[Solved] Black screen on bootup for Windows 7 VMWare Fusion Bootcamp VM when using displaylink USB drivers

This is a quick post to hopefully remind me of how I fixed this problem once I forget,

Background

We are moving to using Bootcamp on our Macs so as to get the full power of the Mac for the Domino Designer client, it makes a big difference but I will post more on that later.

On the Mac I use a Displaylink USB adapter to power one monitor while the other is plugged directly into the Mac – why Mac haven’t sussed sub 27″ multi-monitor working baffles me but hey, I’m only the customer.

Because the same partition is used for a native machine and as a virtual machine you are stuck with the same drivers for both instances. The Displaylink USB drivers are needed for the native W7 instance but cause a clash with VMWare Tools drivers in the virtual instance.

USB Adapter : Rexton VCUD-20
Displaylink version driver ( via Rexton ) 6.3.40660.0 dated 30/7/2012 and downloaded automatically via MS update
VMWare Fusion version 5.01
Windows 7 Ultimate
Mountain
Lion 10.7.5

Symptoms

All is fine until you install VMWare Tools. Once you reboot you are presented with a black screen. The welcome chimes still sound but there is no way to see the screen. Using the VNC option does not help.

You can boot into safe mode using F2 and you can the use the display but I couldn’t find a way to salvage the situation. As I had a very recent backup I rolled back to that.

While trying to find a solution I did find that if you set a Windows restore point then you can roll back to that restore point from safe mode, there may even be a default one, I never thought to look at the time.

Solution

The problem can be resolved by selecting not to install the SVGA drivers when you install VMWare Tools using the custom install option. I am not sure if this has any negative impact.

As Displaylink say that they do not support virtualised machines at all it is hard to know what is meant to work and what is not.

You can still use Unity although I cannot drag Unity windows between monitors – you can get them to other monitors by going full screen on that monitor and then going to Unity.

Other Notes

The Displaylink release notes do hint that some issues have been resolved by apple in the latest Mountain Lion release notes. I will not be upgrading to Lion until Q1 next year for work reasons so I am not sure.

Image:[Solved] Black screen on bootup for Windows 7 VMWare Fusion Bootcamp VM when using displaylink USB drivers

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