Solved: Shutting down VMWare Workstation Virtual Machines on Windows 10 Tech Preview

Tags: VMWare, Windows 10

Here’s a quick tip/solution on how to shut down your VMWare Workstation 10 and 11 Virtual Machines if you’re using the Windows 10 Tech Preview (basically all builds, but only tested on 9879).

Currently if you’re using Windows 10 Tech Preview as your host operating system and if you’re trying to shut down a VMWare Workstation Virtual Machine you will crash Windows 10, and potentially corrupt your machine and virtual machines. You’ll see a Blue Screen of Death with a DPC_WATCHDOG_VIOLATION exception.

I take no credit for this solution, all goes to piccolonicky, who found out the way to properly shut down the VM’s.  But I share it here so that those who reads this blog (mum?) and suffers from the same issue more easily can find the answer.

The whole idea is to fake a system shutdown of your host OS. This can be done by using the Logo Testing Tools for Windows, which contains a small utility called Restart Manager (RMTool.exe). This tool can send a system shutdown signal to a process (identified using the PID), and for a VMWare (vmware-vmx.exe) process it will shut your VM down, properly.

This is how you can do shut down all your VM’s using a line of PowerShell:

get-process | ?{$_.Name -eq "vmware-vmx"} 
| % {& 'C:\Program Files (x86)\Microsoft Corporation\Logo Testing Tools for Windows\
Restart Manager\AMD64\RMTool.exe' -p $_.Id -S -F}

This sends the Force (-F) Shutdown Application (-S) signal to the process (-p) identified using the PID.

Shutting down the VMWare processes

So, no need to revert to Windows 8.1 or earlier.

Merry Christmas to you all, especially to piccolonicky!


  • Peter Kingsnorth said

    Excellent! - works with Workstation 11 and Windows 10 build 9901.
    I can execute as a .ps1 script rather than Bluescreen/reboot.

  • Tan Hoang Van said

    I have tried run this command, but I met this error:
    PS C:\WINDOWS\system32> Restart Manager\AMD64\RMTool.exe' -p $_.Id -S -F}
    PS C:\WINDOWS\system32>
    PS C:\WINDOWS\system32>
    PS C:\WINDOWS\system32>
    PS C:\WINDOWS\system32> get-process | ?{$_.Name -eq "vmware-vmx"}

    Handles NPM(K) PM(K) WS(K) VM(M) CPU(s) Id ProcessName
    ------- ------ ----- ----- ----- ------ -- -----------
    481 28 34344 610948 723 48.00 744 vmware-vmx

    PS C:\WINDOWS\system32> | % {& 'C:\Program Files (x86)\Microsoft Corporation\Logo Testing Tools for Windows\
    At line:1 char:1
    + | % {& 'C:\Program Files (x86)\Microsoft Corporation\Logo Testing Too ...
    + ~
    An empty pipe element is not allowed.
    At line:1 char:8
    + | % {& 'C:\Program Files (x86)\Microsoft Corporation\Logo Testing Too ...
    + ~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~
    The string is missing the terminator: '.
    At line:1 char:5
    + | % {& 'C:\Program Files (x86)\Microsoft Corporation\Logo Testing Too ...
    + ~
    Missing closing '}' in statement block or type definition.
    + CategoryInfo : ParserError: (:) [], ParentContainsErrorRecordException
    + FullyQualifiedErrorId : EmptyPipeElement

  • Justin said

    Workaround worked PERFECTLY with Win10 TP 9879 and VMWare Workstation 11! THANK YOU for posting this up, Workstation freezing my PC was making me tear out my hair!

  • Hugh said

    You can also use taskkill.exe on Windows 7 or 8.* to accomplish the same thing - terminating the VMware process that is preventing you from closing VMWare Workstation.

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About Wictor...

Wictor Wilén is the Nordic Digital Workplace Lead working at Avanade. Wictor has achieved the Microsoft Certified Architect (MCA) - SharePoint 2010, Microsoft Certified Solutions Master (MCSM) - SharePoint  and Microsoft Certified Master (MCM) - SharePoint 2010 certifications. He has also been awarded Microsoft Most Valuable Professional (MVP) for seven consecutive years.

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