Big Sur Host: Nested virtualization on Win10 Guest: BSODs with WSL, "Virtual Machine Platform" on

Could this be a bug in VMware Fusion / VMware Tools when nested virtualization is enabled?

My setup:

  • macOS BigSur Version 11.4
  • iMac (Retina 5K, 27-inch, 2017) 64GB memory
  • VMware Fusion Professional Version 12.1.2 (17964953)
  • Guest OS: Windows 10 Pro 21H1 freshly installed without internet access
    • 4 cores CPU, 8GB RAM
    • "Enable hypervisor applications in this virtual machine"
    • "Accelerate 3D Graphics", 8GB Shared graphics memory
    • "Use full resolution for Retina display"
    • Network adapter: Private to my Mac
    • Hard disk 60GB
    • The rest are defaults.

To recreate the problem:

  1. After Guest OS install is completed, ensure that VMware Tools 11.2.6 is installed.
  2. In Guest OS, Open "Turn Windows features on or off" and enable the following:
    1. Virtual Machine Platform
    2. Windows Subsystem for Linux
  3. Reboot
  4. Wait for a few minutes (even without logging in): BSOD "CRITICAL PROCESS DIED" and later other kinds of BSOD also.

This is a very simple test without anything special: fresh install with no additional 3rd party SW on Guest OS.

If Virtual Machine Platform is not enabled I don't see this BSOD.

Other kinds of BSOD also happen occasionally. List of BSOD stop codes observed so far with this setup:


Also if WSL and Virtual Machine Platform are disabled, but Hyper-V is enabled: BSOD happens. Only when nested virtualisation is completely disabled is when I experience a stable Guest OS environment.

Anyone can recreate and confirm this? If so, could a VMware engineer look into this?


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2 Replies

Here's an update: After uninstalling VMware Fusion Tools, rebooting, BSOD is still happening. 😣

Also, I've migrated this Guest OS to Parallels Desktop on Big Sur, enabled nested virtualisation: No problem. I installed ubuntu on WSL2 and so far no issue.

My assessment so far: The problem seems to lie with VMware Fusion (and perhaps how it integrates with Apple's Hypervisor Framework?) and not VMware Tools.

0 Kudos

I want to say I've been experiencing the exact same issue -- also just within the last couple of days. In my Win10Pro guest OS, I didn't have Virtual Machine Platform or WSL turned on, but I did have the Hyper-V and Containers features enabled. Was getting the same "CRITICAL PROCESS DIED" BSOD at seemingly random intervals after reboot. I turned off the Hyper-V feature only, and have been running fine for a few hours since then.

Around the same time as the BSODs started happening, the main software I use on Windows (SQL Server Management Studio) started crashing randomly. I did have some updates for it that were installed around the same time, though, so it's hard to say if the issue is related to the BSOD or not. Both issues started showing up after installing the latest VMware Tools Guest Additions package (11.2.6, build-17901274).

Good to know this was happening for you on a fresh install -- saves me the trouble!

A couple more notes: I'm also on Big Sur on Intel, but only macOS 11.2.3. I am on Fusion Player 12.1.2. I would guess that the latest fusion point release is the culprit. If you can get ahold of a 12.1.1 installer, it might be worth a try...