marked *