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.
57 Replies
jcatayoc
Contributor
Contributor

Also experiencing screen flickering, almost every 10 seconds or so, with blinking twice.

Flickering stops when the VMWare Tools Tray icon is exited.

0 Kudos
damondawson
Contributor
Contributor

I noticed this too, shortly after upgrading to v15.

Mine flashes black 6 times. I recently discovered that it was doing this every time AD Group Policy (GP) was refreshed on the host system.

My host system is Server 2012-R2 and the VM is Windows 10.

It appears to occur with the "Computer" portion of GP refreshes.  I can recreate it by opening a command prompt and running GPUPDATE.

This doesn't seem to impact my VMs that are running Windows 7, 8 or 8.1.  Just Windows 10.  VMTools is current on all.

By default, GP refreshes every 90 minutes.   As a stop-gap measure, I've created a GPO to override the default refresh interval from 90 minutes to 7200 minutes (once every 5 days).  This is setting is in GP  Management MMC, under Computer Settings > Policies > Administrative Templates > System > Group Policy > Set Group Policy refresh interval for computers = 7200.

Since doing that I now only see the 6x flashing every 5 days.

I haven't been able to narrow it down to any particular setting.

bonnie201110141
VMware Employee
VMware Employee

Thank you for your help! Now we can reproduce the issue and are actively working on a fix.

0 Kudos
WhiteKnight
Hot Shot
Hot Shot

I called "GPUPDATE" today, but nothing's flickering here while that tool is being executed.

To me it seems like the guest OS pauses running while the screen is black. The black periods are particularly long at my slow machine or when my SSD drives are busy copying large files.

VMware, wouldn't it make sense to add profiling/auditing/stop-watch calls to each of VMware Tools' API entry points while you're debugging? The first flickering in a guest session always occurs when VMware Tools finishes booting in the guest, so it should be easy to find the call that's causing this flickering. (Strange enough: It doesn't occur when I restart the VMware Tools service in the guest.)



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

Happens to me, windows 10 host, windows 10 guest, any time the host OS flashes an alert/toast the screen blanks.  about 20% of the time it results in a bluescreen and restart.

Seems to have to do with the vmware guest screen resize, but I have no idea why a toast alert would trigger it.

0 Kudos
dhunt73
Contributor
Contributor

I have experienced the same issue with Windows 10 VM's running VMWare 15.  I did however find a solution to the issue. 

If you want the flickering to stop just uninstall VMWare Tools that came with 15 and install VMWare tools 10.2.5. I did this on all the Windows 10 VM's I was using and it completely fixed the flickering issue.  There is definitely something wrong with the latest version of VMWare tools.

0 Kudos
Nullers
Contributor
Contributor

Thanks the flickering happens when I call GPUPDATE. Given that this happens in the background quite a lot, this is a really annoying issue!

0 Kudos
WhiteKnight
Hot Shot
Hot Shot

I believe I may have an idea on the reason for this issue:

Anyone of you who experiences this bug:

What is the manufacturer of your graphics card?

Why am I asking this:

  1. I once had a severe issue with VMware Workstation. It took more than a year to hunt this issue down, and the result was that the issue was based in faulty NVidia graphics drivers.

  2. I can easily cause my guest OS to flicker by doing the following ...
    1. switch to VMware Window mode,
    2. go to host OS (Windows 10, having a multi-image Windows theme installed there)
    3. right-click on the host OS desktop and select "next desktop background" from the context menu that appears:
      Next Desktop Background.png

      Next Desktop Background 2.png

This is making me wonder if the NVidia graphic drivers are having a bug again, causing VMware workstation to fail (i.e. flicker).



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

My video card is AMD FirePro W4100

0 Kudos
WhiteKnight
Hot Shot
Hot Shot

Ah. OK then ... Too bad.

@VMware:

How are chances we're getting a fix for this, soon?

Out of curiosity: are you dogfooding? If so, aren't you bugged yourself by all this flickering while you're working?



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

I can confirm that the VM screen is flickering every time a host system updates group policy (gpupdate) or it changes wallpaper (when I manually click on "next desktop background" from the desktop context menu) while vmtoolsd.exe is running in the VM. Host system (Win10) has a Intel UHD 620 graphics adapter and VMware Workstations Pro 15.0.4 build 1299004

When I exit vmtoolsd.exe in the VM, no screen flickering appears while gpupudate nor next desktop background.

0 Kudos
bonnie201110141
VMware Employee
VMware Employee

It will be fixed very soon. Thanks for your patience!

kwitt
Contributor
Contributor

Finally it is identified and perhaps soon we will have a resolution.

WhiteKnight
Hot Shot
Hot Shot

Splendid!! Good work, chaps!

tenor.gif

67b2a9ba5e85822f237caae92111e938.gif



[VMware]: Workstation 16 Pro; --
[host]: Windows 10x64 host; --
[guests]: Windows 10x64, Windows 8x64.
chinaski007
Enthusiast
Enthusiast

Hello,

i have the same problem on Workstation pro 12.5.9 latest. (no update so far).

My host is Windows 10 x64, my guest is Windows 10 x64.

I have this flickering with GTX 980 and with GTX 2080

with nvidia driver < 400 and current driver 430.86 (standard).

I have the flickering with 3D graphics enabled or not.

I have 2 screens, both 2560 x 1440.

Also, after waking up from screen saver, it happened that the whole guest machine remained

black.

And, when i span the gues over 2 screens and switch back to 1, it remains black.

How to fix this ?
Thank you

0 Kudos
bkader101
Contributor
Contributor

Hi...

Have same problem ;((

Do you have a fix for it ??

Thks

0 Kudos
danpoleary
Contributor
Contributor

Been a while, any progress on this issue?  Is there a version which does not have this issue?

0 Kudos
bonnie201110141
VMware Employee
VMware Employee

The issue was fixed a long time ago, maybe in Workstation 15.1? Anyway, you can get latest Workstation 15.x for free to try it. Thanks!

WhiteKnight
Hot Shot
Hot Shot

Please note that existing VMs observing this issue will still observe this issue even after updating VMware Workstation a/o VMware Tools.

You need to fully re-install the VM with latest VMware Workstation/Tools for this issue to be fixed.



[VMware]: Workstation 16 Pro; --
[host]: Windows 10x64 host; --
[guests]: Windows 10x64, Windows 8x64.
0 Kudos
Rafferty2000
Contributor
Contributor

So just to be clear, that's not just running "Install VMware Tools" from the "Virtual Machine" menu?

0 Kudos