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Thank you for reporting this problem. I tried to reproduce the crash based on the provided information, but was not able to reproduce the issue.
Could you provide more information, please:
1. Host OS
2. All steps you've done in more details (step-by-step)
3. All log files and core dump
Sorry for the late response, just to clarify, it was not a VMWare crash, however the probability is that the Tools recompilation triggered something within the (somewhat buggy) Gnome 3 system.
Addressing your questions:
a) The host is Windows 7 (8GB memory)
b) Guest is a modified Lubuntu installation, as I intensely dislike both Unity and the default Gnome 3. I therefore have a desktop consisting of LXDF+Gnome 3 Extensions+Compiz+Cairo Dock
c) The VMware tools upgrade was conducted from a terminal session within the above desktop framework. I have previously installed new versions of tools with previous Linux kernel changes without triggering a problem.
d) The last two occasions the installation went through without issue up until the point I restarted the network. At this point Cairo Dock disappeared and only input to the terminal session continued to work (I was therefore able to do a standard shutdown -r ) On the previous occasion I closed the terminal before noticing the absence of the Cairo Dock panel and had to fall back to opening a new session.
e) On reboot I received the Gnome daemon error message the crash log for this is attached.
[EDIT] Looking at the crash log I see I should probably have blamed glib, as the power manager ought (?) to be out of the picture, and compiz+cairo almost certainly use glib.