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Multiple users of Parallels – a MacPuzzle

November 18, 2009

It’s all Microsoft’s fault, of course.

I recently upgraded a file-server from Windows 2003 to Windows 2008. Only to discover that one of the things it could no longer do was talk to the CanoScan 3200F scanner which was plugged into it. M$ says that Canon are no longer supporting it, and Canon remains completely silent on the matter.

Darn it, the thing is only lightly used and is only about 5 years old, why should we have to go out and buy another one? That’s obsolescence gone mad!

So, I tried Vista, with the same result (but at least it was a little more informative, instead of sullenly refusing to install the driver).

Well we know that it works with Windows XP, and there look to be some MacOS drivers on the Canon site, so we give it a go on the Mac. Ooops, supported only up to Leopard, and we have Snow Leopard. Dang!

But wait, we have Parallels and an instance of XP on the Mac. What if we install the TWAIN drivers and Canon software on that? Miraculously, and somewhat mysteriously, it worked. Straight out of the box. The mysterious thing is that Snow Leopard has to communicate backwards and forwards with the Windows TWAIN driver, so how is it that Snow Leopard can’t work directly with it, it’s plugged into one of the Mac’s USB ports?

Some time ago, we created an account for me on the Mac, and after a bit of fiddling about, used VineServer (VNC) on the Mac (yes, I do know that MacOS has VNC built in, but it didn’t do what we wanted) and VNC Viewer on my Vista PC. Across the Gigabit network, it works spiffily.

So now, I wanted to load the Parallels image of XP to be able to scan stuff from my desktop. I made a copy of the XP image and put it in /Users/Shared/Parallels, and from the Mac, started it up and made sure that it was running OK. Great 🙂

Then I tried from the PC/VNC Viewer. Uh oh, the message appears “Access denied. You do not have enough rights to use this virtual machine.”

Long story short. Known problem at Parallels, and is all about execute permissions for the XP virtual image folder. Good times, I had to get down and dirty with terminal, sudo and chown. How very 80’s?

I guess that I could have put a virtual Windows XP on the 2008 Server, but this solution has more cool points, I think.

Check out the solution here at Parallels.

Oh, and if you are wondering about all these Windows licenses, I have a recently expired MSDN Developers license, so it’s all legal.

Categories: computery stuff
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