AlessandroDN
Enthusiast
Enthusiast

Big Sur VM shows "You shut down the computer because of a problem" on every login

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Hi all,

I have a Catalina host (10.15.7) running VMware Fusion 12.1 Player.

I have a Big Sure guest which was 11.0.1 (with VMware Tools) running with no issues. I updated the VM to Big Sur 11.1, the update completed successfully, and the machine works fine with the exception that each time I login a pop "You shut down the computer because of a problem" is shown.

I tried both the option "Cancel" and "Open" but nothing... the popup comes back at the next login.

Do you have any idea?

Thanks

Alessandro

 

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DaveP
Commander
Commander

I have a fix that reliably works for me. It seems there is something wrong with the emulated Apple SMC that is causing the problem. You can change the SMC version by editing the vmx config file for the VM. 

So first make sure you have shutdown the VM and then backup or take a snapshot before editing the VMX file. If you haven't done this before follow the directions here https://kb.vmware.com/s/article/1014782

Add the following line to the VMX file in a text editor:

smc.version = "0"

Save and then start the VM. You can revert by deleting the line or changing the version to 1.

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rome2807
Contributor
Contributor

Alessandro,

I have no idea to offer as of yet but I'me experiencing the same with VMware Fusion Pro 12.1. It is specific to 11.1 w/ VMware 12.1 (player / pro) as you say, no issues with 11.01 and 10.5.7 on the same VMware version.

Roland

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rpmurph83
Contributor
Contributor

I'm seeing the same issue with the error message popping up each time i login and I'm running 11.1

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DaveP
Commander
Commander

Exactly the same problem but slightly different setup

  • Host: macOS 11.1
  • Guest: macOS 11.1
  • VMware Fusion Pro: 12.1.0
  • VMware Tools: 11.2.1.25753 (build-17243207)
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AlessandroDN
Enthusiast
Enthusiast

I'm continuing the investigation to get this fixed, so far without success.

Anyway, I'm posting my progress in the hope that it might help someone else figuring out the issue.

- There are some posts (https://forums.macrumors.com/threads/you-shut-down-your-computer-because-of-a-problem.1426818/) saying that this message keeps popping up when using a user without admin privilege. This is not applicable in my case, because I use an admin user. I also tried creating a different admin user without success.

- I checked the NVRAM to see if there is a pending panic info stored there, but nothing. You can display the NVRAM content with the command

nvram -p

and look for `panic-info` or `PanicInfo` entries.

- I checked the panic folder (`/Library/Logs/DiagnosticReports`) to see if there is a crash on boot and nothing also there...

 

I'm running out of ideas 🙃

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AlessandroDN
Enthusiast
Enthusiast

Continuing on the previous thread...

If I boot the VM in safe mode (pressing SHIFT during boot) the pop doesn't show, so the issue should be related to something loaded during normal boot (safe mode prevents drivers and other stuff).

I tried uninstalling VMware tools but that didn't help with the normal boot.

It's weird because this is almost a plain VM (I have mainly Xcode installed here) 😞

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DaveP
Commander
Commander

I looked for errors in the log and shutdown reason codes and nothing found. It even does it right after installing macOS before anything else added apart form the initial user setup etc.

I have also run in verbose boot mode and can't see anything.

I'm going to get a copy of Big Sur 11.0.1 and see if that works. 

DaveP
Commander
Commander

So I did some debugging by getting macOS kernel output to a serial port and file in VMware. The shutdown cause is 3, which is hard power down. It's the equivalent of holding the power key to hard shutdown laptop.

AlessandroDN
Enthusiast
Enthusiast

That's very interesting!

I looked at the VMware log, wishing to find that VMware forces the shutdown, but nope.. the shutdown on VMware host side is clear.

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rome2807
Contributor
Contributor

Dave,

I trust your debugging skills. But at least in my case - and I think Allessandro's - this happens when performing an orderly shutdown from within macOS. No difference between shutdown / startup or reboot via the Apple menu. But the behaviour is consistent with your findings ie when booting, macOS acts AS IF it was a forced power-down of the virtual hardware. This was working in 11.0.1 and 10.15.7 but broke in 11.1. So the interaction between macOS 11.1 and VMware in the final stage of the shutdown process isn't working as expected ie macOS fails to record this (in the virtual nvram, filesystem metadata, ?) as a clean shutdown. As if VMware were to prematurely power down the VM.

Roland

 

DaveP
Commander
Commander

Yep same here no errors VMware side.

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DaveP
Commander
Commander

The same code is seen when shutting down using the same methods as you. So I agree there’s something changed recently which causes this error. I’ll post how I got the log tomorrow and perhaps others could see if have same issues.

DaveP
Commander
Commander

I have a fix that reliably works for me. It seems there is something wrong with the emulated Apple SMC that is causing the problem. You can change the SMC version by editing the vmx config file for the VM. 

So first make sure you have shutdown the VM and then backup or take a snapshot before editing the VMX file. If you haven't done this before follow the directions here https://kb.vmware.com/s/article/1014782

Add the following line to the VMX file in a text editor:

smc.version = "0"

Save and then start the VM. You can revert by deleting the line or changing the version to 1.

View solution in original post

rome2807
Contributor
Contributor

Hi DaveP,

this works very well, thank you very much indeed. As this parameter seems to be binary, I suspect 0 means "don't check version". Any idea where this is documented in the VMware docs / release notes?

Roland

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DaveP
Commander
Commander

Actually there are 2 versions of emulated SMC and the value is important. It's not documented but I have been active in macOS virtualisation for over a decade and discovered the parameters quite some time ago. (Been using VMware since version 1 in 1999)

Update I have dumped the SMC MSSD key for both the Apple SMC versions and there is an incorrect value in smc.version = 1:

V0 = MSSD 01 si8  0xc0 00

V1 = MSSD 01 si8  0xc0 03

gringley
Hot Shot
Hot Shot

I got that on my Big Sur VMs after I loaded the 11.2 VMtools to play with 3D acceleration.  When I added SMC 0 what I got was a continuous Apple black screen fo death until I powered the VM off.  The VMs often end up black screening anyway after a few minutes with 3D on, but with SMC 1 they do run for a few minutes.

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DaveP
Commander
Commander

I have also switched on the new passthru graphics and works without issue for me with both versions of SMC. I wonder what is different?

Do you have a vmware.log file you could attach to a post or create a GitHub gist with it?

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gringley
Hot Shot
Hot Shot

The logs from the VM are attached.

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DaveP
Commander
Commander

I got back tot this today. I can't see anything odd so bit stumped as why it's not working for you. One idea nay be the actual Mac hardware being used as this passes Metal calls thru to the actual hardware.

I'm using a MacBook Pro (15-inch, 2018) with 16GB memory and Radeon Pro 560X 4 GB.

What's the spec of your machine?

 

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gringley
Hot Shot
Hot Shot

iMac Pro (2017 base model) 32GB of RAM and Radeon Pro Vega 56 8 GB.  When booting I get the "static screen" for a while, then login, then the boxes to report or reopen after the restart problem.  The 3D seems to work well once the VM boots.

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