Windows Installation Instructions

  1. Table of Contents

  2. Overview

    MIMIC Virtual Lab runs on

    • Windows NT 4.0 Service Pack 4 or newer
    • Windows 2000
    • Windows XP
    • Windows Server 2003
    • Windows Vista Business Edition
    • Windows 7
    with at least Java Runtime Environment (JRE) 1.6.

    Notice that although MIMIC Simulator supports the other versions of Windows (95, 98, Me, NT SP 3), the limitations are too severe to run MIMIC Virtual Lab on them.

    The following are some of the most common problems encountered on Windows, and their fixes:

  3. Account Privileges

    On Windows NT, 2000, XP or Server 2003, you need to install MIMIC from a user account with Administrator privileges, since the install script needs write access to restricted parts of the Registry.

    You also need to run MIMIC from an account with Administrator rights, since it uses special privileges to add additional IP addresses to the machine you are running on.

    We recommend establishing a separate user account with Administrator privileges for running MIMIC. This strictly controls who has access to this functionality.

  4. Firewalls

    Due to pervasive security attacks against Windows systems connected to the Internet, it has become common to run a software firewall on recent versions of Windows.

    MIMIC will coexist with a software firewall, provided that the firewall is configured to recognize MIMIC as a program allowed to access the network. MIMIC will, due to its very nature of simulating networked components, open network sockets and communicate with external applications (eg. network management applications, telnet clients, etc).

    There are certain components of MIMIC that will access the Internet (eg. specific web sites to determine software updates, etc).

  5. Disk Space

    MIMIC creates a lot of small files for its simulations. This is handled efficiently on modern filesystems, such as NTFS and Unix file systems, On the other hand, the FAT (or FAT16) filesystem on all Windows 95 (and some Windows 98 or NT) systems is notoriously inefficient, and you will use 10 to 100 times more disk space on a FAT file system. (The FAT32 file system on Windows 98 is also inefficient, but it is acceptable.) To find out what file system you have installed on your Windows system, select the Properties dialog on your partition from the Windows Explorer.

  6. Assigning IP Addresses

    MIMIC requires at least one operational network interface card (NIC). On Windows NT, 2000, XP or Server 2003, as on the Unix platforms, MIMIC dynamically assigns IP addresses when starting each agent instance.

  7. Duplicate IP Address

    If Windows detects that an IP address on one of its Network Interface Cards (NICs) conflicts with another system (duplicate IP address), then it tries to resolve this problem by shutting down the NIC and displays a message such as:

    The System has detected an IP address conflict with another system on the
    network.  The local interface has been disabled.  More details are
    available in the system event log. Consult your network administrator to
    resolve the conflict.

    You must not have duplicate IP addresses on a connected network, neither with MIMIC or otherwise.

    NOTE: on Windows 2000, XP or Server 2003, the agent will not start and will print an error message in the Log.

  8. Media Sense on Windows 2000 and newer

    Newer versions of Windows (Windows 2000 onwards) have a TCP/IP feature whereby it can sense if a NIC is actually connected to the network. By default, a NIC is disabled if it is not found to be on the network, which prevents agents from starting in MIMIC. There is a way to disable this behaviour so that you can work on standalone Windows machines. Attached is the Microsoft KB article on this topic... Please remember to make a copy of your registry before making any changes just to be on the safe side.

    NOTE Windows Vista and newer have no way to disable this feature. You can only run MIMIC on Windows Vista and newer with the system connected to a network.

    How to Disable Media Sense for TCP/IP in Windows 2000
    The information in this article applies to:
      a.. Microsoft Windows 2000 Advanced Server
      b.. Microsoft Windows 2000 Datacenter Server
      c.. Microsoft Windows 2000 Professional
      d.. Microsoft Windows 2000 Server
    Windows 2000 contains the "Media Sensing" feature. You may use this feature
    on a Windows 2000-based computer using Transmission Control
    Protocol/Internet Protocol (TCP/IP) to detect whether or not your network
    media is in a "link state". A "link state" is defined as the physical media
    connecting or inserting itself on the network. For example, assuming a 10bt
    or 100bt physical media, Ethernet network adapters and hubs typically have a
    "link" light to indicate the current connection status. This is the same
    condition in which Windows 2000 can detect a link. Whenever Windows 2000
    detects a "down" state on the media, it removes the bound protocols from
    that adapter until it is detected as "up" again. There may be situations
    where you may not want your network adapter to detect this state, and you
    can configure this by editing the registry.
    NOTE: 10b2 or coaxial (RG-58) Ethernet cable is not a connection-based
    media. Because of this, Windows 2000 does not attempt to detect a "connect"
    state if this type of cabling is used.
    WARNING: Using Registry Editor incorrectly can cause serious problems that
    may require you to reinstall your operating system. Microsoft cannot
    guarantee that problems resulting from the incorrect use of Registry Editor
    can be solved. Use Registry Editor at your own risk.
    For information about how to edit the registry, view the "Changing Keys and
    Values" Help topic in Registry Editor (Regedit.exe) or the "Add and Delete
    Information in the Registry" and "Edit Registry Data" Help topics in
    Regedt32.exe. Note that you should back up the registry before you edit it.
    If you are running Windows NT or Windows 2000, you should also update your
    Emergency Repair Disk (ERD).
    To prevent your network adapter from detecting the link state:
    NOTE: NetBEUI and IPX do not recognize Media Sense.
      1.. Use Registry Editor (Regedt32.exe) to view the following key in the
      Add the following registry value:
        Value Name: DisableDHCPMediaSense
        Data Type: REG_DWORD -Boolean
        Value Data Range: 0, 1 (False, True) Default: 0 (False)
      Description: This parameter controls DHCP Media Sense behavior. If you set
    this value data to 1, DHCP, and even non-DHCP, clients ignore Media Sense
    events from the interface. By default, Media Sense events trigger the DHCP
    client to take an action, such as attempting to obtain a lease (when a
    connect event occurs), or invalidating the interface and routes (when a
    disconnect event occurs).
      2.. Restart your computer.
    NOTE: There are some side effects of disabling the "Media Sensing" feature.
    For example, if you have a machine with two network adapters, and you have
    the "Media Sensing" feature enabled, if one network adapter does not work,
    it is unbound, and associated routes are removed so that all traffic goes
    through the other network adapter (assuming a default gateway is there).
    Also, if you are a roaming (portable) user, the "Media Sensing" feature is
    what provides the ability to connect to any network and have everything
    work, without restarting, release and renewing, and so on. After disabling
    Media Sense and restarting, Windows 2000 still shows the "Network
    Disconnected" icon on the TaskBar and the 'ipconfig' command still shows a
    "Media State .....: Cable Disconnected" message when the cable is
    disconnected. However, the Network Interface is bound to TCP/IP and you can
    verify this by looking at the route table --you can use the "route print"
    command-- which shows the interface IP address (you are also able to ping
    the IP address assigned to the NIC).
  9. Windows Vista

    1. User Account Control

      Windows Vista has the new User Account Control feature, which impacts the running of MIMIC. For details, consult this Analysis of the Windows Vista Security Model from Symantec. In order to enable to run MIMIC on Vista, you have 2 options:

      • Disable User Account Control

        This turns UAC off globally. NOTE: do this only if you are aware of the implications of this action.

        • Open User Accounts via Start->Control Panel->User Accounts->User Accounts.
        • Click on Turn User Account Control on or off
        • Clear the checkbox for Use User Account Control (UAC) to help protect your computer.
        • Click Ok
        • A dialog will popup prompting you to Restart Now or Restart Later. Choose appropriately. User Account Control will be disabled once the system reboots.

      • Run MIMIC with User Account Control enabled

        This involves changing the access control level of the MIMIC programs.

        • Change the privilege level of MIMIC Virtual Lab application in the MIMIC Start Program group using the following steps:

          • Click Start->All Programs->MIMIC Virtual Lab ... x.xx
          • Move the cursor to the MIMIC Virtual Lab ... entry
          • Right click and select Properties.
          • In the Compatibility tab, check Run this program as an administrator
          • Once this is done, MIMIC Virtual Lab can be started as above or by running the VLABx.bat script in the bin folder of the MIMIC installation.

        • If MimicD.exe will be run directly, set the privilege level of it using the following steps:

          • In Windows Explorer, select it.
          • Right click and select Properties.
          • In the Compatibility tab, check Run this program as an administrator
    2. Duplicate Address Detection

      On Windows Vista, the new TCP/IP stack tries to do "duplicate address detection" by default. This prevents MIMIC from starting agents, because IP aliasing is delayed, and even with a workaround in our software would unacceptably slow down the starting of agents. To correctly workaround the problem, you need to disable "duplicate address detection" for the network interface using the Windows netsh utility:

      netsh interface ipv4 set interface "name or index" dadtransmits=0

      The interface name and index info can be obtained by

      netsh interface ipv4 show interfaces

      For example:

      H:\>netsh interface ipv4 show interfaces
      Idx  Met   MTU   State        Name
      ---  ---  -----  -----------  -------------------
        1   50 4294967295  connected    Loopback Pseudo-Interface 1
        7   20   1500  connected    Local Area Connection
      H:\>netsh interface ipv4 set interface "7" dadtransmits=0
    3. Vista Power Management

      The default power options will put the Windows Vista system to sleep after 1 hour of inactivity. To disable this, perform the following:

      Open Power Options using Control Panel->System and Maintenance->Power Options.

      Change Preferred Plan from Balanced to High Performance.

      Verify by clicking on Change Plan Settings for High Performance. Ensure that Put the computer to sleep setting is Never.

    4. Program Compatibility Assistant

      After the install is completed or aborted, the Program Compatibility Assistant may prompt with the message

      This program might not have installed correctly.
      Please select This program installed correctly if the install completed. Else, select Cancel.
  10. Crashes

    Prior to Windows Vista, crashes can be analysed post-mortem using the Dr. Watson Tool crash dumps. This requires that Dr. Watson be enabled to handle any application exceptions on the system.

    To install Dr. Watson as the default exception handler :

    • Click Start->Run.
    • Type drwtsn32 -i
    • Click Ok.

    A subsequent crash should popup the Dr. Watson dialog. Search for the following files in the Windows directory (this location can be changed using the Dr. Watson GUI) : drwtsn32.log and user.dmp . Send these to Gambit Technical Support (

    On Windows Vista, by default the Problem Reports and Solutions feature handles program crashes. Crash information, including minidumps when available, is automatically sent to Microsoft.

    You can check if a MIMIC program crashed and if minidumps are available. Please use the following steps to extract any available MIMIC program crash data and forward it to Gambit Technical Support (

    • Go to Problem Reports and Solutions using Control Panel->System and Maintenance->Problem Reports and Solutions
    • Click on View problem history
    • Find MIMIC programs in the list
    • Double click on an entry to view the problem details
    • If there is a Files that help describe the problem section, click on the View a temporary copy of these files link below that section
    • The files will be extracted into a temporary directory and an Explorer window will be opened to view them
    • Forward these to Gambit Technical Support

    If the Problem Reports and Solutions settings are changed to check with the user before sending the crash information to Microsoft, Windows Vista will prompt the user when a program crash occurs. If you choose Close the program, no additional details are generated. If you choose Check online for a solution and close the program, crash data may be saved.

    Microsoft's Debug Diagnostic Tool version 1.1 onwards may be used on Windows Vista to handle program crashes. If this is installed, please use the following steps to generate crash data.

    • Open Debug Diagnostic Tool
    • Click on the Rules tab
    • Click on Add Rule button
    • In the Select Rule Type dialog, choose Crash and click on Next
    • In the Select Target Type dialog, choose A specific program and click on Next
    • In the Select Target dialog, browse the process list, select MimicD.exe and click on Next
    • In the Advanced Configurations (Optional) dialog, change the number of userdumps as needed and click on Next
    • In the Select Dump Location and Rule Name (Optional) dialog, change the path and name as needed and click on Next
    • In the Rule Completed dialog, choose Activate the rule now and click on Finish

    When a crash occurs, the Rules tab in Debug Diagnostic Tool will show the userdump count. Forward the available files from the configured dump location to Gambit Technical Support.

  11. Known Problems

    We are constantly working to remove limitations, but currently we know of the following:

    • On Windows Vista and newer you cannot run MIMIC on a standalone PC (not connected to a network). This is due to the OS having removed the ability to disable media sense. We have found no workaround for this limitation.

    • MIMIC Virtual Lab relies on the native telnet client program on the platform it runs on to connect to the IOS simulations. On Windows NT, there are bugs in the telnet client that prevent interrupting commands such as ping with CTL-Shift-6. This works fine on later Windows versions and all Unix versions.

      On Windows Vista and later, the telnet client is not enabled by default. You need to enable it with Control Panel->Programs->Programs and Features-> Turn Windows features on or off.

      On 64-bit versions of Windows, the telnet client is not launched correctly. The workaround for this problem is to copy the Windows telnet executable from c:\windows\system32\telnet.exe to the bin/ folder of the MIMIC Virtual Lab install area.

    • On Windows NT, if the host is using DHCP to obtain its address, no agent instance can use that same address to export a MIB. The problem is that on stopping the agent this address is deleted which shuts off the TCP/IP services (ftp/telnet/internet). To restore working you either need to REBOOT or start the agent on the DHCP assigned address again (keep it running).

    • On Windows, certain network interface cards have limitations supporting multiple IP addresses. In particular, some adapters and/or drivers from 3com have been giving us trouble (eg. 3C905-TX or 3Com 3C90x Ethernet Adapter). The symptom is that a small number of agent instances can be started and polled correctly, but connectivity is lost to the box when starting more.

    • On Windows, certain software is incompatible with MIMIC. In particular, if Novell Client is running, your machine may hang after starting and stopping a small number of agents (the System task will use 99+% of CPU). Just unchecking the box in Local Area Connection Properties is not sufficient - you have to uninstall it.

      This problem is unrelated to MIMIC. Any test program (eg. ifdiag shipped with MIMIC) which uses the Windows API to register/unregister network addresses will reproduce the problem.

    • MIMIC will not run inside virtual machine software such as VMWare.

In case of difficulties, please contact Gambit Technical Support (

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