Sound, USB 2.0 and DIrectX3D in VMWare Player for a Windows XP guest

I have had a Windows XP virtual machine kicking around for a while and just figured out how to upgrade it for some of the new features of VMware Player 2, as well as fix the sound problem I’ve always had with the virtual machine.

Sound

Sound never worked in my virtual machine. Windows XP never saw any sound hardware. I started to get suspicious that Windows had decided to permanently ignore the SoundBlaster hardware that was supposedly enabled in the virtual machine. Through a google search on sound.virtualdev, I found some details on setting up a different sound card for emulation. The search brought me to a page with some pretty good details on .vmx sound settings. I switched my sound.virtualdev to ‘es1371′ and voila, Windows saw the new hardware and installed drivers for “Creative AudioPCI…”

sound.virtualDev = "es1371"

USB 2.0

I read on the VMware website that USB 2.0 was a new feature of Player 2.0, but did not find any details on enabling it in the virtual machine. With the correct google search, I found details on a VMWare forum post of what is required to enable USB 2.0.

To answer my own question, looks like one needs to make sure the vmx has:
virtualHW.version = "6"
As opposed to a different hardware version. And also:
usb.present = "TRUE"
ehci.present = "TRUE"

I modified/added to my .vmx, and voila, again Windows XP automatically installed drivers for USB 2.0.

DirectX3D

I was messing around with something for which I thought DirectX3D might be necessary and found that VMWare Player supports it. I found a page on VMWare’s website describing how to enable DirectX3D and change the video ram size. I made the changes, and voila, dxdiag shows DirectX3D support.

2. Add the following to the configuration (.vmx) file for the virtual machine:

mks.enable3d = TRUE

This line enables accelerated 3-D on the host. It is required to support accelerated 3-D in the guest and also enables the host to accelerate 2-D portions of the guest display.

3. You may also add one or both of the following optional lines:
svga.vramSize = 67108864

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