Mouse Fun - Running Virtual Machines in VMWare

I run a lot of virtual machines for a living. Sometimes it seems like I work for them and not the other way around. Today I converted a VPC image to a VMWare image using VMWare’s Converter program. Why? Because the image was really slow in VPC  and I have had better experiences with VMWare Workstation. So I converted the image. No problem there. Then I installed the VMWare Tools (similar to the VPC tools). That’s where things started going badly for me.

To keep this from being a long and tiring post I’ll keep to the point here … the mouse stopped working properly in the VM image. Once the tools were installed the mouse just did not work inside the image. If I removed the driver msvmmouf.sys (the microsoft tools driver) the mouse started working again, but it would not work seamlessly between the VM image and the host PC (only CTRL-ALT would get it out). I did not want that so I finally found some answers … I had to edit the registry to tell it to stop using the msvmmouf.sys driver and then install the VMWare mouse driver called vmmouse.sys. Once I did this the mouse worked great and I have had 0 problems since then.

WARNING: While these steps worked for me, I am not responsible for any silliness you might perform on your virtual machine.  Only perform these steps if you are willing to risk any consequences from editing your VM’s registry.

Here are the steps:

  1. Go to device manager, select the mice node, go to properties, advanced, drivers, and remove the vmmouse.sys driver.
  2. It will ask to reboot, so do it.
  3. Go to the registry to  HKEY_LOCAL_MACHINE\SYSTEM\CurrentControlSet\Control\Class\{4D36E96F-E325-11CE-BFC1-08002BE10318}
  4. Edit UpperFilters value
  5. Remove the value msvmmouf.sys (this removes the MS mouse driver from the mouse device dependency list)
  6. Close the registry editor
  7. It will ask to reboot, so do it.
  8. Go to device manager, select the mice node, go to properties, advanced, drivers, and update the driver.
  9. Choose to find the driver yourself.
  10. It will locate VMWare Mouse in the list. Select it and reboot once last time.

It took some time due to the reboots, but this worked. And finally I got my mouse back :)

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Hi, I'm John Papa. I author this blog, create courses for Pluralsight and am a Google Developer Expert and Microsoft Regional Director. I travel speaking at events and train technology thought leaders