Monday, 31 August 2015

VMware Fusion on Mac OS X - Sleep, no wake-ee

I've had a few problems with my Mac ( a 15" 2012 MacBook Pro Retina ) when I try and resume ( wake ) the laptop up whilst I've got VMs running.

I'm using VMware Fusion 7.1.2 and OS X 10.10.5.

Typically the symptom is that the Mac fails to give me a login prompt, and I have to hit the power button. Once it's booted up, and I log in, I find that all my running apps have stopped, and try to automatically restart.

This means that any open documents go into recovery mode, and the VMware VMs themselves are shut down.

The Mac itself reports a "Sleep/Wake Failure" which I duly send off to Apple each time.

I did have this problem last year: -

but didn't find a specific resolution.

This time around, I did find this useful thread on the VMware forum: -

Again, it goes on for a loooooong while, but does have a few useful nuggets, including: -

- Changing the power management settings pertaining to suspend/hibernate, via the pmset command
- Switching from Integrated to Discrete graphics ( forcing VMware to use the Integrated card )
- Checking "Pass power status to VM" within the VMs themselves
- Using a 3rd party application called Sleepwatcher to suspend and resume the VMs themselves BEFORE OS X suspends / resumes

This far, I've not come to a specific conclusion, apart from that pmset changes have, quelle surprise, a horrifying impact upon battery life :-(

I will try the other three and report back .....


Jacob said...

Great post !

I am having the same problems. Did you find out anything more ?

Dave Hay said...

@Jacob, alas, nothing particularly concrete, apart from to remember to suspend my VMs before I close the MacBook's lid. Otherwise, I'm playing sleep wake failure bingo :-(

myMBPr said...

Same problem on MBPr El Capitan running newest VMware 8. Its so annoying, because sometimes I forget to pause all the vmwares and the crash happens... On mine I get the MBPr to restart itself, sometimes it just wakes up with a black screen and sometimes It wakes up fine but the trackpad is frozen... none of which are good.

Jacob said...

Since upgrading to El Capitan I have not suffered from this problem. I don't know what else did I do. I already configured the "Pass power status to VM" in the Settings > Advanced menu.

Dave Hay said...

@Jacob - thanks for the feedback, I'll play a bit further once I finally upgrade to The Captain, but I've been suspending my VMs by hand before I put the Mac to sleep: -

/Applications/VMware\ -T ws suspend ~/Documents/Virtual\ Machines.localized/BPM_LDAP.vmwarevm/BPM_LDAP.vmx


@myMBPr - I'm still on Yosemite Sam, as I've just not had the bandwidth ( time ) to upgrade to El Cap :-)

Josh said...

Is there any news on this? Still having this horrible problem.

Dave Hay said...

Hi Josh

For me, it's become less of a frequent occurrence, using a 2015 MBPr, OS X 10.11.4 and VMware Fusion Professional Version 8.1.1.

I think it's probably happened 1-2 times in the past month, even though I've been running a VM almost full-time.

I'm NOT saying the problem has been fixed, I've just been lucky ... :-)

Cheers, Dave

Josh said...

To me it's still a pain in the a**, happens nearly daily when I forget to suspend the VM. I'm trying sleepwatcher now, seems like the only way to work around the problem without too much on-going manual hassle.

Dave Hay said...

Yuck, and are you on the same versions of OS X and Fusion as me ?

Josh said...

No, I'm on VMware 7, but I don't feel like paying another 50$ for a software that causes me so much headache without knowing that it will work with the new version.

Dave Hay said...


And that's fair enough - perhaps ping the question to VMware in the context of "Hey, would you like me to buy some software? Well, give me an ETA to fix this!"

Cheers, Dave

Jacob said...

Just for the record.

After a few months with El Capitan and after upgrade to VMWare Fusion 8.1.1 I have suffered the problem, but it has reduced a lot. I have two or three sleep wake failures each month. I am not sure if the cause is the same as in Yosemite.

I feel that if the macbook is not moved from the place it was slept everything works ok. The error usually happens when I put it to sleep at work, and I go home and wake it. Thing that change during the macbook sleep are the networks used, and the fact that the laptop was plugged, and at home might be unplugged.

I know this message will not help anybody, but at least it can complete a bit the evolution of this post :-).

Cheers, Jacob

Dave Hay said...

Hi Jacob

Thanks for the comment. I've had a few recurrences of the problem, without any obvious root cause.

In the main, if I remember to defocus from VMware Fusion when I close the lid on the Mac ( focusing, instead, on Chrome or Firefox or Terminal ), it mostly doesn't recur ....

However ....