vSphere console: black screen on Windows 10 & Windows 2012 R2

If you have a black-screen on the vSphere console (no matter if using .NET client, Web-Client, Remote-Console, etc.) typically the following things help you out:

  • Having the correct port opened between your client and the ESXi host where the virtual machine is running on (TCP: 903)
  • Correct working DNS: Your client must be able to lookup the ESXi FQDN
  • Permissions

For sure there are many more things… most of them are well documented nowadays… so check them out.

There might be another reason if you use Windows 10 or Windows 2012 R2 (Not sure how it is in the older versions) where the symptoms (a black screen) might be similiar, but the problem is not vSphere related (even though it seems to be).

Symptom description:

Black Screen on Windows 10 Console; The machine is running & working; Windows 10 Clock within the lock screen appears sometimes; Machine does not react to any kind of input.

A reboot of the machine leads to a situation that you can enter the bios, therefore you have access to the KVM of the virtual machine (which excludes the typical error conditions defined above), but as soon as the windows boot animation has been disapeared, the windows remains BLACK.

First thought… SVGA driver problems or maybe the VMware.log can give us further useful information.

Screen Shot 2016-05-06 at 16.51.45

GuestRpc: Got error for connection XX: Remote connection failure

Doesn’t helped me further, but seemed somehow like a vSphere problem. The really interesting thing is… RDP works fine when working with¬†the machine…

Screen Shot 2016-05-06 at 16.55.09

Re-installing & Disabling the SVGA driver didn’t brought any benefits for the console session. Even the VMware View Agent (black-screening the console once a PCOIP session occurs) was not responsible for it.

–> I make it short. If you have Windows 10 running, make sure the lock-screen picture location is reliable, functional and not corrupted. Otherwise you end up in exactly this situation. E.g. putting the lock-screen on a fileserver and shutting it down will lead to exact that behaviour I have explained above.

All of the symptoms typically lead to a vSphere problem. Be aware of that scenario. I recommend to keep all relevant items locally on you machine ;-)

Screen Shot 2016-05-06 at 16.45.35

(hmm….I really lack regarding background-images designing-skills)


7 thoughts on “vSphere console: black screen on Windows 10 & Windows 2012 R2

  • 24. January 2017 at 18:35

    I am experiencing this same issue where the VMRC on vSphere 6.5 is only displaying a black screen. I am not following your explanation though and am curious as to how you resolved this? Can you please elaborate on your resolution? Thanks!

  • 26. June 2017 at 16:04

    i have same problem in ESXi 6.5 and server 2012.

    have you a solution?

    • 26. June 2017 at 21:06

      Only since you have updated to vSphere 6.5?

      Maybe you can give the following advanced setting/options in the VMX file a try:

      svga.enableScreenDMA TRUE

  • 10. August 2018 at 23:17

    Chang high DPI setting on compatibilitties :

    1. Right click on shortcut VMware vSphere Client > Properties

    2. Klik on tab “Compatibility”

    3. Click on button “Chane high DPI settings”

    4. On high DPI Scaling Override > chack list on “Override high DPI scaling behavior”;

    on “Scaling performed by; on dropdown menu select “System”

    5. klik button “OK” and then “OK” again

    i hove cant solve your problem, thanks

    • 4. September 2018 at 10:26

      After spending a lot of time in fixing non-existent DNS-Problems and other stuff the Vmware-KBs suggests, this was the solution.

      Thank you very much!

  • 9. June 2021 at 18:37

    Press “Alt + F2”. It will open the console.


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