Windows Server 2008 R2 & Windows 7 Freeze When Using SVGA Drivers

ico-alertI recently ran into an issue when installing my first Windows Server 2008 R2 virtual machine.  The VM would hang/freeze randomly when used through the VMware vCenter Client’s console.  It turns out this is a known issue (see this VMware KB Article) with the SVGA driver that is installed as part of the default installation of VMware Tools.  While the article does not explain why you should disable the SVGA driver, it’s advice is correct if you want to avoid problems in your guest VM.  To correct my problem, I removed the SVGA driver from the Windows Device Manager and rebooted.  If you are having problems removing the SVGA driver before the VM hangs, use Remote Desktop to access the guest machine to perform the driver uninstall.  I have not observed hanging/freezing in the VM since removing the SVGA driver from my Windows 2008 R2 guest.  Note that this same issue is present in Windows 7.

Comments

  1. thanks, we ran into the same issue

  2. thanks, we ran into the same issue

  3. Problem still exists for us… in U1, systems freeze 12-24 hours after reboot.

  4. Problem still exists for us… in U1, systems freeze 12-24 hours after reboot.

  5. A little update –

    I’ve tried the Microsoft driver – fixes the freezes but mouse performance is terrible

    I’ve tried the WDDM driver (setting video memory to 32MB) – fixes the freezes but mouse performance still is not up to what I would expect. (It’s like acceleration isn’t turned on. Note that the WDDM video driver has the acceleration greyed out.)

    The default VMware driver (the one that hangs the console) has great mouse performance but for unknown reasons the console will freeze up occasionally.

    Also – I’ve recently applied the vSphere U2 and there is NO change to this issue. Anyone aware of a specific VMware support case or bug status on this?

  6. A little update –

    I’ve tried the Microsoft driver – fixes the freezes but mouse performance is terrible

    I’ve tried the WDDM driver (setting video memory to 32MB) – fixes the freezes but mouse performance still is not up to what I would expect. (It’s like acceleration isn’t turned on. Note that the WDDM video driver has the acceleration greyed out.)

    The default VMware driver (the one that hangs the console) has great mouse performance but for unknown reasons the console will freeze up occasionally.

    Also – I’ve recently applied the vSphere U2 and there is NO change to this issue. Anyone aware of a specific VMware support case or bug status on this?

  7. having the same problem – I’ve updated to vsphere 4 U2 and still have the issue.

    any ideas?

    • Stuart – could be something unrelated causing the lockup for you. Did the Windows event log return anything of interest? How about the vmware ESX(i) log files? How is your host performing – are you swapping memory, having high CPU ready, etc.?

  8. having the same problem – I’ve updated to vsphere 4 U2 and still have the issue.

    any ideas?

    • Stuart – could be something unrelated causing the lockup for you. Did the Windows event log return anything of interest? How about the vmware ESX(i) log files? How is your host performing – are you swapping memory, having high CPU ready, etc.?

Trackbacks

  1. […] This post was mentioned on Twitter by VMware Planet V12n, joshuatownsend. joshuatownsend said: New VMtoday.com post: Windows Server 2008 R2 & Windows 7 Freeze When Using SVGA Drivers http://cli.gs/eeaSv #vmware […]

  2. […] This post was mentioned on Twitter by VMware Planet V12n, joshuatownsend. joshuatownsend said: New VMtoday.com post: Windows Server 2008 R2 & Windows 7 Freeze When Using SVGA Drivers http://cli.gs/eeaSv #vmware […]

  3. […] posted an article in December on how the SVGA driver included with VMware Tools caused the guest VM to freeze.  I […]

  4. […] posted an article in December on how the SVGA driver included with VMware Tools caused the guest VM to freeze.  I […]

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