VMware ESX/ESXi–Choppy Mouse Movement

I use VMware ESX/ESXi on a daily basis.  While I use LogMeIn as my remote management software for all computers in my environment, the vSphere Client also provides a console view to access my VMs.  Sometimes it’s more convenient to use the vSphere console, when performing tasks like modifying settings on the fly or inserting ISO files.

The VMware Tools application that should be installed on all VMs provides a number of enhancements, including support to allow for smooth mouse movement.  However, I found that my Windows Server 2008 VMs were having very choppy mouse movements, even with the VMware Tools installed.  The solution for this is to set the hardware acceleration for the video adapter of the VM to “Full”.

To do this, open the Display Resolution settings by right-clicking on the desktop and selecting “Personalize”.  Then select “Display Settings”.   In the Display Settings window, click “Advanced Settings”, click the “Troubleshoot” tab, click “Change Settings”, then move the Hardware Acceleration slider all the way to the right, then click “Ok”.  You will be prompted to reboot.  After you reboot, your mouse movements should nice and smooth.

This only works on 2008, not 2008 R2.  Feel free to try this on previous versions of Windows if you’re having mouse issues, although this setting is usually in place by default, but it’s a confirmed bug with 2008 R2.