A Message to VMware Fusion Users with Macs that have ATI Graphics Cards about Apple’s Mac OS X Update 10.5.7

Picture 1 Apple released the Mac OS X 10.5.7 Update yesterday, and I know many of you are eager to try it out. However, if your Mac has an ATI graphics card (MacPro or iMac), and you rely on VMware Fusion's 3D Acceleration feature to run either Windows games or other Windows 3D applications in your virtual machines, we recommend that you do not upgrade your Mac to 10.5.7.

We are making this recommendation because the ATI driver in Mac OS X 10.5.7 breaks the 3D acceleration feature in VMware Fusion. You will likely see issues ranging from slow performance, to incorrect rendering, and even crashes, when you run your 3D applications in a Windows virtual machine on Mac OS X 10.5.7.

Both Apple and ATI are aware of this problem and are working to correct it in a future software update. In the meantime, if you have an ATI graphics card in your Mac and need VMware Fusion's 3D features to work, we recommend that you do not upgrade to Mac OS X 10.5.7.

Stay tuned to the Team Fusion blog and follow us on Twitter for the latest updates.

Update May-14: many of you asked this so I thought I would clarify. The ATI driver issue only affects 3D functionality in VMware Fusion. If your Windows applications do not need 3D, it will run just fine under VMware Fusion on Mac OS X 10.5.7. If you are sure you do not need 3D, you can turn off 3D Acceleration in Virtual Machine Settings and upgrade to 10.5.7. To turn off 3D in Fusion:

  1. Power off your Virtual Machine
  2. Select "Settings" under Virtual Machine menu
  3. In the Settings window, click "Display"
  4. Uncheck "Accelerate 3D Graphics"


76 comments have been added so far

  1. Hmm, this information would have been helpful YESTERDAY, perhaps a few hours after the east coast release.

  2. Does this apply to MacBook Pro laptops that use ATI graphics cards as well, or only the Mac Pro and iMacs mentioned in the blog entry above?

  3. Oliver: all ATI-based systems are affected. Please either not upgrade, or upgrade to 10.5.7 and disable 3D in VMware Fusion (in Virtual Machine > Settings).

  4. What if we already updated Mac OS X to 10.5.7 and then looked on this website for why our games don’t run correctly. Is there a way to uninstall the update or are we just out of luck until a fix comes out?

  5. John: unfortunately, there is no easy way to uninstall an OS X update as far as I know. The best place to check is of course Apple. But I think you would have to reinstall 10.5 and then apply the 10.5.6 combo update (and please back up your data before doing any of these).

  6. I have a one month old Mac Pro, and my life lives in my windows applications, for which i bought Fusion. I merrily installed the 10.7 update, and, of course Fusion does not work: “system extension cannot be used. The system extension “library/application support/vmware fusion/kext/vmmon.kext” was installed improperly and cannot be used. Please try reinstalling it or contact the product vendor for an update. I called apple tech support, and they had me reinstall the OS that came with the machine. I had to reboot, but I’m still getting the same error message, my applications will not work: this is mission critical for me…and I believe YOU are the vendor apple suggests I contact. I am NOT a happy camper.

  7. @Sam: This vmmon.kext issue you are reporting has nothing to do with ATI and 3D. VMware Fusion works perfectly for me on 10.5.7. Have you tried uninstalling and re-installing VMware Fusion?

  8. Thanks for your comment. I have not reinstalled. Not really sure how to do it (yet) in a way that won’t interfere with the windows programs I have installed (and are in suspension) in a Fusion window. Tried changing settings last night to eliminate the 3D function, but you have to shut down the virtual machine first…which I can’t do.

  9. Slow — even with 3D turned off. A little advance notice that this was a problem would have been very appreciated. When will there be an update patch to fix this. Or do I need to do an emergency Boot Camp installation, because as things stand right now Fusion is unuable under 10.5.7

  10. Already upgraded before I saw this and there seems to be no easy solution. The ATI card has been a problem since I purchased the iMac last month. I assume this is not only the 4850 but all ATI cards? I hope the fix comes soon as I would think this should have been identified in pre-release testing of 10.5.7 and VMware Fusion.

  11. Didn’t you guys test the beta versions of 10.5.7? Why the heck didn’t you warn us about this BEFORE release.
    Terrible, terrible, terrible support.

  12. Echoing the last couple of comments.
    This is extremely poor support from VMware. As a major developer I expect regression testing to be performed on your software with new OS releases. Had testing been performed on the betas of 10.5.7, this bug would have been found and reported – and likely wouldn’t have made it out the door.
    Now it’s likely we will have to wait for 10.5.8 for a fix – that will only be another 3-6 months…
    I guess it’s time to see what it costs to upgrade my Parallels license.

  13. Joshua, your comment (3-6 months) scares me. As I mentioned previously, my windows programs are mission critical to me. I just found out that I’m 4 days over my free “30 day support” timeframe, so I can’t even get official advice. And I’m very discouraged that VM hasn’t responded to this blog.

  14. I’ve been using Fusion for a month or so under 10.5.7 and haven’t had any problems. They may have updated the driver after the build I installed, as I missed the last one. I also don’t run any applications that use 3D.

  15. We are sorry that this is an issue as well.
    We found the problem during our pre-release testing of Mac OS X 10.5.7 and have been working with ATI and Apple since we reported it to get it resolved.
    We really wanted to see it fixed before Mac OS X 10.5.7 was released, but unfortunately it was not resolved for Mac OS X 10.5.7.
    We are still working closely with ATI and Apple to resolve the problem and work them so they release their necessary update as soon as possible.
    As soon as we have more information we can talk about publicly, we will let you know.
    Pat Lee
    Director, Personal Desktop Products

  16. Sam,
    Your problem is something specific to your install of VMware Fusion and not this issue at all.
    As Regis mentioned, you need to uninstall and reinstall VMware Fusion to likely fix your problem.
    Uninstalling VMware Fusion does NOT effect your Windows installation.
    So, mount the VMware Fusion image or CD, run the Uninstall VMware Fusion program. After it is done, restart your Mac. Mount the VMware Fusion image or CD and reinstall VMware Fusion, that should most likely resolve your problem.
    This is also documented in VMware Fusion’s Online Help.
    Hope that helps you.

  17. Thank you Pat. I just visited my retailer, and he advised trying to save the virtual machine (folder?) that contains all my settings and programs. Or do I have to reinstall all my windows applications? In any event, I will try it tonight.

  18. Sam,
    Your Virtual Machine is a self contained folder that includes applications and everything.
    The Virtual Machine will NOT be touched by the uninstall/reinstall. Only the VMware Fusion application is affected.

  19. Guess I don’t have much of a choice in the Mac Pro 2008 with an ATI 4870. Card requires 10.5.7. Hopefully the fix will come before 10.5.8, as this impacts people on the 2009 Mac Pros with a 4870 as well.

  20. Really terrible news. An terrible support. You could have posted the issue, at least, yesterday.

  21. I am unclear on what is advised. If I turn off the 3D setting for my Windows XP virtual machine before updating to 10.5.7, does Fusion and XP run OK under 10.5.7, OR is VMWare advising not to install 10.5.7 even if no 3D is used on an iMac with ATI,RadeonHD2600?

  22. Help!! Per instructions I uninstalled Fusion by moving it to trash. Signed into the website and downloaded the newest version. Upon installation, it recognized my serial number, but at conclusion of install, gave me message: Install failed, run postflight script for vmware fusion. contact software vendor for support.
    Note: I did download the version that includes McAfee, which I assume I lost when I deinstalled the first version. What do I do now?

  23. Pat, I’m a 25 year PC user. I searched for an uninstall button and didn’t find one. So I did what I thought I was supposed to do. Is there someone who can give me a call and help me get out of this mess? I’ve done what I’ve done, please don’t leave me in limbo. I went to your link, but don’t see a thread that seems appropriate. Call me dumb, but I’m currently out of contact with my company (accessible only on pc software.)

  24. “We found the problem during our pre-release testing of Mac OS X 10.5.7…We really wanted to see it fixed before Mac OS X 10.5.7 was released, but unfortunately it was not resolved for Mac OS X 10.5.7.”
    Are you kidding me! That is absurd. You knew about the issue but didn’t warn your customers? And even if people didn’t immediately install 10.5.7 how are they supposed to know about the problem, or do you expect all your customers to view some obscure blog first before installing OS software. I guess you expect other new services (like the excellent Accelerate Your Mac (www.xlr8yourmac.com)) to do your support job for you.
    Very poor support.

  25. I’ve disabled 3d acceleration (I don’t run 3d apps in Fusion anyhow), but I am still running into some horrible performance issues. The vmware-vmx process is taxing my CPU (101%!), which was not occurring before the 10.5.7 upgrade; the result is a horribly laggy Windows XP experience. This performance issue seems to contradict everything I’ve read thus far. Anybody else experience this?

  26. Thanks for the heads up. Granted it was a bit late for me. I turned off 3D support and my VM is stable again. Please post when you have an update.

  27. Pat, thank you for your responses. It’s good to know that testing was done and this was reported, but I’m mystified as to why it was not fixed prior to 10.5.7 prior to release. I would think killing 3D in a major product like VMware would be enough to block release – but clearly I don’t know enough about the situation.
    Other virtualization products are unaffected – is there any chance that it could be worked around on the application side?
    (Oh, and as for my 3-6 months comment – that was based on Apple’s history on time between point releases. They could release it tomorrow for all I know, but they don’t frequently release point updates quickly, and they also don’t tend to release driver updates and bug fixes – except security – outside of those point updates.)

  28. Not installing the 10.5.7 update is a VERY BAD IDEA, considering that there are at least 40 critical security vulnerabilities fixed in it! I would suggest the other workaround (temporarily disabling 3D support)…

  29. Everyone needs to stop blaming the developer. If you’re smart, you should ALWAYS wait a few days or even weeks to install the latest release because there are ALWAYS bugs. If you’re gonna be the first to install an update, you’re taking a risk. Backup your data beforehand and stop blaming everyone else for your own stupidity.

  30. So far, Autodesk Inventor 2008 & Autocad seems to be running OK. Upon coming out of ‘Suspend’, a blink of pink and other colours appear diagonally on screen – but I think that may be a normal occurrence.

  31. I am considering purchasing a MacBook Pro so I can broaden my base of support. I already support the windows environment and is considering supporting Mac. I was considering VMware Fusion because it has been reported to be faster than Parallels.
    With all of the comments stated above, maybe VMware Fusion is not the best way to go or I should stick with Windows.
    Any comments?

  32. Hi folks, just upgraded Mac OS to 10.5.7, Fusion crashes every time, and guess what? I own a MacBook !! Surely it does not have nothing to do with ATI graphics. Can someone give me a help?

  33. Mac OS 10.5.7 crashed my Fusion too, but on Macbook with Intel GMA950 graphics chip. What can I do?

  34. Help!! Fusion is crashing after installing 10.5.7 update on Macbook black. Turning off 3D feature does not help.

  35. For those with the conflict, if you cannot wait for the fix to appear from VMWare, obtain Parallels Desktop. Parallels Desktop with Windows XP runs smoother and faster the VMWare Fusion with Windows XP.
    If you do not want to try Parallels (again, it does run faster and smoother) uninstall VMWare 2.04, re-install the previous version.

  36. 1. Since you admit that you knew there were problems with ATI and 10.5.7, why not post something in advance of its release?
    2. For those that cannot wait for a solution and must have 3D acceleration, you can do an OS X Archive and Install (PRESERVE settings) then download the 10.5.6 combo updater to put your computer back where it was. Or, go to Time Machine and do a restore but that will take a VERY long time. Unlike windows, that reinstall should only have minor effects.

  37. I was just about to purchase VMware Fusion for my new MacBook Pro to run 3D flight sim but it already has the software update from Apple. Can I be informed when the fix will be ready before purchase?

  38. Hi all, I am new with Mac and VMware however I thought not to have any installation problem at least. I can not install the VMware fusion application..basically I double click on the install file .app but nothing happen..nothing at all! Any advise? have any of you had this experience before? Mac 2.4ghz OS10.5.7. Thanks to all

  39. Have the bugs in the ati drivers been corrected yet,i
    i tried to load world @ war
    call of duty windows program
    and only get the sound and no picture ;when i tried to load an old microsoft combat flight simulator ,the joystick failed to respond
    and the scenery outside the
    plane except when sitting
    still was solid black the
    inside of the cockpit and the
    sound seemed intact

  40. Ian, Howard, DiscoDamon: the fix has to go into the ATI driver and likely will be released in form of an update from Apple/ATI. Please be assured that this is actively being worked on. We will let you know here on the blog when a fix becomes available.

  41. Hm. Is there really *still* no fix for this over a month later? I’d really like to keep my Mac up to date with the latest OSX release without hosing VMWare Fusion.

  42. Is this ever gonna fixed anytime soon, I have held back updating one of our computers so that we could still perform 3D using VMWARE.

  43. Can anyone give any specific applications that use 3d that are commonly used? I can’t think of where I’d be using 3d on my VMs, but just want to make sure I’m not crazy.
    Outside of graphics and CAD programs, what programs might this affect for a business user?
    I’m assuming this affects gamers (though why would you rely on games via a VM).
    Do any mainstream programs rely on 3d to function? Does Windows Media Player rely on this?

  44. What’s up with ATI driver and 3D acceleration ? I’m waiting for a patch or update since May 14th… I’m a paying customer and now I regret it. May be if I had done another choice of product everything will be ok now…

  45. Maybe it is a good suggestion to send e-mail to users (VMWare have our e-mail address) to advise about this type on problem.
    We’re always searching to find out what”a happen.

  46. Has this issue been resolved? About to purchase a Mac Pro with dual ATI and I will be running windows apps and development tools within VMWare for existing clientele.

  47. Any idea when this is going to be fixed?
    Had I been warned I, like many others would not have carried out the upgrade. There was nothing in Apple’s release notes either.
    Really poor support. Very disappointed.

  48. @Gregor: yes. 10.5.8 is _the_ fix 🙂 Your ATI graphics should work again with VMware Fusion 2 and OS X 10.5.8. Watch for a new blog post here soon.

  49. hi there … i just updated to VMWare -Fusion 2.0.5 but after updating when i click on the vm fusion ICON it will not load, i have to force quit it.
    i am running Snow Leopard, on a mac book pro.

  50. Is the issue with the ATI graphics and Fusion 3 going to be fixed anytime soon? I have been waiting for months. I am using the trial for Parallels and works fine. I am thinking about switching. I can’t wait any longer!!!!

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  52. However, if your Mac has an ATI graphics card (MacPro or iMac), and you rely on VMware Fusion’s 3D Acceleration feature to run either Windows games or other Windows 3D applications in your virtual machines, we recommend that you do not upgrade your Mac to 10.5.7.

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