WhiteKnight
Hot Shot
Hot Shot

Workstation 15: Guest screen flickering occasionally - can someone reproduce this issue?

After having upgraded to VMware Workstation 15 on my Windows 10x64 machine, each of my VMs shows a black flicker from time to time (once every 10 minutes or so).

This disturbance can be reproduced easily:

Simply start a VM with a Windows 10x64 OS installed and wait for about 10 seconds after having signed in to the guest OS. Then the first black flicker will occur:

After having opened a support ticket I'm having long discussions with VMware Support. They don't seem to be able to reproduce this issue.

So I'm asking here: Can anyone reproduce this issue?



[VMware]: Workstation 16 Pro; --
[host]: Windows 10x64 host; --
[guests]: Windows 10x64, Windows 8x64.
55 Replies
bluefirestorm
Virtuoso
Virtuoso

I just upgraded a few hours ago from Workstation Pro 12.5.9 to 15.0.2, and Fusion Pro 8.5.10 to 11.0.2 with the Black Friday sale.

Yes, it can be reproduced on both Workstation 15.0.2 and Fusion 11.0.2. All the Windows VMs are Windows 10 1803. Two of them have virtual BIOS and one of them has virtual EFI.

bluefirestorm
Virtuoso
Virtuoso

Considering that it the flicker also happens on Fusion, it led me to think it isn't the host graphics hardware or host graphics framework (Fusion 11 uses Metal by default while Workstation on Windows uses DX11 and the graphics hardware I have are very different Intel Pro 5200 on the MacBook Pro while Nvidia on Windows host). It also seems to happen only on the Windows 10 VM (not on a macOS VM and Linux VM).

I changed the hardware compatibility on the Fusion Windows 10 VM back to 12 and switched back to OpenGL and the flickering still occured.

I then tried just a sign-out and sign-in again and the flicker still occured. This led me to think it might not be related to the VMware SVGA 3D graphics driver during power-up of the VM. I also noticed that the the flicker happens just before the VMware Tools icon appear on the notification area. I turned on debug and the flicker time roughly coincides with certain VMware log entries in relation to VMware Tools.

| vmx| I130: PolicyVMX_IsCopyPasteAllowed: Copy/paste policy is allowed.

| vmx| I130: ToolsGetCopyPaste: Copy/paste allowed: 0.

| vmx| I130: PolicyVMX_IsDragDropAllowed: Drag/drop policy is allowed.

| vmx| I125: Guest: toolbox-dnd: Version: 10.3.2.6765 (build-9925305)

| vcpu-1| W115: GuestRpc: application toolbox-dnd, changing channel 65535 -> 1

| vcpu-1| I125: GuestRpc: Channel 1, guest application toolbox-dnd.

| vmx| I125: DnDCP: dndGuestVersion from vmdb failed, setting to 4

| vmx| I125: DnDCP: set guest controllers to version 4

| vmx| I125: DnDCP: set guest controllers to version 4

| vmx| I125: DnDCP: set guest controllers to version 4

I did install VMware Tools 10.3.2 before when I still had Fusion 8.5.10 and Workstation 12.5.9 but I can't say with certainty that the flickering didn't occur as it could be that I just didn't notice it.

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WhiteKnight
Hot Shot
Hot Shot

Thanks, Blue,

I can confirm that this issue occurs on every machine I have with VMware Workstation 15 installed (from 15.0.0 to 15.0.2), each equipped with different hardware, from tablet over notebook to server workstation.



[VMware]: Workstation 16 Pro; --
[host]: Windows 10x64 host; --
[guests]: Windows 10x64, Windows 8x64.
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banackm
VMware Employee
VMware Employee

To both WhiteKnight and bluefirestorm, do you still see the flickering if you disable 3D graphics in the VM ?

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WhiteKnight
Hot Shot
Hot Shot

Thanks, bm​, for trying to help.

Yes, even after having 3D acceleration disabled, the flickering still occurs.

3D settings.png



[VMware]: Workstation 16 Pro; --
[host]: Windows 10x64 host; --
[guests]: Windows 10x64, Windows 8x64.
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Flownwolf
Contributor
Contributor

I had this flicker happen every time my Windows 10 background wallpaper would change on the host machine (once every 10 minutes).

bonnie201110141
VMware Employee
VMware Employee

We have an internal bug to track the issue, and we are working on it. Thanks for the feedback!

chefundo
Contributor
Contributor

have a similar issue on workstation, just opened a ticket, my screen flickers every 10 seconds I cannot work with it

SR 18010046812

Any solution in the works, or a workarond?

wandreas
Contributor
Contributor

I have exactly the same, really annoying problem with all my Win 10 VM's (with installed VMWare tools, in my case 10.3.2.9925305) after upgrading to Workstation 15.

There is always an initial flickering as shown in your video shortly after the user profile has loaded and the desktop shows up.

After this initial flickering/blackening I also encounter relatively regular consecutive screen flickerings, just the period for me seems to be longer than 10 minutest (more 30 up to 45 mins for me).

As I use those VM for software development this is really annoying, because especially when I extend the VM to my two displays, the flickering affects windows positions and screen focus is often shifted.This regularly leads to typos or wrongly positioned controls, when designing Winforms Apps.

The flickering occurs regardless if 3D Acceleration is turned on for those VM or not.

I tried both Settings, but the behaviour does not change.

No changing wallpapers, just monochrome ones used together with Wininternals BGInfo.

Win 10 VM without installed VMWare tools do not show this flickering, at least for me.

I can also confirm that the initial flickering occurs exactly when the VMWare tools icon appears in the system tray.

beneddt
Contributor
Contributor

Also want to chime in that I'm in the same boat.  Just upgraded from Workstation 12.5.8 to 15.0.2 and have screen flickering as mentioned.  I've tried disabling / re-enabling 3d Acceleration, that doesn't do anything for me either.

Not sure if it matters, but I have 2 monitors, each plugged in via Display Port, with one usually dedicated to the VM for development.  Never ran into this issue with v12.5.

thanks,

Dean

wandreas
Contributor
Contributor

Some additional findings:

At least for me the periodically occurring flickering seems to be somewhat "synchronized" throughout all running Win10-based VM's.

I currently could observe this on my workstation with two independently started and running Win10-VM (two separate vmware.exe instances), each sitting on separate monitors.

The flickering effect occurred on both VM at exactly the same point in time (VM settings as described, no 3d acceleration, etc.).

I suspect that both VM react to the same external cause triggered by the host, which is a Win10 1809 Workstation as well.

Just no idea what this cause could be.

Older Guest OSes do not seem to be affected.

I ran several VM running with Windows 7 or Windows Server 2008R2 for longer Times, none of those showed the effect.

marvinxno
Contributor
Contributor

We have multiple machines running VMWare workstation 15.0.2 build - 10952284.  We have guest running Windows Server 2016. My machine is a T480s using the Intel UHD Graphics 620 video adapter.  The video driver version is 24.20.100.6344. Periodically (average once/hour??, sometimes more often, sometimes less than once/day) the video on the monitor running VMware workstation will "flicker" (go black for a second, then return). The other monitors (i hve a total of 3) are not effected, only the monitor running VMWare workstation. Sometimes the screen contents will change during this flicker. The host operating system is Windows 10 1803, specifically Windows 10 Enterprise, version 10.0.17134. The machine has 24GB memory. 3D Hardware acceleration is off.

It seems that when the "flicker" occurs, it "blinks" exactly twice.

This has been happening for months now. We really need a resolution for this issue with VMware workstation.

beneddt
Contributor
Contributor

Here is a temporary fix that seemed to work for me, and for those of us who couldn't wait for VMware to fix it.

I installed an older version of the VMware tools in the guest, and the flickering stopped.  I'm sure this isn't super optimal as they probably have fixes for bugs in the newer tools, but for me everything seems to work just fine in the VM (USB, Sound, clipboard, drive maps, etc), and I can work without the flickering.

I chose the VMware tools from the 12.5.x release (tools version denoted as 10.1.7), mainly because that was the version I was on before upgrading to 15.  Not sure if other previous releases also work.

Downloaded from here:

Index of /45848/tools/releases/10.1.7

Good luck

NinjaFaceX
Contributor
Contributor

I'm late to the conversation, but I found if I right click VMWare Tools in the system tray and select exit, the flickering stops.  

wila
Leadership
Leadership

Hi,

I don't have the problem, but the first thing I would try is to go to the folder where VMware Tools is installed and rename the file VMwareResolutionSet.exe into VMwareResolutionSet.exe.old

--

Wil

| Author of Vimalin. The virtual machine Backup app for VMware Fusion, VMware Workstation and Player |
| More info at vimalin.com | Twitter @wilva
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wstagner
Contributor
Contributor

thanks for the workaround for this

i'm running win10 32-bit version and this has been driving me crazy

the flawed program has been found, now it's up to vmware to find out what makes it fail

interestingly, my win10 64 bit vmware works perfectly with the most recent vmware tools

go figure

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WhiteKnight
Hot Shot
Hot Shot

So, VMware, did you find the reason for this bug and will you be able to provide a bugfix with the next update? When will this update be available?



[VMware]: Workstation 16 Pro; --
[host]: Windows 10x64 host; --
[guests]: Windows 10x64, Windows 8x64.
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wstagner
Contributor
Contributor

I'll take that as a no. :smileycry:

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lecedre10
Contributor
Contributor

Same here, the workaround proposed by NinjaFaceX works but isolate the Guest (no copy paste or drag drop as well as weird time....) so it's not ideal

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