View 6.2 and VDI Black-screens

 


With the release of Horizon View 6.2 and vSphere 6.0 Update 1a, comes new features but also possible new issues. If you have an environment running Horizon 6.2 and anything below vSphere 6.0 Update 1, you might see some potential issues with your VDI desktops. VMware has introduced a new video driver (version 6.23) in View 6.2 that greatly improves speed and quality, however to utilize this fully you need to be on the latest vSphere bits. Not upgrading to the latest bits customers have reported VDI desktops black-screening and disconnecting. One fix for those difficult images is to upgrade/replace the video driver inside the guest OS of the gold image.

Inside your Gold Image Guest OS:

  • Uninstall the View Agent
  • Delete Video Drivers from Windows Device Manager
    • Expand device manager and Display adapters
    • Right-click on the VMware SVGA 3D driver and select ‘Uninstall’, example:

 
 


 

  • Select the checkbox ‘Delete the driver software for this device’, example: 

 
 


 
 

  • Reboot and let windows rescan
  • Verify windows is using it’s bare-bone SVGA driver (if not keep deleting the driver again)
  • Install View Agent 6.2

 
 

Note: Do NOT update VMware tools or you will have to repeat this sequence unless you upgraded the View Agent.

 
 

Optional Steps:

 

If you want to update the video driver without re-installing the View Agent, follow these steps:

 
 

  • Launch View Agent 6.2 installer MSI (only launch the installer, do not proceed through the wizard!)
  • Change to %temp% folder and sort the contents by the date/time.
  • Look for the most recent long folder name, example:

 
 


 
 

  • Change into the directory and look for the file ‘VmVideo.cab’

 
 


 
 

  • Copy “VmVideo.cab” file to a temp folder (i.e. C:\Temp)
  • Extract all files form the VmVideo.cab file, you should see something like the following:

 
 


 
 

  • You can execute the following type of syntax for extraction:
    • extract /e /a /l <destination> <drive>:\<cabinetname>
      Reference Microsoft KB 132913 for additional information.

 
 

  • You need to rename each file so you remove the prefix ‘_’ and anything after the extension of the filename. Example:

 
 


 
 

  • Install View Agent 6.2 video drivers
    • Once rebooted in the device manager expand ‘Display Adapter’ 
    • Right-click on the ‘Microsoft Basic Display Adapter’ and click ‘Update Driver Software’
    • Select ‘Browse my computer for driver software’
    • Select ‘Browse’ and point to the temp folder you expanded and renamed all the View 6.2 drivers.
    • Select ‘Next’ and complete the video driver install.

 
 

After completing these steps of a re-install of the View Agent and/or replacement video drivers you will still need to do the following:

  1. Power-down the gold image (execute any power-down scripts/tasks you normally do)
  2. Snapshot the VM
  3. Modify the View pool to point at the new snapshot
  4. Execute a recompose.

 
 

Special thanks to Matt Mabis (@VDI_Tech_Guy) on discovering this fix.

  

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