Troubleshooting SVGA drivers installed and Slow Display Performance with VMware Tools on Windows 7 and Windows 2008 R2 running on ESX 4.0


  • You receive a black screen on the virtual machine when using Windows 7 or Windows 2008 R2 as a guest operating system on ESX 4.0.
  • You experience slow mouse performance on Windows 2008 R2 virtual machine.


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 R2 guest operating systems.


To resolve this issue, 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 R2.
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 32MB.


To workaround this issue, perform one of these options:
  • 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.
  • 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 wddm_video folder. The wddm_video folder is found on the virtual machine or in vCenter Server 4.1 (for Windows 2008 R2 operating systems) in C:\Program Files\Common Files\VMware\Drivers.
  1. Navigate to C:\Program Files\Common Files\VMware\Drivers and copy the driver to a location on the virtual machine (C:\, for example).
  2. Within the virtual machine, right-click Computer > Manage > Diagnostics > Device Manager, then expand the Display Adapters selection.
  3. Right-click the Driver that is currently installed and choose Update Driver Software. Browse to the folder that you copied from vCenter Server, select it, then follow the wizard.
  4. When the wizard completes, reboot the virtual machine.

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