I recently came across a pretty big issue with all my VMs having a black screen when I try to view them in any type of Sphere console (browser, VMRC etc...).
Connecting via Remote Desktop works just fine and I can see the screen. I was able to look around I found that the display drivers on all machines on that ESX server were reverted to Microsoft Basic Display Adapter, whereas other machines on other ESX servers (we have 3 here) all have VMWare SVGA 3D display drivers.
This happened right after I attempted to create a new SSL certificate for the ESX server I'm currently having this issue with. Since then I tried to revert to the original one, but this did not resolve it.
I tried to reinstall this driver from VMware Tools but I get device status error code 43: "Windows has stopped this device because it has reported problems". I've followed other guides which asked me to use the safe mode when booting into Windows and then reinstall the driver, but I'm not able to do so since I can't see anything in the VM console (I also tried using the Remote Desktop but couldn't connect in safe mode).
Has anybody else come across this problem?
Is there any relation between generating SSL certificates and driver errors?
Thanks for your help!
I managed to fix it myself. Things I have tried:
*reinstalling VMWare Tools. I was using 11.3.5, but changed it to 12.0.0- didn't help
*uninstalling the display adapter driver only (VMWare SVGA 3D) and installing it again- didn't help
*disabling and then removing the display adapter all together- always reverted back to the basic Microsoft driver
*trying to boot using secure boot option would not even show me the screen (wasn't even able to see it through RDP with the networking option for safe boot)
What helped out was changing the state of the svga.vgaOnly key in vSphere->Virtual Machines->Virtual machine currently experiencing this issue->Actions->Edit Settings->VM Options->Advanced->Edit Configuration. Change the value of this key to FALSE and reboot the machine. You should be able to see your screen in VMRC and browser consoles.
Later I went back and changed the value back to TRUE again just to see what happens and then rebooted the machine and I was still able to see my screen in the consoles.
I was able to repeat this on all other machines that were affected and it fixed the issue. I haven't gone into too much depth on why this is caused and why this particular solution helps, but if you're experiencing similar issues perhaps applying this fix will help you. Cheers.