Splash of Style...Macs, Photography, Design, and other Passions

Stuck CD in Macbook Pro

October 31, 2009 by debbie T | Mac CornerMac SoftwareWindows on the Mac

I inserted a data file DVD into my Macbook Pro, and it only spun up for a few seconds, then fell silent. It wasn’t mounted on my desktop, or when I checked in Disk Utility.

It wouldn’t respond when I hit the Eject button either. It was silent.

I googled “stuck cd macbook pro” and found a few answers, but it was puzzling because most users were hearing a struggling super drive trying to read the disk, not silence.

Okay, so I decided to try the suggestion to reboot while holding down the trackpad key.

I started closing my apps, and was surprised when I went into my VMware Fusion virtual machine window. Surprise Surprise! There was my DVD; the files were displayed in an open Windows Explorer window. So that’s where the DVD went. It mounted in Windows for some reason, not Mac!

So, I right-clicked on the drive in My Computer and ejected. Yay, problem solved! And I didn’t even have to reboot!

Importing Plain Text Into Excel Spreadsheet

July 5, 2009 by debbie T | Content ManagementMac SoftwareWindows on the Mac

I needed to convert a text document with personal data to an Excel spreadsheet. I wanted to use Neo Office (Open Office) but couldn’t find a way to import text, so I fired up my Windows XP virtual machine, and installed an old copy of Office 2000.

So, here’s the dilemma, the data was pasted into a text file from a web page and it was formatted with line breaks. There were 180 blocks of data like this:

first last

first last

After googling, I found that it’s fairly easy to import text as long as there is some sort of delimiter like tab, comma, semi-colon separating the data.

In excel, choose Data>Get External Data>Import Text File

import text file into excel

Initially, I tried comma, but didn’t work well, since some of the text data already had commas, so I decided to use a semi-colon delimiter.

I typed a semi-colon after each section & painstakenly removed each line break.

first ;last;title;address;phone;email
first ;last;title;address;phone;email
first ;last;title;address;phone;email

I worked in small chunks, importing after a few sections. This was taking forever. I needed a short cut!

Since I was using Text Wrangler, I figured there might be a way to automatically remove the line breaks. Yay! Found it. Text>Remove Line Breaks. Couldn’t be easier!


Okay, now if only there was a way to somehow add a semi-colon after each line. Whoo-hooo, how about this:

Text>Prefix/Suffix Lines

I selected each section, added the suffix of “;” then removed the line breaks.

Text Wrangler cut my work in half!

NOTE: When Text Wrangler removed the line breaks, it added a space in between the items, so that messed up my spreadsheet by adding a space before each item in the cell. Before I imported, I did a “find/replace” and replaced all the ;(space) with ; and that worked!

Testing Web Design in Different Browsers

May 20, 2009 by debbie T | InternetWeb DesignWeb DevelopmentWindows on the Mac

Every web designer knows how important it is to test test test their new web design in multiple browsers. Windows doesn’t make it easy to test in multiple versions of Internet Explorer, although it is possible through various means.

What I decided to go the virtual route. I have VMWare Fusion installed on my Mac, with Windows XP and Windows 7 virtual machines, running IE 6 and IE8 respectively.

So in order to run IE7, I copied the XP/IE6 virtual machine onto an external hard drive (due to lack of space on my laptop) keeping IE6 running, while upgrading to IE7 on the original XP machine.

Works great!

For more info on how I moved my VMWare Fusion virtual machine, check out my article explaining how I accomplished it. Note: When you launch the “copied” virtual machine, it will ask if it was moved or copied, in this instance I chose “copied”

Moving a VMware Fusion Virtual Machine

January 31, 2009 by debbie T | Mac SoftwareWindows on the Mac

I realized my Macbook Pro’s hard drive was just too small to keep both XP and Windows 7 VMware Fusion virtual machines, so I decided to move the Windows 7 install to an external hard drive.

I copied the virtual machine file (by default vm files are located in Documents/Virtual Machines) and double-clicked to launch VMware. It automatically started the virtual machine, and a message box appeared asking if the virtual machine was moved or copied. (See screen shot below)


I chose “moved” since I didn’t want to keep the file on my MBP hard drive anymore.

I had read online that if the file has been moved to a new hard drive, it is very important that VMware Fusion keeps the original settings for the Windows activation, so it won’t mess it up later.

Next, I suspended the virtual machine, and exited from VMware Fusion. In Finder, I sent the Windows 7 file (on my hard drive) to the trash. I also had to remove the older Windows 7 install from the list of virtual machines in Fusion.

Once I double-clicked the “moved” Windows 7 virtual machine file on my external a second time, it launched, and was added to the list of virtual machines in Fusion. All seemed to be working just fine.

Now I can expand my Windows XP virtual machine and possibly install some more Windows programs, like Dreamweaver, Flash, Paint Shop Pro, games, etc.

I really love VMware Fusion!

Installing MS Money 2002 in Windows 7 Beta

January 20, 2009 by debbie T | Windows on the Mac

Yeah, I know I am so very behind the times when it comes to my financial software. I am still using Money 2002. But I like it, and I know with each update, Microsoft keeps adding unnecessary bloat so I stick with this older version.

I was very interested in finding out if it would still install and run on Windows 7, so I installed this morning.

Since I am using Windows 7 in VMware Fusion on my Macbook Pro, I made sure to take a "snapshot" of my virtual machine before any new installations.

I inserted the install CD, and navigated to the Money setup.exe file in the Money directory.

A Funny Warning

And I was surprised to find this warning. How funny! It’s a software product from MICROSOFT, but the publisher is unknown to them. I guess it really is old!


After installation, Money 2002 appeared to be working okay. Time will tell when I actually start to work with real financial data, but so far so good.

I found an article online stating that MS Money was working just fine in Vista, so I don’t anticipate any issues with Windows 7.

Installing Windows 7 Beta in VMware Fusion

January 20, 2009 by debbie T | Mac SoftwareWindows on the Mac

I installed the Windows 7 Beta in VMware Fusion on my Macbook Pro. Actually, it took several tries, but it was pretty quick and easy, once I understood the process. I am still getting used to VMware, so that might have been a bit of a hinderance.

This tutorial takes you through the steps I took to install. It should be noted that I am still new to VMware, so my experience might be slightly different than others that are more experienced with the program.

First, download the Windows 7 Beta at http://www.microsoft.com/windows/windows-7.

Read the Rest of the Article

Accidentally Deleted my Windows XP Virtual Machine in Fusion

January 18, 2009 by debbie T | Mac SoftwareWindows on the Mac

Yikes, while messing around with an install of the Windows 7 beta in VMware Fusion, I accidentally deleted my Windows XP virtual machine.

Luckily, I didn’t empty my trash right away, and I noticed my mistake right away. So, I dragged the trashed file back into my “Virtual Machines” folder in documents, re-started VMware, and oops, it didn’t display in the list of my virtual machines. I couldn’t “import” the file either.

I right-clicked on the file in Finder, and noticed the “open with” command. hmm, maybe I could simply open the file? So, I double-clicked the file in Finder, and yay, it started it in VMware Fusion, and it was indeed now added to the list of my Virtual Machines. phew.

So, if you accidentally delete one of your virtual machines in error, just drag it back to your Virtual Machines folder and double click the file in Finder. Easy peasy!

Disconnecting Windows in VMware Fusion

January 15, 2009 by debbie T | InternetMac SoftwareWindows on the MacWireless

Since I am not running any anti-virus or anti-malware programs while using Windows XP in VMware Fusion, I don’t want Windows to connect to the Internet. It’s very easy to toggle my network connection in Fusion.

Click the little “double arrow” icon in the bottom toolbar in Fusion. Choose to Connect or Disconnect from the network. Very easy.


Windows Joy

January 15, 2009 by debbie T | Mac SoftwareWindows on the Mac

Well my Macbook Pro finally came home last Friday afternoon. Gawd, I missed that machine.

Anyway, I was planning on reinstalling Mac OS X and starting “from scratch” but decided I just didn’t want to fiddle with the bother of a new installation, so I restored my Super Duper bootable backup. So much easier.

So, what does all this have to do with Windows? I am getting to that. I treated myself to a copy of Vmware Fusion so I was excited to install my copy of Windows XP. It was fairly easy and fast to install Windows XP in Fusion.

wow! What a difference from Bootcamp! I love that I don’t have to keep restarting to move back and forth from Mac OS X to Windows. It actually made using Windows more enjoyable!! Can you believe it!

Since I heard SimCity was released for the iPhone/iPod, I have been dying to play my old Sim games. So I installed the old SimTower and SimCity 2000 – both worked wonderfully in Fusion. So exciting!

I decided not to run any Anti-virus or malware protection software in Windows. I don’t need to connect to the Internet very often, and when I do, it will mainly be to update Windows. What a dream it is to run Windows without any annoying anti-virus programs!

So now, guess what? As I am writing this, I am downloading the Windows 7 beta. Ha! Talk about crazy!

I am curious to see what older apps will run on it. Especially since the main reason I am running Windows is Microsoft Money (version 2002). It will be interesting.

File Recovery on Windows Bootcamp Partition

June 24, 2008 by debbie T | ComputersMac CornerWindows on the Mac

I did something stupid this morning. I have no one to blame but myself, even though I would like to blame Apple for making me have such crazy problems w/ my Macbook Pro.

My MBP has been running badly, since my upgrade to Leopard. After setting up at least two prior Applestore Genius appointments, then canceling, I needed to have my MBP looked over once and for all.

Long story short, since I had a Windows Bootcamp installation, I figured I better delete a few of my personal Microsoft Money files from the Windows partition. I emptied the trash, and as soon as I did, I realized that I hadn’t backed up from the last time I worked in Windows.

Oh no! Crap! I took at look at the backup I did have, and it was from over a month ago in May. I worked for 3 or 4 hours about a week ago updating my Microsoft Money files. Oh no! This was bad!

I rescheduled my Apple Genius appointment to tomorrow, and started googling to find a suitable Mac Data Recovery program.

I found Data Rescue II. I downloaded the free demo, and let it scan my Windows partition. Unfortunately didn’t find any .mny Microsoft money files. Data Rescue is $100.

I found another program called Boomerang, and that was priced even higher at $200. I figured that I would install the demo and let it search the partition. Lo and behold, it did find my file, located in /1 Fat32/.Trashes/501/ folder.

Well, okay, this is giving me hope.

Granted, the file wasn’t important enough to pay $100+ but if I could now just somehow restore it using a freeware app, it would save me from having to enter all that data in again.

I launch Onyx so I could change my settings to display all hidden files. Maybe just maybe it would show up as a hidden file on the partition. Nope! I did see the folders .Trashes/501/ but they were empty. Darn!

Let’s think this through. I didn’t want to just willy nilly install a freeware Windows app on the Bootcamp partition for fear that it would overwrite the file I needed to recover.

Then, I had a delightful idea of booting into my old Dell desktop, and attaching my Macbook Pro by USB to see if maybe I could “see” the Windows partition, and therefore run a free recovery program from the Dell. But alas, I didn’t have a USB to USB connector. (note to self: buy a new connector cable from Amazon soon)

Finally, I came upon my solution! Searching for “portable usb data recovery“, I found Recuva – a portable application that could be installed right on a USB key.

And guess what, it worked!

I downloaded the file, saved it on a USB key, then booted into my Windows partition. Once Windows launched, I double-clicked Recuva, and went through the installation process, making sure I installed directly on the USB key.

Then I double-clicked the program to launch, and voila! It found my file in excellent shape, and it recovered it easy as pie!

I am keeping this handy dandy app saved on a USB key just in case it’s needed in the future! whoo-hooo! I am a happy girl!