Thursday, July 22, 2010

Windows 2008 R2 freezes under VMWare

Windows Server 2008 R2 running as a virtual machine on a VMWare ESX can sometimes strangely freeze. This can happen when browsing folders or when browsing the event viewer. However, the machine is not really frozen, because you can still ping it and get replies. It is also possible to establish a Remote Desktop connection, but it hangs endlessly at logging in, never showing the desktop.
This issue seems to be related to a bug with the VMware tools SVGA driver:
It all boils down to the fact that you should run 2008 R2 or Windows 7 on ESX 4, Update 1, nothing earlier than that.
If you cannot update to ESX 4.0 Update 1, deselect the driver included with ESX 4.0.
  • When you install VMware Tools, select Custom or Modify in the VMware Tools installation wizard
  • Deselect the SVGA (XPDM) driver.
Otherwise you can also remove the VMware Tools SVGA driver from the Device Manager after installing VMware Tools, like shown in the picture:

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