I’ve had a history of frustration with VMware Workstation and the Unity mode. I’ve had it work on some machines, not work on others and sometimes even switch from working to not working. And I won’t lie, this has made me a little crazy because — when it works — I really like Unity! A great way to work with multiple machines all on the same screen. No need to flip from one session to the other.
And I like the double-takes when someone spots MS Windows and Linux windows all running on the same display. I’m geeky like that.
I whined about it on Twitter recently and after some back and forth with a twitter user going by @vmw_workstation I agreed to post my issue on the beta forums (I had recently upgraded to the beta version of VMware Workstation with the hope that it would fix my issues).
After logging on to the forums, the first topic I saw was “Unity Problem and RC.” I was skimming through the thread and preparing to pile on when I caught yesterday’s (at the time of this writing) update from “jacobmross”:
I can add that removing Sprint’s SmartView mobile-broadband management tool from my previously non-Unity friendly machine has resolved my issues – so take a quick peak at any network-affecting software you may have installed and see if you can functionally afford to remove any of it.
Well hey, I run Sprint’s SmartView software on most of my machines… it is what enables my Sprint USB gadget to keep my connected when out in the wild.
So for grins I uninstalled it this afternoon. After the obligatory reboot I’m very pleased to see that Unity mode works. I’ve fired up a few machines and am happy to see it all works just like I’d hoped it would.
I still have a problem though… I don’t really want to have to decide between unity or Sprint SmartView. Uninstalling SmartView when I’m not using it is certainly an option. Only takes a few minutes (and a reboot…) to do that. And since I have a copy already downloaded to my machine it only takes a few minutes (and a reboot…) to install it.
But yuck. Clearly some sleuthing is in order. If I get a chance I’ll reload SmartView and then have a session with good old Process Monitor and see if I can learn anything. Because seriously, why would a USB modem driver clobber Unity mode? It just doesn’t seem rational.