How to fix VMware Tools and black screens with Windows 10 Creator Update

At “press time”, Microsoft has announced that Windows 10 Creator Update [i.e. Redstone 2, a.k.a. build 15063, a.k.a. v1703] has been released. Those on the technical side probably know how to get it. For the rest, it will be on or after April 11th.

This article deals with VMware Workstation 11 [and probably older] as well as VMware Player. So most likely the audience are those who are technical.

If you are like me and are using an unsupported VMware Workstation or Player and get a black screen for the video [or at least that] after upgrading Windows 10 or installing VMware Tools in a fresh Windows 10 installation, the following may make Windows 10 Creator Edition [a.k.a. blah, blah, blah] run better with VMware Workstation or Player:

Go here and download either the ISO image or the applicable EXE for the architecture. You probably want the ISO as you may not be able to copy over the executable but you can attach the ISO. Tested with version 10.1.5 build 5055683.

What you are doing is installing the VMware Tools for the latest version of VMware Workstation 12.5. The video issue gets corrected. I am guessing you can install any VMware Tools for your product [and not VMware Tools for ESX].

I tested this on two VMs, one upgraded from v1607 to v1703 and a fresh installation of v1703 and both worked but I recommend removing the current VMware Tools first.

Prior to trying this, I would suggest you take a snapshot [applies to Workstation only] or back up your VM.

Updated features in the Windows 10 Creator Update

The list below is based on the latest Windows Insider build that beta testers are using [and may change] when Windows 10 v1703 is released in the spring. It is being dubbed the Creator Update by Microsoft. It is not the complete list but highlights some of the updates.

  • You can now to organize and personal your tiles in Start menu into folders.
  • OneNote 2016’s popular screen capture feature is built into Windows 10. Use Win+Shift+S to capture a region of your screen and copy it to anywhere. It is expected to be removed as a feature of OneNote 2016. [Note: If using OneNote but not using windows 10, there is a registry fix to bring it back].
  • PC’s health section includes more options for Device performance and extra health scans for an in-depth report.
  • When running Windows for the first time [after an upgrade or a new computer], a female voice will guide you and exclaim some options. The voice can be disabled.
  • Added is an option that will enable you to pause updates on your computer for up to 35 days and allow you to decide whether or not to include driver updates. This capability will not be available on the Home edition.
  • Also added is logic to better detect if the PC’s display is actively being used for something, such as projecting, and avoid attempting to restart.
  • Home edition of Windows will now have Active hours increased to up to 18-hour maximum.
  • You will now be able to change resolution straight from the main Display Settings page.
  • An improved performance and smoothness when resizing GDI-based Desktop applications [such as File Explorer, Notepad, Task Manager, ….] and UWP apps [such as Outlook Mail, Photo]. When resizing UWP apps, the window frame background will be transparent as the app adjusts.
  • The new device settings combine the Bluetooth and Connected devices pages to offer a single place to manage all of your devices/peripherals. They can all now be discovered and managed from the same place using the same UI. You can also disconnect and reconnect your Bluetooth audio devices directly from the settings page.
  • High DPI support will be enabled for GDI-based applications.
  • Settings pages now contain additional information on the right or bottom [depending on the window size} that will provide feedback, support links, etc.
  • App related settings have moved out of System into a new category called Apps.
  • The header on the landing page for each Settings category will now stay in place as you pan the page.
  • You can easily pick between the colors you’ve decided on in the past on some screens.
  • The Settings app now contains the theme management [formerly in the Control Panel.