Slow mouse performance on Windows 2008 R2 virtual machine


I wanted to migrate the lab to Windows Server 2008 R2 and found some problems with the video drivers provided with vSphere 4.0. After a quick search at http://kb.vmware.com I found the following KB article: KB1011709. This article mentioned the new WDDM driver:

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

Details
  • 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.
Solution

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.

Note: After a VMware Tools upgrade, the driver files are located in C:\Program Files\Common Files\VMware\Drivers\wddm_video.

So I installed the wddm_video driver from:

C:\Program Files\Common Files\VMware\Drivers\wddm_video

Or the VMware SVGA 3d (Microsoft Corporatoin – WDDM) if you like:

image

But after a reboot the mouse performance was still very slow. So I wanted to change the Hardware acceleration level but this option was greyed out.

So I decided to give the other video drivers a try. You can find these drivers in:

C:\Program Files\Common Files\VMware\Drivers\video

I rolled back the SVGA 3D Graphics Adapter en installed the SVGA II adapter”

after installing the SVGA II Drivers:

image

I was able to change the Hardware acceleration level to Full:

image

The mouse performance went back to normal speeds and I was able to control the VM again.

Conclusion:

  • VMware ESX 4.0 update 1 + wddm_video driver = slow mouse performance
  • VMware ESX 4.0 update 2 with latest patches + wddm_video driver = slow mouse performance
  • VMware ESX 4.0 update 2 with latest patches + VMware video driver = good mouse performance
  • VMware ESX 4.1 with latest patches + wddm_video = good mouse performance
    I also tried to change the video memory to 32 MB and installed the wddm driver after that but it doesn’t solve the slow mouse performance.
Source
VMware KB KB1011709
VMware Communies http://communities.vmware.com/thread/286445
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12 thoughts on “Slow mouse performance on Windows 2008 R2 virtual machine

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  2. Eugene

    We have this problem on ESX 3.5 U5, with 2008 R2 / 7 guests. I wonder if there is a better driver we could install…

    Reply
  3. YP Chien

    Thanks for the info. We are having really slow mouse movement on our Win 2008 R2 VM under vSphere 4.1.
    Contrary to your findings, once we updated the screen driver to the VMware wddm_video driver, the mouse works like a champ! 🙂

    Reply
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  6. Pedro

    Wanted to add my comment that switching video drivers made a HUGE speed improvement for me. Thanks for the write up!

    Reply
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