VMware Fusion 4 Black Screen

Screensaver and Power Options

Ever since upgrading to VMware Fusion 4 I have been intermittently getting a black screen when VMware has been in the background for a while. Looking at the thumbnail for the machine¬†in the “Virtual Machine Library” I can see that the machine is still responding, but I can’t actually see anything in the VMware Fusion window. It seems that the screensaver or monitor power off has been leaving things in an odd state.

Since my mac has it’s own screensaver and power settings modes, the Windows counterparts are a bit redundant. So let’s turn them off.

But wait, if I could turn them off there wouldn’t be a problem!

Yeah, that’s a problem. In addition to clicking like a mad man, I sent key combos from the menu to try to wake things up. But nothing seemed to work. I changed to full screen mode, and the interesting thing was I could see the screen while it was zooming to or out of full screen. But as soon as the zoom was complete, the black screen was back. Finally I tried changing to “Unity View” so I could use an app, and that worked like a charm and after switching back the black screen was gone.

  1. On the VM window, click on the unity view button on the upper right.
  2. Do something in an open window. Just something small, even changing focus.
  3. Under the view menu in VMware, switch back to single window.
If that does not work, you may have to restart the machine.

Turn off Screen Saver and Monitor Sleep (Windows 7)

  1. Richt click on the desktop
  2. Choose “Personalize”
  3. Click on “Screen Saver” in the lower right
  4. Set Screen saver to (none)
  5. Click on “Change power settings” at the bottom of the screen saver window
  6. Choose the radio button for “High Performance”
  7. Click on “Change plan settings”
  8. Change Turn off display and Put the computer to sleep to “Never”
That has stopped the black screen most of the time for me. Although I did still get it one time, that is an improvement from every time Windows went to sleep.
Category(s): Virtualization, VMware Fusion, Windows 7
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