ralish
Enthusiast
Enthusiast

VMware Tools regression in Workstation 11.1.2

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Hey all,

Hoping I can reach someone from VMware to report an annoying regression in the VMware Tools shipped with VMware Workstation 11.1.2.

The VMware Tools for Windows 2000 and later have been compiled with an application manifest that references multiple XML schemas within a single tag. This trips over a nasty Windows XP bug:

KB921337: The computer may restart when you add a manifest that has the Windows Vista extension to a...

The effect is that older Windows XP VMs will immediately crash on loading VMware Tools. The exact set of affected systems is:

  • Any Windows XP system prior to SP2
  • Any Windows XP SP2 system without the KB921337 hotfix
  • Windows XP SP3 is safe (includes KB921337)

This bug was introduced in Workstation 11.1.2. Installing VMware Tools using the windows.iso from Workstation 11.1.1 will not trigger the bug.

I recognise this is a bit of a niche case, but the VMware guest OS compatibility guide states Windows XP is supported at all patch levels, and many people installing a Windows XP VM using older installation media may install VMware Tools prior to patching the OS, and so will encounter this bug. The bug will effectively trigger a reboot loop. As a workaround, you can start in Safe Mode and stop the vmtoolsd.exe process from automatically starting.

Thanks,

-SDL

1 Solution

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dariusd
Leadership
Leadership

Thanks for reporting this in such awesome detail – and with a root cause and a hotfix too!

I've forwarded the details to the folks responsible for the Tools for Windows to see what they say.

--

Darius

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7 Replies
LuKeJerry
Contributor
Contributor

Damn  you nailed it! Smiley Happy

Thanks Ralish!

This has been driving me crazy in the last two days, as soon as I've upgraded VMware tools on Workstation 11.1.2, all my XP-SP2 and WS-2003 machines started the reboot-loop gig 😞

So far I had success on XP machines with both SP3 and KB921337 hotfix.

I'm attaching a screenshot of the BSOD that I was getting on XP-SP2 and I think some keywords could help other people to find this post (google was not very helpful).

keywords:  stop, c000021a, fatal, system, error, c0000005, bsod, crash, vmware, tools, 11.1.2,  Csrss.exe,

unkilbeeg
Contributor
Contributor

Could this be why I can't install VMware Tools on 11.1.2?  I just installed WS11 and was immediately informed that 11.1.2 was available, so I upgraded.

Now I get a notice each time I start a VM that Tools 9.9.3 is available, but when I try to install it I get a message "There was a problem updating a software component. Try again later and if the problem persists, contact VMware Support or your system administrator"

If they've pulled the bad Tools and haven't replaced them yet, that might explain my problem.

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dariusd
Leadership
Leadership

Thanks for reporting this in such awesome detail – and with a root cause and a hotfix too!

I've forwarded the details to the folks responsible for the Tools for Windows to see what they say.

--

Darius

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ralish
Enthusiast
Enthusiast

Thanks Darius!

LuKeJerry: No worries Smiley Happy

unkilbeeg: That sounds unrelated to me.

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steve_goddard
VMware Employee
VMware Employee

Hi there,

I looked into this crash as I hit this myself here at VMware testing and fixing another issue related to our tools and XP virtual machines.

The sxs.dll in XP SP2 is causing the heap corruption from one of our manifest files and brings down the csrss.exe process and results in the BSOD you see.

I am tracking down the manifest in question so that we can find the offending change.

You can also reference the specific Microsoft fix for this at https://support.microsoft.com/en-us/kb/943232

Thanks for reporting this with great detail, as Darius pointed out too!

Steve

Thanks. Steve
steve_goddard
VMware Employee
VMware Employee

Looks like we have a fix under test.

Thanks ralish for the link to MS article detailing the manifest issue it definitely helped track down our manifest code.

Steve

Thanks. Steve
ctivuser
Contributor
Contributor

ralish

A huge "Thank you" to you for this answer! This solved my issue.

In my case I copied a WinXP Pro SP2 VM from a PC with Workstation 10 to a new PC with Workstation 11.1.2. After getting the VM up and running, Workstation helpfully let me know that my version of VMware Tools was out-dated and asked if I wanted to upgrade. During the upgrade process (at the very end) I got a BSOD on the VM (below is a screen shot of the error). I tried to install it a second time, with the same result. I uninstalled the old version of VMware tools and tried the install again, and it failed with BSOD.

Screenshot_2015-07-09-16-27-59.png

Error text:

STOP: c000021a {Fatal System Error}

The windows subsystem system process terminated unexpectedly with a status of 0xc0000005 (0x7c9106c3 0x0052f36c).

The system has shut down.

Beginning dump of physical memory

Physical memory dump complete.

Contact your system administrator or technical support group for further assistance.

That's when I came across this article via a Google search. Since VMware Tools was out, and the configuration of the VM will not allow me to get Internet access, I downloaded the hotfix from Microsoft (after providing an email address and having them email the link to the download to me), copied it to a USB stick, then mounted the stick onto the VM. I had to unpack then manually install the hotfix. Then I had to manually mount the VMware Tools ISO (c:\Program Files (x86)\VMware\VMware Workstation\windows.iso). Then the install ran perfectly, and VMware Tools is working correctly.

Thanks again!