Troubleshooting SVGA drivers installed with VMware Tools on Windows 7 and Windows 2008 running on ESXi/ESX 4.x/5.x
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Troubleshooting SVGA drivers installed with VMware Tools on Windows 7 and Windows 2008 running on ESXi/ESX 4.x/5.x


Article ID: 344178


Updated On:


VMware vSphere ESXi


  • You see a black screen on the virtual machine when using Windows 7 or Windows 2008 as a guest operating system on ESXi/ESX 4.x/5.x.
  • You experience slow mouse performance on a Windows 2008 virtual machine.
  • The Windows 7/2008 virtual machine console appears to be frozen.


VMware ESX 4.0.x
VMware ESXi 4.0.x Installable
VMware ESXi 4.1.x Embedded
VMware ESXi 4.0.x Embedded
VMware vSphere ESXi 5.0
VMware ESX 4.1.x
VMware ESXi 4.1.x Installable


This issue can occur due to the XPDM (SVGA) driver provided with VMware Tools. This is a legacy Windows driver and is not supported on Windows 7 and Windows 2008 guest operating systems.

Note: The XPDM driver is not supported on Windows 2008 R2.


If you are currently using ESX 4.0, update to ESX 4.0 Update 1. A new WDDM driver is installed with the updated VMware Tools and is compatible with Windows 7 and Windows 2008.

Note: The WDDM driver only works with hardware version (HW) 7 and above.

If you are able to update to ESX 4.0 Update 1, but receive a black screen on the virtual machine after changing to the new driver, click Edit Settings and change the video settings to 32 MB.


To work around this issue on releases prior to ESX 4.0 Update 1, perform one of these options:

Note: If you are currently running an older version of VMware Tools which has never been updated, this workaround may be applicable to ESXi/ESX 4.x and ESXi 5.0.
  • Deselect the driver included with ESX 4.0, install VMware Tools and select Custom or Modify in the VMware Tools installation wizard, then deselect the SVGA (XPDM) driver.

    • You can also remove the VMware Tools SVGA driver from the Device Manager after installing VMware Tools.
    • To install the drivers successfully, ensure that the virtual machine hardware version is 7 or later.

  • Ensure that VMware Tools is installed on the virtual machine. If the mouse or video performance is still poor, replace the Display Adapter default-installed driver within the virtual machine with the driver contained in the video_wddm folder.
    The video_wddm folder is found on the virtual machine or in vCenter Server in C:\Program Files\Common Files\VMware\Drivers. You also have the option of copying it from a good working virtual machine:

    1. Ensure that you are logged in as an administrator or as a user with full privileges.
    2. Navigate to C:\Program Files\Common Files\VMware\Drivers and copy the driver to a location on the virtual machine ( C:\, for example).
    3. Within the virtual machine, right-click Computer > Manage > Diagnostics > Device Manager, then expand the Display Adapters section.

      Note: If the Display Adapters section is not visible, enable Show hidden devices in the View menu.

    4. Right-click the driver that is currently installed and click Update Driver Software. Browse to the folder that you copied from vCenter Server, select it, then follow the wizard.
    5. When the wizard completes, reboot the virtual machine.

      Note: Unless there is an explicit requirement for enhanced graphics, the preferred driver for Windows Server 2008 is the Microsoft-provided VESA driver.

For related information, see WDDM and XPDM graphics driver support with ESX 4.x, ESXi 5.x, Workstation 7 and 8, and Fusion 3 and 4 (1016770).

Additional Information

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