Weird VMWare Sound Issue
Posted on 2013-02-04
I've found a very strange issue with VMWare Workstation ... both v8 and v9 ... when running an XP virtual machine under a Windows 8 host. I've also found that many others have seen this same issue, as evidenced on both the Windows 8 and VMWare support forums -- but have not found a solution. Just curious if any of our fellow EE experts have found a fix for this :-)
The issue is simple: sound is very scratchy/distorted on an XP virtual machine when running under a Windows 8 host. The exact same virtual machine, running under the exact same version of VMWare, works perfectly if the host is a previous version of Windows (i.e. Windows 7, Vista, or XP). I've also confirmed that the same issue happens under VMWare Player.
A Windows Vista or Windows 7 virtual machine running on the same VMWare host under Windows 8 works perfectly -- no sound issues at all.
Some REALLY strange behavior: If Windows Media Player is loaded (just loaded -- doesn't have to be playing anything) the sound issue disappears !!! i.e. if you go to Yahoo in IE and play a video, the sound will be very scratchy/distorted; but if you load Media Player; then go to Yahoo and stream the same video, it will play perfectly !!!
The logon and logoff sounds are very scratchy/distorted; but the logoff sound will be fine if Media Player is loaded when you shut down !!
Not sure it can get much weirder -- and I haven't tried this (yet) as I just saw it posted on a Win8 forum discussing this issue -- but apparently if Chrome is running on the HOST, the issue also goes away !!!
I've tried various combinations of VMWare hardware versions (from v5 to v9); different sound cards (ES1371, SoundBlaster, HDAudio), etc. ... but all to no avail. Neither of the forums I've found discussion this issue (one Win8, one VMWare) have found any solutions either.
Anybody happen to know a solution ???