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OS X 10.11 (El Capitan) VM fails to find keyboard in Fusion 12

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As a hobby, I maintain VMs of all major DOS and Windows versions, as well as all OS X versions (10.7 thru 10.15). Within the past week. I have upgraded my computer's OS to macOS 11.0 Big Sur and have upgraded Fusion from 11.x to 12.0.

Subsequently, I have been testing all my VMs, which all successfully updated to v12. For the most part, my DOS and Windows VMs are working okay, as well as all my macOS except OS X 10.11 El Capitan). OS X 0.11 boots up just fine up to the login screen - but then it fails to find my (Apple extended) Bluetooth keyboard (and sits there until I force a shutdown) nor responds to mouse movements. All other OS X versions before and after 10.11 find the bluetooth keyboard just fine.

In the VM settings, Keyboard & Mouse is set to "Mac Profile" and USB & Bluetooth is set to "Share Bluetooth devices with the virtual machine". I have powered off my keyboard and back on during keyboard detection.

Obviously I could buy a USB keyboard and that will solve my immediate problem (I already have an old Mac USB mouse for emergencies). But that is not optimum when all other VMs work just fine.

Any ideas or suggestions?

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VMware Employee
VMware Employee

Hi mhwill,

Would you please try to change USB compatibility to 2.0 and see if it helps?

You can set it in USB&Bluetooth panel.

Regards,

-Rick

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Oops, meant to attach a screenshot. Here is the first of two.

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Here's the 2nd screenshot.

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Update: I connected my Bluetooth keyboard via USB cable to my Mac as well as connected a hardwired USB mouse to the Mac, then booted up my OS X 10.11 El Capitan VM -- still no success -- the VM does not recognize either keyboard and mouse. (But both work fine on my host OS.) So much for thinking hardwired hardware would solve the problem.

Thinking perhaps the VM was corrupted somehow, I then restored an "archived" OS X 10.11 VM from late 2018 to my Mac and then booted it up. Exact same results.

I think my next step (at some point in the future) is to try to reinstall the OS from scratch.

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Updated: Well, trying to reinstall macOS 10.11 El Capitan in Fusion 12 failed as well. The installer process started normally, but eventually got to the point where it displayed 2 graphics (cycling between the two continuously) - one showing a Bluetooth keyboard with the power slider switch moving to the on direction, and the other of the Bluetooth mouse with the power slider switch moving to the on direction.

So I am guessing there must be a problem with VMware Fusion installation configuration settings ?!?

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VMware Employee
VMware Employee

Hi mhwill,

Would you please try to change USB compatibility to 2.0 and see if it helps?

You can set it in USB&Bluetooth panel.

Regards,

-Rick

View solution in original post

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Rick,

You're a genius! Or at least a very competent employee. It worked like a charm.

I was vaguely aware of the USB Compatibility setting, but had not thought of trying it since both macOS versions before it (10.10) and after it (10.12) both have their USB setting at 3.1.

Thanks so much for solving this problem. (I was going to say "solving my problem", but my friends and family would probably say I have many problems <grin>.)

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