Sep 252010
 

VMWare make their vSphere Hypervisor free to download and use which is an amazing deal, they also offer a free evaluation of VMWare vSphere which adds extra bells and whistles for enterprise level virtualisation. If you take the evaluation version, you have 60 days until the vSphere client locks down and stops you powering on your virtual machines. At that point, you will either have to pay for a full vSphere licence, or downgrade to the free version again. Of course, they haven’t made it very easy to find out how to do the downgrade!

If your evaluation has expired, your vSphere client should look something like this.

vSphere Client showing expired license

vSphere Client showing expired license

To downgrade to the free version and regain control of your virtual machines, you need to get a new licence number – its free. I have heard reports that the licence key would have been sent to you in the initial email which you received from VMWare when you registered for the evaluation, but I couldn’t find it in any of the emails I had received. The best bet is probably to go ahead and reregister at the download page for ESXi – From the VMWare home page, open the ‘Products’ menu and choose VMware vSphere Hypervisor (ESXi) then click the download button on the left side. Login, or hit the continue button and fill out your information. Once you have completed the registration process you should receive an email with an ‘Activate your VMware ESXi 4.1 License’ link. Click that and you should be presented with your new license number.

New VmWare license number

New VmWare license number

Copy the license number and go into your vSphere client. At the top of the list of virtual machines, highlight your host machine. Go to the configuration tab and choose ‘Licensed Features’ under the software section. Click the small ‘edit’ link at the top right corner.

You should now see your current evaluation license with no license key. Click the ‘Assign a new license to this host’ radio button, click the ‘Enter Key’ button and paste in your new license number. Click ‘OK’

New License entered

New License entered

Check that the new licence key is valid and shows ‘Expires: Never’

You’re done. You should now be able to administer your virtual servers as before. I’m yet to find out what features are missing from the free version compared to the full vSphere version.

Let me know if this works for you!

Sep 112010
 

When attempting an automatic upgrade of iTunes from version 9 to 10, I got a pop-up saying “Service ‘iPod Service’ (iPod Service) could not be installed. Verify that you have sufficient privileges to install system services.”

The solution I found was to download the installer only and run it manually.  Here’s a step by step guide of the problem you are likely to see. Before carrying this out, please back up your catalogue – I’m not responsible if you lose your music!

1. When installing iTunes, you get an error pop-up “Service ‘iPod Service’ (iPod Service) could not be installed. Verify that you have sufficient privileges to install system services.”

"Service 'iPod Service' (iPod Service) could not be installed. Verify that you have sufficient privileges to install system services."

iTunes Installation Error

2. Without pressing any of the buttons, open the services manager by clicking the start menu, right click ‘computer’ and choose ‘manage’. Navigate through “Services and Applications” then “Services”. Find the iPod Service.

Services control panel

Services control panel

3. You should find that the iPod Service is stopped and disabled. Double click the service to see its properties.

iPod Service Properties

iPod Service Properties

4. If you make any changes to the service (try changing it from ‘Disabled’ to ‘Automatic’ and press apply), you will see that “The specified service has been marked for deletion”.

5. It seems that the service needs to be deleted to allow the new version to be installed, but for some reason it hasn’t. The service will be deleted if you restart your computer though. Did I mention you should back up your catalogue before doing this?

6. Without cancelling the current iTunes installation, restart your computer. If you do cancel the install, iTunes will roll back to where you were before you started the install and the service will not be marked for deletion.

7. After your computer reboots, run the installer again and follow the prompts, it should install fine. In my case, all my music was still there. But if not, you can restore from the backup you took earlier – you did take a back up, didn’t you?!?

I hope this helps you get iTunes 10 installed – let me know how you get on!

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