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
WhiteKnight
Hot Shot
Hot Shot

That's my observation. All the VMs I created that have been showing this issue never recovered from it, even with the current VMware Tools version.

So, I fully re-installed them last month to overcome the flickering.



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

Thankfully, just installing the VMware Tools again worked - so I didn't have to reinstall the VM - phew.

And now my Mac wants to update from 10.15.3 to 10.15.4 - lets hope it still works after that.

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Dalhyp
Contributor
Contributor

Installed Workstation 15.5 and the screen flickers. I can workaround the issue is if I uninstall VMTools from the Virtual machine. Attempted uninstall and reinstall of both VM Workstation and VMTool and that did not fix the issue.

alexsch
Contributor
Contributor

This issue is driving me nuts.  Even upgrading to 15.5.6 has not helped.  The only thing that stops this for me is uininstalling VMWare Tools, booting into safe mode, bringing up the device manager, under the Display adaptors, right-select the VMWare SCGA 3D driver, uninstalling the device diver AND checking the delete driver from disk.

Yes, back to the basic display driver and a mismatch on the display window, but at least my sanity is restored.  The guest even feels nippier.

JohnW3
Contributor
Contributor

Like alexsch​, I am seeing this in Workstation 15.5.6, but in what might be the worst-case scenario. Everything was fine yesterday. At the end of the day, I deleted the one existing snapshot of the VM, which took a while since there were a couple months' worth of changes to roll in. Bad idea.

Today, the guest screen starts flickering immediately after the "logging in" process completes and the flicker period is just under one second. I can't do anything in the guest while the flickering is happening; no mouse cursor ever appears. Sending Ctrl-Alt-Del to the guest brings up the expected screen, not flickering. If I log out, the next screen also does not flicker, but logging back in restarts it. I can also start Task Manager there and it will run, sitting on top of the flickering screen. Navigating through Task Manager is hard because there is no mouse and the keyboard input is only recognized for a very brief part of each flicker.

I tried running VMware-vdiskmanager to check the vmdk file, but it fails with "VixDiskLib: Failed to initialize PhoneHome library." I did a Repair install of Workstation with no improvement.

I would accept a temporary workaround of disabling VMTools, but I don't see how to do that outside the guest O/S.

The following unfamiliar entries in the log are flagged as errors by the Configuration Manager Trace Log Tool:

2020-07-24T10:23:27.670-04:00| vmx| I005: OvhdMem OvhdUser_BusError                   :       1      1      - |      0      0      -

2020-07-24T10:23:27.793-04:00| vcpu-0| I005: Win32U_GetFileAttributes: GetFileAttributesExW("E:\Virtual Machines\Win10x64 PC4\Win10x64 PC4.vmpl", ...) failed, error: 2

2020-07-24T10:23:27.796-04:00| vcpu-0| I005: Vix: [mainDispatch.c:4200]: VMAutomation_ReportPowerOpFinished: statevar=0, newAppState=1872, success=1 additionalError=0

2020-07-24T10:23:27.853-04:00| mks| I005: SWBWindow: Window #0 validation failed: no valid host window or host surface.

2020-07-24T10:23:27.927-04:00| mks| I005: SWBWindow: Window #0 validation failed: no valid host window or host surface.

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hahakiki2010
VMware Employee
VMware Employee

@JohnW3,

Unfortunately I can not reproduce this screen flick with WS 15.5.6. If possible, could u upload your VM to somewhere that I can access? It will help a lot to reproduce the issue. Thanks

My HOST: Win10 2004

My Guest: Win10 1803

WS build: 15.5.6

Tools version:15940789

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JohnW3
Contributor
Contributor

I could, if I could safely remove the proprietary content from its disk image.  When I opened the vmdk file (suddenly, I love ImDisk) to recover the work I had lost in the corrupted snapshot removal, I discovered that an entire directory I had been working in had disappeared. That's a convincing sign that the O/S image got trashed, a sort-of virtual hard drive crash, so there are no guarantees that anything will behave the same after I remove more files. I just extracted what I could and created a new VM to start over.

If you want to dive into it, I am willing to try sanitizing the content and uploading it to an appropriate location, but I would now be much more interested in having someone figure out what happened during the snapshot consolidation that corrupted the disk.

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RubenGarciaHern
Contributor
Contributor

I have this issue on 15.5.6 build-16341506, Ubuntu virtual machine running on Windows 10, when my display is set to 3840x2860. On 1920x1080, I don't see flickering.

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forthespam
Contributor
Contributor

Seriously, TeamViewer seems to run better right now.

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codus
Contributor
Contributor

I have the same issue on VMWare Fusion 12.1.0 and macOS Big Sur 11.1, running a Win10 guest VM.

Had it on previous versions of Fusion and macOS  as well.

In my case it seems to happen mostly when graphical "stuff" happens in the guest VM, like a pop up from Outlook or Teams.

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ChrisG0x20
Contributor
Contributor

Hi, this is still happening to me in Workstation 16 Pro 16.1.0 build-17198959.  The host is a AMD/Win10 19042.746 using hyper-v as the hypervisor backend. It does it with both win10 and ubuntu guests. It's the whole window. Including the frame. They all flicker black. It's making me crazy.

Also, having issues when suspend/startup causing the guest to become unresponsive, but that's another bug. Is there a public bug tracking I could get busy entering bugs into?

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MerylC
Enthusiast
Enthusiast

For me this problem happen when I run graphically incompatible application that was not originally made for newer OS.

Did you try disabling 3D graphics acceleration under VMware setting.

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VMware Workstation Virtual Machines Expert
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ChrisG0x20
Contributor
Contributor

I did. And, it worked, but the performance of the VM became _very_ slow.

MerylC
Enthusiast
Enthusiast

It was happening to me when I was using Dell dual graphics laptop.

 

Intel + nvidia

Graphics were application switchable. Yet it was giving lot of problems, Blank screen on Guest OS start.

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VMware Workstation Virtual Machines Expert
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ChrisG0x20
Contributor
Contributor

I'm also using nvidia graphics. Just updated my driver to 461.40 in an attempt to see if it makes a difference.

 

MerylC
Enthusiast
Enthusiast

Wish you best!

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VMware Workstation Virtual Machines Expert
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vm1234561
Contributor
Contributor

I am having the same issue. 

I am running VMware Workstation 16 Pro Version: 16.2.4 build-20089737

Workstation Specs: MSI, Intel i7 12th Gen with Nvidia GeForce RTX 3060.

Please resolve this issue ASAP. We are having this serious issue that might distract us to the other virtual machine platforms.

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ChrisG0x20
Contributor
Contributor

Changing my monitor refresh rate seemed to improve, but not completely remove the problem. It still happens when the vmware client window does not have window focus.

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