MacBook Pro, VMWare, Hatch2, Digitizer 4.0


Andrea LaVergne
 

Has anyone with a Mac using VMWare with Windows 10Hatch2 and Digitizer 4.0 updated to Apple OS Monterey?  Have you had to reload or update any other software when making the update?  How do you like the new features, which new ones do you use?   Last year when I update it seems it took me months to get everything working again!
Andrea LaVergne

Windows Version 20H2
Installed on ‎7/‎8/‎2021
OS build 19042.1083
Windows Feature Experience Pack 120.2212.3530.0
VmWare Version 11.5.6 


Jim Stutsman
 

Been there, done that, and have the scars to prove it!

I replaced my iMac (2019) with a new M1 iMac. This allowed me to update Diane's iMac (2017) with my old iMac, the last one to use Intel. Her OLD VM was Windows 7, VMware 10, macOS Catalina. I updated the new (to her) iMac to Monterey and VMware 12. Her sewing software on the old iMac included Horizon Link Suite, Digitizer MBX 5.0, and Hatch 2. These are the steps I took, to the best of my aging memory:
  1. Updated her new iMac from Big Sur to Monterey. Added her as a user and removed me. No issues, other than having to reinstall BackBlaze and migrate the backup history.
  2. Copied her Windows 7 VM from a backup drive to the new iMac. No issues. When first launched VMware offered to upgrade the VM, which I did. This probably is unimportant, but I did it.
  3. Booted up her OLD computer, launched the VM, and used the license migration utility to move the MBX 5.0 license to the new computer. No issues getting the data on a USB drive.
  4. Booted up the NEW computer, launched the VM, and attempted to install the MBX license. This resulted in HASP error 64. Knowing that we had only installed MBX 5 once, I uninstalled and reinstalled from the DVD. Again HASP error 64.
  5. Opened Hatch on the NEW computer, and got a cryptic error. I then realized I had not logged out of Hatch on the OLD computer. Did that, copied the VM with logged-out state to the NEW computer and tried Hatch again. Another cryptic error, but Google search led to a ritual of file deletion and it eventually opened. Rookie error on my part for not logging out first. But MBX 5.0 still unusable.
  6. At this point I consulted a friend who is a lot more knowledgable than I am with Windows. He suggested installing to a new Windows 10 VM. Fortunately I had one, constructed solely for the purpose of completing a tax form that could not be opened on a Mac. I installed MBX 5.0 and it worked. Installed Hatch 2, and again no issues.
So in your case this is what I would suggest:
  1. Check to see if your current version of VMware Fusion is compatible with Monterey. If not, upgrade it.
  2. Make sure your Mac is compatible with Monterey. If you are getting a new Mac then this step is not necessary.
  3. Back up the Mac. I prefer to do this using Carbon Copy Cloner to an external drive that can be booted if necessary. If things go totally sideways, you can always boot from the backup and put everything back as it was.
  4. In the VM log out of Hatch, and shut down. You shouldn't have any issues with Digitizer 4.0, since it relies on a USB dongle for security.
  5. Update to Monterey. Rather than doing it through Software Update, I would use Mac App Store. (Software Update may do that as well.) The download will likely take quite a bit of time, even on a fast connection.
  6. Run the update. I have seen random reports of this hanging or taking a really long time apparently doing nothing. You might Google "Monterey update" and see if anything applies to your particular Mac model.  And this is why you want to have that bootable backup, and why you should have ensured it would boot before doing anything.
  7. Once updated, fire up the VM and check everything. It's still the same Windows, so everything should still work as before. You will, of course, need to log into Hatch again. In my case I had to migrate our Hatch account to their new server.
As with all OS updates, Monterey may have issues with some of your Mac software. There will be more updates going forward, partly to fix bugs (which are increasingly common in Apple software these days) and also to plug security holes. FYI, I am still on Big Sur with my M1 iMac. I've turned off auto-updates, as I have had a couple of times where an update broke something I needed to make iOS software, which is what I do these days.


Andrea LaVergne
 

Jim, as usual you are a God send.  Thank you for the detailed info. 

Does Carbon Copy Cloner  work on the whole computer even with the Virtual Machines?  Do you use it through Time Machine?

Thank you again.
Andrea


Jim Stutsman
 

Carbon Copy Cloner does literally what it's name says. It reproduces everything on your Macintosh HD drive. It will offer to make the destination bootable, and if you are using an SSD (highly recommended) it will partition the target drive accordingly. Because it backs up everything, the virtual machine is included. However it MUST be shut down, or any open files will not be copied. That will render the copied VM unusable. This was a problem for a client of mine, until I found out I could have a script run before and after each daily backup. The "before" script sends a message to VMware to shut down the VM. After the backup the second script restarts the VM. This makes the backups automatic and seamless. CCC is completely separate from Time Machine, as it is not an Apple product. Time Machine doesn't work very well with VMs. If you have the entire virtual hard disk set up as multiple files (default) it can kind of work, since it only copies things that change, but if the entire virtual drive is a single file you'll fill up the Time Machine drive often, rendering it much less useful. By default VMware sets up with all virtual machines files excluded from Time Machine.

We run our computers 24/7, not because we are using them that way, but because most hardware failures occur during power-up. The initial surge when the ON button is pressed can weaken components over time. Of course newer iMacs (M1, M2, etc.) have a keyboard button that turns them on. So the machine is never truly in an OFF state, since it's listening for that button to be pressed. You want to be careful about leaving VMs powered up all the time though. If the Mac is shut down (as in power failure), the VM can wind up in a corrupted state. This can also happen with automatic updates that restart the Mac after installing. For that reason I recommend shutting down the VM when you are not using it. Powering a VM up and down has no effect on the Mac hardware, since it is a machine in software only.