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Archive for the ‘VMWare’ Category

(UNSOLVED) Shift/Capslock/Ctrl/Alt keys don’t work after using VMWare Server

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Warning: This is a “noise” post (as opposed to “signal”). I have no solution for this yet.

Problem: When using VMWare Server 1.06 on Ubuntu Hardy 8.04, going into full screen mode, and using the Ctrl-Alt “release cursor” keyboard sequence, all modifier keys stop functioning. Can’t use Ctrl-Alt-F1 to get out of X, or Alt-F2, or Shift at the terminal, etc. etc. This seems to only affect users running Xorg 7.3.

Many more details here:
Ubuntu #195982: Shift key (and caps lock) stop working when using VMWare

Terrible workaround #1:

Running setxkbmap at the console will restore the keys. Unfortunately, getting to the console might be more than difficult without any modifier keys. Therefore, create a launcher on your GNOME panel (or desktop or whatever) that runs setxkbmap. You will have to click this launcher every time you switch to and from VMWare console.

Alternately, use rdesktop (mstsc) or vnc where possible, which avoids the issue altogether.


  • Unlike others who have commented, I am not using evdev for my keyboard, rather the kbd driver.
  • Going to System->Preferences->Keyboard->Layouts has a “Selected layouts” list. USA is there and it is not selected as the default. Selecting it does NOT fix the problem, contrary to some reports.
  • It happens whether you run VMWare Tools or not.
  • As a terribly wonderful side effect, GTK apps (read: gnome-terminal) may segfault on any keypress, when the modifier keys aren’t set (you can the list is empty by looking at xmodmap). This is apparently fixed in a GTK development tree somewhere, but hasn’t reached Ubuntu yet.
  • Removing old GTK libraries in /usr/lib/vmware/lib was also a dead end.
  • Editing /etc/vmware/config (or ~/.vmware/config) to add xkeymap.keycode does not help (even after modifying the keycodes to reflect output from xev).

Other people with the same problem:
Web 0.2 – VMware modifier keys bug status
nthrbldyblg – VMWare and the fubar keyboard effect
VMWare Communities – VMware Causing Keyboard Issues in Ubuntu


Written by jbopensrc

July 1, 2008 at 9:10 pm

Posted in Linux, Unsolved, VMWare

Quickfix: VMWare Server WinXP Pro Guest: STOP c000021a 0xc000026 after Windows Update

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Problem: After installing a bunch of Windows updates (from “scratch” WinXP SP2 CD, on a VMWare Server 1.06 w/Ubuntu Hardy host), can’t boot Windows XP, even in safe mode, with following blue screen of death:

STOP: c000021a {Fatal System Error}
The Session Manager Initialization system process terminated unexpectedly with a
status of 0xc000026c (0x00000000 0x00000000).
The system has shut down.

Workaround: I have no explanation for this (but google kb925902 bsod and let me know what you find) — reversing/uninstalling KB925902 got me past the BSOD. Use WinXP recovery console from the CD, and do:

cd C:\winnt\system32\$NtUninstallKB925902$\spuninst
batch spuninst.txt

The fact that this reverses a security is update is a little unnerving. See http://support.microsoft.com/kb/925902, GDI fixes tend to be important (a recent vulnerability used specially crafted .jpg files). Do not leave your system unpatched.

In my case, I was able to successfully install WindowsXP-KB925902-x86-ENU.exe and reboot without a blue screen.

I should note I installed Internet Explorer 7 along with 70 updates without a reboot in between (I was not asked to reboot). This could have something to do with it.

Written by jbopensrc

July 1, 2008 at 8:43 pm

Posted in Quickfix, VMWare, Windows