Help connect my XP virtual machine to a local network to save my back!
July 11, 2011 12:11 PM   Subscribe

How can I connect my Windows XP Virtual Machine (bootcamp partition) to my office network over wifi?

I have a somewhat complicated networking question -- I often work on a laptop at work so I can stand up and take some pressure off my back. It is a Macbook Pro, but also running Windows XP via VMware (to the bootcamp partition) since I have a few applications that are only on the Windows machine. While I have no trouble connecting to the internet over wifi from either side, I am having trouble connecting to the local office network over wifi on the XP side.

- I can connect to the internet over wifi on both the Mac side and the Windows side.

- I currently have my settings in VMWare to "Bridged"

- I can connect to the Windows network on the mac side by entering an IP address in the finder under "Connect to Server..." and then I input "SMB://ipaddress"

- I can connect to the windows network on the XP side when I plug in to the network directly with an ethernet cable.

So, the problem is when I am just running on Wifi, and I want to connect to folders on the Windows server when I am on the XP virtual machine. I thought I could just enter an ip address somehow like I do on the Mac side, but I can't seem to figure it out.

Help save my back via networking!
posted by This_Will_Be_Good to Computers & Internet (7 answers total)
Can your VM actually see the network? It sounds like the VM knows about your wired LAN connection but not the wireless adapter. Does the vm have wireless adapter "hardware" installed?

Can you map the network folders on the host and then share them with the VM?
posted by mneekadon at 12:40 PM on July 11, 2011

I'm no expert on this, so please forgive me if I'm asking dumb questions. I use a VM through a bridged account, generally so that I can connect to a VPN to do work without applying the VPN's firewall settings (read: and email blocking and monitoring) to my host.

I've never had to connect to an internal office network, but I do know that in XP, wireless will be a separate network connection from the wired, and it might need to be explicitly set up on the VM itself.
posted by mneekadon at 12:47 PM on July 11, 2011

Response by poster: Oh, I'm clearly no expert either, so I am just learning this all now...perhaps in using the virtual machine, VMWare makes it appear as a wired connection even though the connection is over the Mac's wireless card. When I look at the Network Connections on the XP side, I only see the Local Area Connection, there is no Wireless Network Connection.

I tried to map the network folders, but I don't see the Workgroup that I see on other Windows laptops anywhere, so perhaps the adapter "hardware" isn't installed or used in that way through VMWare.
posted by This_Will_Be_Good at 1:01 PM on July 11, 2011

Just use \\[server IP] to get a list of shares, or \\[Server IP]\[sharename] if you know the name. If you can get to the internet on the virtual machine, you should be able to see the same resources as the physical.

Bridging will get an IP address from a local DHCP server, so there is no NAT (which should also work) and is fine for your scenario. The IP address of the physical and the virtual should be on the same subnet (ie and, so check that to confirm they are using the same NIC.
posted by nicktf at 1:39 PM on July 11, 2011

Response by poster: Hi nicktf -- what do you mean by use \\[server IP] to get a list of shares? I mean, where should I use that? I know the server's IP, but is there some control panel or command that I should enter that in to browse the shares? When I was plugged in via ethernet cable, I just mapped the network drives and it didn't seem to be a problem. I'm not sure where I would enter the info above.
posted by This_Will_Be_Good at 2:23 PM on July 11, 2011

You'd enter that in the box at the top of Windows Explorer.
posted by mneekadon at 2:50 PM on July 11, 2011

Response by poster: Well, that method at least prompted me for a username/password, so I am guessing that must be working or at least getting me very close. I probably just have to find the right naming convention used for the network. Will try again when I am back there and see if it works...
posted by This_Will_Be_Good at 6:33 PM on July 11, 2011

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