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Despite having

vmmouse.present = "FALSE"
mouse.vusb.absDisabled = "TRUE"
pref.motionUngrab = "FALSE"

in my .vmx file and a customized VMware Tools installation on the guest that does not include the mouse driver, I somehow have fully integrated mouse support for my Windows 7 VM. I can smoothly mouse from the host into the guest without needing to click or Ctrl+G in and Ctrl+Alt out. I don't want this because of the issues it causes with games.

How can I get the VM to have no special mouse support while still having VMware Tools installed for its other functions (network, graphics, etc.)? The mouse works as I want without VMware Tools but not otherwise — again, despite not installing the mouse driver and having all those settings trying to disable it. Device Manager shows that the generic Windows PS/2 mouse driver is being used and not the virtual mouse driver.

Guest and host are both Windows 7 Ultimate SP1, x86 and x64 respectively. I'm using VMware Player 3.1.4 and the VMware Tools installed is the latest,

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4 Answers 4

This workaround that you've come up with is almost certainly unnecessary.

To fix (what I think is) your problem, go into VMware Preferences and change Optimize Mouse for Games to Always.

enter image description here

Note that you need to use VMware Workstation (Windows/Linux) or VMware Fusion (Mac OS X) to have this option available to you. I don't believe it's available in VMware Player.

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I have Player, as noted in the question. That preference would be stored in the .vmx file, however; isn't it what I'm changing? –  Matthew Read Sep 21 '12 at 21:22
Player is pretty basic; if it doesn't support a feature...well, for everything else there's MasterCard. This is also a global preference, not a per-VM preference. –  Michael Hampton Sep 21 '12 at 22:40
With other operating systems or without installing Tools, I get the desired mouse behavior. It's the default really, not an optional feature; I want to prevent the integrated mousing feature from being enabled :P –  Matthew Read Sep 22 '12 at 19:49

In the guest, you probably need to go into device manager, for your mouse, and do a manual "Update Driver...", and tell it to let you pick from a list of devices, and select the standard mouse driver rather than the VMware mouse. You can also try "uninstalling" the mouse, and check the box prompting whether you want to also delete the driver files.

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Since I customized the VMtools install, the VMware mouse driver isn't installed. Device Manager shows that the mouse is using Windows' generic PS/2 driver. I did try not customizing the install as well and removing the driver as you mention afterward, without luck. –  Matthew Read Sep 20 '12 at 21:07
OK. I don't mean to deflect attention away from SU, but you may be able to get better support for this by asking over on the VMware Community forums. VMware employees and gurus trawl over there more often than here. I'm a fairly casual VMware Workstation user so I unfortunately don't know the direct answer, although the answer is interesting to me, so +1 for the question. Good luck! –  allquixotic Sep 20 '12 at 21:10
Thanks, I may have to do that ;) –  Matthew Read Sep 20 '12 at 21:13
up vote 0 down vote accepted

If the mouse is USB, using the "Connect (Disconnect from host)" option in the Removable Devices menu of Player will work and lock the mouse to the VM window. This has the downside of it not working at all in the host (even with Ctrl+Alt) until you reverse the operation.

If you have a spare mouse available you can connect it and do the above which will function the same way. But, oddly enough, it will also fix mouse tracking issues in certain games (SWTOR, Minecraft, etc.) while using the original mouse! So you don't need to use the mouse that is disconnected from the host unless you absolutely want to be locked inside the VM window.

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It seems all you want is to disable is the automatic ungrabbing, right? I’ll just use Michael Hampton’s screenshot to illustrate:


Disable the following option:

  • Ungrab when cursor leaves window

Optionally, you may also be interested in the other options:

  • Hide cursor on ungrab
  • Grab when cursor enters window

These options have been available since a very long time and should also be available in VMware Player.

The directive you tried to use, pref.motionUngrab = "FALSE", is not applicable in vmx files but the VMware product’s preferences.ini. It is tied to the “Ungrab when cursor leaves window” checkbox.

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No, Player's preferences do not include these options. –  Matthew Read Jun 22 at 5:08
Even though the GUI doesn’t have these options, VMware Player 7 (Pro, at least) respects this setting when included in preferences.ini. –  Daniel B Jun 22 at 17:59

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