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jddj
Contributor
Contributor

A: (not Q) - Keyboard/Mouse dead on El Capitan VM

I struggled for a few hours trying to find the answer to this. Hope I can save someone some time.

After migrating to Sonoma, upgrading to VMWare Fusion Player 13.5, I didn't immediately try out all my VMs (lots going on to distract me).

Today, upon booting a VM with Mac OS El Capitan, I got the login screen, and while VMWare would capture and release my mouse cursor and keyboard, it wouldn't take any input at all from either. Couldn't paste in, nothing.

I eventually discovered that I had to shut down the machine, choose VM Hardware compatibility level 16 (which is compatible with VMWare player 13.5 and many others), and un-check "allow hardware upgrades" (may not be the exact right label...).

At level 16 the VM works as it did before.

Strangely, earlier MacOSes (tried Snow Leopard) and later (tried Catalina) both worked great on the latest at this time: level 21.

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3 Replies
gringley
Hot Shot
Hot Shot

For old OS I always try to figure out the hardware level that would have been valid when the OS was new or being supported.  The new features in the newer hardware versions are not going top be supported in the old OS in many cases anyway.  For El Capitan I have kept it at version 12.

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Technogeezer
Immortal
Immortal

I have an El Capitan VM that's running on Fusion 13.5 with virtual hardware version 20. It's experiencing no keyboard/mouse issues. But VM is set up with USB compatibility set to 2.0, not 3.1. I changed the USB compatibility to 3.1 and the VM does not see keyboard or mouse.

As an experiment, I also downgraded the VM virtual hardware to version 16. With USB compatibility set to 2.0, the VM keyboard and mouse are found. It also worked with setting the USB compatibility to 3.1.

My conclusion is that there's something different about the virtual USB controller in a later virtual hardware versions  that's causing macOS not to recognize the USB 3 controller. Perhaps it's emulating a newer USB controller that macOS doesn't have a driver for? Or the vmx file doesn't have the same configuration as in earlier versions?

Hmmm. Some more investigation is warranted.

- Paul (Technogeezer)
Editor of the Unofficial Fusion Companion Guides
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jddj
Contributor
Contributor

That's interesting. I'll try that out here too.

I'm not in El Capitan regularly, so it won't make or break things, but when you need in, you need in.

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