Windows 10 1903 update vs VMware Workstation 12+

Windows 10 build version 1903 (19H1) comes with a Sandbox feature which relies on Hyper-V technology. If you have already installed VMware Workstation version 12 and above before the Windows 10 1903 update, the system gives an error about installing the latest updates and offer you to remove it to proceed with the update.

If you want to keep VMware Workstation solution is easy with a workaround. First you should uninstall VMware Workstation preferably without removing application settings and license information. After the Windows update installation you should first enable the Hyper-V related features under “Setting -> Apps -> Apps & features -> Programs & Features -> Turn Windows features on or off” for some cases that they are partially enabled. The system will prompt for reboot and after the reboot you should disable these features back not to conflict with VMware Workstation any more.

You can install VMware Workstation back after the final reboot and continue to use your old VMs as before.

Windows Sandbox Features

To speed up the boot sequence I prefer to keep the related VMware services startup type manual and control them with a PowerShell script below:

VMware Workstation Windows services
Enable-NetAdapter VMware* -Confirm:$false
Start-Service "VMware Authorization Service"
Start-Service "VMware USB Arbitration Service"
Start-Service "VMware NAT Service"
Start-Service "VMware DHCP Service"
Start-Service "VMware Workstation Server"
Start-Process -NoNewWindow -Wait "C:\Program Files (x86)\VMware\VMware Workstation\vmware.exe"
Stop-Service "VMware Workstation Server"
Stop-Service "VMware DHCP Service"
Stop-Service "VMware NAT Service"
Stop-Service -Force "VMware USB Arbitration Service"
Stop-Service -Force "VMware Authorization Service"
Disable-NetAdapter VMware* -Confirm:$false

Then you can change the default VMware Workstation shortcut target to run this PowerShell script:

%SystemRoot%\system32\WindowsPowerShell\v1.0\powershell.exe -ExecutionPolicy Bypass -WindowStyle Hidden -File "[full_path_to_your_script]"

Windows 7 crashes after waking up from sleep mode

I have a habit of upgrading to a reliable Windows version (meaning not ME or Vista) only after its first service pack is available. However this time I was a little bit late. I’ve recently upgraded my Windows XP to 7 and applied all the updates. When I saw my first blue screen of death (IRQL_NOT_LESS_OR_EQUAL), I didn’t care much and just rebooted. But it got annoying when these BSOD’s kept coming with different bug check strings: MEMORY_MANAGEMENT, PFN_LIST_CORRUPT, etc.

I analyzed the minidump files created under C:\Windows\Minidump after each crash with BlueScreenView. They were all commonly addressing to ntoskrnl.exe, NT OS Kernel. I found a hotfix for the solution, but before applying I realized that I have the newer version of the file (from SP1) installed. So, back to square one.

I googled for each error string and found lots of possible solutions. People keep saying: do this and do that… but most of them are dead end and need filtering. All I needed to do is to update device drivers. As a result of analyzing these error messages, I updated my GigaByte 7GA-EP45-DS3R mainboard drivers from its website. I haven’t got any BSOD since, I hope I won’t again.

Apart from this, I was wondering why my computer became unresponsive after it woke up from sleep state. Crash time was totally random. My mouse seemed powered off, without any laser light, nothing. I just had to reboot. I tried:

  • Control Panel -> Device Manager -> (All the USB devices, keyboard, mouse etc.) -> Properties -> Power Management -> Uncheck: “Allow this device to wake the computer”
  • Control Panel -> Power Options -> Change (Active) plan settings -> Change advanced power settings -> Sleep -> Allow hybrid sleep -> Off
  • Control Panel -> Power Options -> Change (Active) plan settings -> Change advanced power settings -> USB -> USB selective suspend setting -> Disabled
  • Changing the sleep state from S3 (Sleep to RAM, which I prefer, quite useful) to S1 in BIOS Power Management

Nothing worked. Finally I decided to flash and update my BIOS. In the mainboard website says “Fixed Vista S3 resume sometimes failed” for the latest version. I backed up my old BIOS, downloaded the newer BIOS image (ep45ds3r.f10)  and applied it with the @BIOS utility:

I needed to go over my BIOS configuration after the update because it was the factory default. I reconfigured it with S3 sleep state this time and left the device manager changes above as it is, unchecked. Looks like it worked 🙂 This is apparently a BIOS based ACPI problem. I’m glad that I can use “Sleep to RAM” option now, because I think it is the “real” sleep mode.

The methods may vary depending on your hardware vendor and configuration. But for the two problems above I can suggest : “Update your BIOS and device drivers.” Good luck 🙂

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