20 March, 2016

Fixing keyboard and mouse not working in a virtual machine

I have some old Microsoft Virtual PC Windows XP images and wanted to test them and use them under VMWare Player. To my surprise after creating a new virtual machine and adding the virtual hard disks Windows XP started without any problem, but the mouse and the keyboard was absolutely not working.
I realized quickly that the problem lies with the installed Virtual Machine Addons, but unfortunately without installing Virtual PC again, I had no way to remove it.

So as the first step I connected a second USB mouse to my system, and according to this article enabled USB mouse to connect to the virtual machine directly.

I had to add the following lines to the virtual machine vmx:

usb.generic.allowHID = "TRUE"
usb.generic.allowLastHID = "TRUE"

After that Windows XP recognized the USB mouse and I had already a mouse to work with.

When logged in to the machine, in device manager I saw that both the keyboard and the mouse driver had error 32. After reading this article, and trying unsuccessfully what it is suggesting, I have uninstalled the keyboard driver, then with the registry editor deleted the i8042prt key and all its subkeys in HKEY_LOCAL_MACHINE\SYSTEM\CurrentControlSet\Services. After restarting the computer my keyboard was working :-).

Then I uninstalled the non working mouse driver and after restarting the machine everything was working fine.

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