Workstation Player version 15.5.6, build 16341506
Host OS: Windows 10 Pro, 1909
Guest OS: Windows 10 Pro, 1909
The guest VM was upgraded from 1909 to 2004 via Windows Update.
After the update, the guest video is erratic.
Programs like Chrome or Edge seem to work fine.
But if I access something that is part of the OS like the start menu, it pops up with a transparent background. And then, the video rapidly flickers between the start menu and the underlying window (i.e. Chrome). This also happens with any system window like Control Panel.
I tried uninstalling and reinstalling VMware tools in the guest OS. No change.
I had the exactly the same problem.
Shutdown the VM and then edit the .vmx file (using Notepad or similar)
Change the enable 3d to false:
mks.enable3d = "FALSE"
Restart the VM.
What version of virtual hardware does the VM have?
eg. in the .vmx file, what is on the line:
virtualHW.version = "18"
is the virtualHW.version set to 18 as well?
That's what it should be with Workstation/Player 16 in order to work as expected.
the line states: virtualHW.version = "18"
I thought initially that it was an outdated graphics card driver that was causing the issue. Updated and it seems to be stable, but after a few minutes it went back in flickering and the log on screen appeared again, sometimes black and i can't see what is going on.
From my perspective right now, only Ubuntu seems to work, no Windows version (server or otherwise) though.
In my case I had an old VM (win10) which i kept delaying the 20H2 update because I got exactly this problem - wild graphics if 3d accel. was enabled.
I decided to persist and reading this thread i've managed to re-enable 3d accel. after editing the vmx and updating my hw version from "11" to "18". Now all seems well!
As for "any ideas", Windows Feature Updates have been known to break applications since the Day 1 of Windows 10. There is no way to know in advance.
So, the first thing for a fix attempt is to remove and install the application in question. That usually solves the problem immediately. As an example: Feature Update from 1803 into 1809 was breaking one application each and every time (on very clean VMs, so a pretty relevant test case). No other Feature Update did that.
The other thing is that certain Windows versions, like 2004 in this, may not work correctly, but that is completely a different thing and shouldn't be assumed without any relevant testing.
20H2 has been out for ages, VMWare have a had time to test this so you'd expect it to work. The fact that editing a config file fixed this suggests VMWare should take care of this for users with older VMs. Secondly this seems to have been a problem for much longer - since the OP had 2004 with the same problem - so it's odd that VMWare doesn't already check the HW version in the config and at least warn you.
Edit: https://kb.vmware.com/s/article/1003746 is interesting but implies some danger in changing this if the OS can't cope with the change. I saw no problem at all with Win10..
I believe this may be similar to an issue my coworkers and I are experiencing. If we suspend and resume, the workstation comes back up but we aren't able to interact with the desktop, else the screen is blank. This can also happen if I change the size of my window or go full screen. I have to end task in Task Manager to get things working. This is happening on different models of Dell Precision laptops, different versions of Workstation and different Windows Enterprise versions (going back as far as 1909).
What do you all have for graphics cards. We've done testing with different laptops and it seems to only be the models with have a discrete video card (in our case NVidia). Laptops which only use the motherboards graphic cards have no issues.
There are many assumptions of "the same problem" on this thread, while their description is not even closely the same. I wish people would file a new thread for different problems - otherwise this gets highly illogical for everybody looking for a real solution.
As for the Dell Precision laptop thing, I have no idea what the problem is, but I have an extensive experience (by far not only mine) of namely Dell Precision laptops with high-end graphics adapters and there have been zero graphics related problems in VMware Workstation. Those have included basically all professional Windows versions, including servers, and now for some years Windows 10 as a Host and SOME version of Windows as a guest. Usually, Accelerate 3D Graphics (but not always), has been selected since OpenGL 3D graphics has been used. Windows 10 has had its own problems, but none of them has been even indirectly linked to VM.
However, my experience on Windows 2004 is about zero (=no problems on a couple of Dell Precision laptops) ... so, I only talk about version 1909 and before, which were also mentioned as having problems.
I hope this helps to find the real reason for graphic failures. I'm not saying that there couldn't be a problem with some new Precision model or some specific application, but generally speaking, I don't think there is. Win 10 version problems, as already discussed above, are two-fold: Feature Upgrade and the version itself - they shouldn't be assumed the same. Also, if the target version is the same, the Upgrade does not need to be the same - meaning that the problem is not end version, but the Upgrade process itself. None of the descriptions above have stated that the first option, which is most common, has been ruled out - people should step up their testing to make it more relevant.
As a clarification to versions - saying 2004 is old is very relative. It hasn't been automatically suggested for long - it depends on your infra. If you have updated or installed it by yourself (from Visual Studio, former MSDN), then it is old. If the Host is somehow managed by corporation, 2004 is for most, very new. This is dependent also on Microsoft and probably the regional area in question. From product testing perspective, I agree, it is old and should have been rigorously tested a long time ago (saying that - I have no idea what the certification/test process of VMware is).