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)


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