chaossysten
Contributor
Contributor

Mouse flicker in guests

Hello,

Recently all my guest VMs have started to have a weird mouse flicker. This happens even when in the install page for Ubuntu or PopOS, and continues to happen on a fresh install after installing open-vm-tools-desktop.

It didn't use to happen (about a month ago). Curious if anyone has any suggestions on what might be wrong here. I have tried "optimize" for games but while that setting seems to solve the flicker, the input gets really sluggish and unusable. It seems to be a VMware problem though since it happens on any guest (at least Debian based guests that I've tried)

PS: I tried to screen record this but oddly enough the behaviour doesn't appear in the screen recording. What this actually looks like is whenever you are moving the mouse the mouse disappears, when you stop moving or slow down it appears again. So as you move your mouse around you observe flickering as the mouse appears and disappears.

Thanks!

83 Replies
dperez83
Contributor
Contributor

Intel graphics driver 27.20.100.9466 that was just released fixed my problem.

https://downloadcenter.intel.com/download/30381/Intel-Graphics-Windows-10-DCH-Drivers

bindernews
Contributor
Contributor

I just took the plunge and re-installed Workstation 15 to see if that fixed the issue, and it still appears. This is 100% a conflict between the graphics driver (Nvidia in my case) and the Workstation UI. For now I am switching to VirtualBox until things improve. I will be checking the Nvidia forums and asking for support there to see if I can get a fix.

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gysi
Contributor
Contributor


@gysi wrote:

Ok my Workaround is now to use the xorg.conf with:

Option "HWcursor" "False"

Problem is that you then have two mouse pointers. I created a invisible mouse theme for ubuntu:

https://github.com/gysi/ubuntu-invis-cursor-theme

Using that you only have one mouse pointer. 

The only problem I have is that the mouse pointer always stays the same... but for now I can live with it.


After 4 month living with my workarround, I tried the normal settings again since vmware rolled out an update and nvidia some too.
It's been 3 days and no flickering. It seems that it's fixed guys.

VMWare Player Version: 16.1.2 build-17966106
NVIDIA Geforce RTX 2080, Driver Version: 466.77

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Patrick04
Contributor
Contributor

I also have the mouse flicker problem.  Restarting the host fixes it temporarily.   I would really appreciate a solution from VMWare...

  • Host:  Windows 10 Pro, 64-bit (Build 19043.1052) 10.0.19043
  • VMware® Workstation 16 Pro 16.1.2 build-17966106
  • NVIDIA Quadro P2200, driver version 27.21.14.6259,  driver date 5/6/2021
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klppchen
Contributor
Contributor

Update Intel New graphics driver fixed my problem too.

It's works.

colemarc
Contributor
Contributor

Intel graphics driver 27.20.100.9466 fixed the problem indeed!

CharlesV2
Contributor
Contributor

Upgrading the Intel Iris video drivers to 30.0.100.9894 fixed the issue for me. It should be noted that the previous version was showing as "Up to date" in Windows Update, when it was in fact several versions behind the latest available on the Intel site.

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ShrodingerKota
Contributor
Contributor

For those who encountered such problem again (mid October 2021) and uses Nvidia graphics. Try to downgrade Nvidia driver from version 496.13 to 472.12

tomastokamrazek
Contributor
Contributor

So is it a regression bug in Nvidia drivers or a bug in Workstation, which VMWare still hasn't fixed?

I personally do not want to downgrade the drivers as the host is both pc for work and gaming (and I play AAA titles). I mean, Workstation is the only software doing this, I refuse to believe, that it's Nvidia at fault - especially after the upgrade to Workstation 16.2, where they "forget" to include Dark Mode...

At this point, where VM share is deprecated and possibly removed, I'm thinking about moving to WSL.

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CharlesGilley
Enthusiast
Enthusiast

Having suffered with various surprises over the years with VMWorkstation - yes, I paid for it, I expect nothing from vmware.  That said, this issue has been corrected by people fooling around and seeing if it gets better - case in point, the alleged NVidia drivers.  Some saw it works, I've marched through about 10 releases and had no joy.

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veZuk
Contributor
Contributor

It doesn't appear to be an explicit driver problem. I ran an experiment:
What I have:
- i9900k / Z390 AORUS PRO / rtx 2080 ti GV-N208TAORUS X-11GC
- Windows 10 21H1 (At 11, the problem is exactly the same)
- Guest Linux Mint 20.2
- I tried various kernels, incl. xanmod
- I also installed vmware tools in different ways

What I do:
- Clean installation of Windows
- vmware workstation 16.2
- Video driver from OS 27.21.14.5671 09/30/2020 (456.71)
- There is no problem of blinking the cursor, or it is very rare.
- I make a full backup of the system partitions
- I update the video driver to the latest (nvidia 496.49)
- Cursor blinking problem becomes apparent
- I restore the full image of the backup system (well, that is, drivers, OS and all software returns to the previous version 1 in 1)
- The problem remains intensified

- In Windows 11, the problem still remains. Resetting the BIOS to the default parameters also has no effect.
- On vmware 15, the problem persists.
- Recreated the guest OS with new parameters (recreated the vmx file)
- Rolling back the driver to the previous version no longer solves the problem. Incl. using Display Driver Uninstaller.
- Reinstall vmware does not help (incl. with repair button in installer)
- Playing with the guest OS settings doesn't help either
- Updating the drivers of all devices to the latest versions does not help in any way.

We can assume:
- The problem is not in the host OS, but in the guest OS. Or working with a guest OS in vmware.
- There is some kind of hardware problem between the video card and vmware.
- The video card or driver, in principle, is not to blame, it just happens that reinstalling the driver somehow affects the hardware level (or otherwise) and looks like a problem with the video. At the same time, returning to the previous state does not reset the problem.

This is all sad.

CharlesGilley
Enthusiast
Enthusiast

That's a lot of work to clearly point the finger at VMWare.  Will VMWare respond?  Unlikely.

One day when the world gets back to normal, I'm going to VMWorld, and I'm going to make a loud stink in their booth.  The lack of customer support is pathetic.

tomastokamrazek
Contributor
Contributor

Just to be sure, are you all experiencing huge performance degradation overtime for both guest and host? Mouse flicker is just a symptom for me, but the actuall issue lies for basically unusable PC, which needs to be restarted or signed out. I've tried to dig into the performance monitors, but nothing is off the charts.

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egandt1
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Contributor

So I agree I have not touch Nvidia drivers in 4 month since I got a version that worked with Windows 10, now in Windows 11 (Ubuntu 20.04.3 and Debian 11 clients), I found I can get the mouse to work by adjusting "Optimize Mouse for Games", but while it would fix Linux (and then only if I messed around with xorg.conf), it would break any Windows VM (no mouse at all),and I need both for work.  

In Windows 11 the flicker changes randomly it is always there but the amount changes over time and reboots, very annoying.  Same VM's using a Linux host (which is what I would use if not for work) is seems fine.

I verified the version of NVidia I'm on is 466.11 as this was the only one that has worked for me, now I'm not going to say it  will work for everyone see above, but I've been stuck on this because of the flicker issue.

 

ERIC

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veZuk
Contributor
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@tomastokamrazek wrote:

Just to be sure, are you all experiencing huge performance degradation overtime for both guest and host? Mouse flicker is just a symptom for me, but the actuall issue lies for basically unusable PC, which needs to be restarted or signed out. I've tried to dig into the performance monitors, but nothing is off the charts.


I noticed a drop in performance in the guest OS. Rebooting the guest OS does not help, only the host OS. But this is more like a drop in rendering or input performance.

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Kaliac
Contributor
Contributor

Having the same issue.

Only way to temporarily fix it is by restarting (or logging off and back in) the host machine.

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Kaliac
Contributor
Contributor

Considering how long this thread has been up and we've heard nothing, safe to assume WMWare doesn't care... ?

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andylamp
Contributor
Contributor

Seems like it - the issue is widespread and basically if it occurs it degrades the performance of the host in general... only restart fixes it but only briefly. The moment I open VMWare workstation it does not take long to reappear...

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tomastokamrazek
Contributor
Contributor

I'm still trying to pinpoint the issue and possibly resolve it by myself. Can you share more info, for example how much work do you do in your VM?

I am interestingly also running latest Linux Mint as Guest OS. I am using the VM for heavy software development, and after a working session (8 - 10 hours) the VM is borderline unusable. GUI is unresponsible, le't say 5 - 10 fps, and interestingly opening files is extremely slow. GUI responsiveness is gradually worse the more I use the VM.

Host is mostly unaffected by this, with the exception of sound. When I am listening something on the host and make guest "sweat" with opening files or fast scrolling, the sound starts to crack and skip.

When I had this issue for the first time, I was actually buyning completely new PC. Clean Windows 10 host, different SSD (same vendor, Samsung), different GPU (same vendor, Nvidia), different CPU (different vendor, AMD). The VM acted the same, so for me the only common things are host OS version, Nvidia driver and guest OS. The issue was resolved for half a year and started again, either by Nvidia driver update or upgrade to Workstation 16, unfortunately I cannot pinpoint it more precisely.

It's just my feeling, but it seems, that working with files inside Guest OS is responsible for the issue. I newly installed Ubuntu as a fresh VM just to see if Linux Mint is part of the problem, but after a while of basic usage, I see that the flicker appears again (as a first sign of a responsiveness failure).

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veZuk
Contributor
Contributor

The problem is still present.

I have reinstalled Windows Pro from scratch on the official image 10.0.19043.1348, Version 21H1 (Updated November 2021). The problem of blinking cursor and degrading performance appeared immediately. Reinstalling the Nvidia driver doesn't affect anything. I tried different versions, incl. the last one at the moment is 496.98 and the one proposed above is 466.11. I used Display Driver Uninstaller between driver installations. Everything is unchanged.

In VMware Workstation Player, the problem is exactly the same.

It doesn't look like a problem with Nvidia anymore, maybe it's a compatibility problem between the latest versions of Windows and VMware Workstation?

I tried to disable all Windows security settings, I thought that maybe they affect, but no, nothing changes. There are no antiviruses installed, except for the regular Windows defender. There are no more ideas. I will try to install an older version of Windows 10.

 

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