Windows 10 Windows Update Messes Up Windows VM

I run a Linux machine with a Windows 10 VM. I have two monitors, both in portrait mode. Everything was fine until the latest update. When the Windows VM rebooted, it was locked in landscape mode, and the orientation controls in Display Properties are greyed out. I need to run 10 in portrait mode only. I would be happy to do a registry hack, but I don't know which keys are controlling screen orientation. (I don't really understand why this update messes up the orientation either, but . . . .) Fortunately, I have a backup of the Windows VM from before the update, so I can run on that . . . until Windows updates again.
Welcome any suggestions. Thanks in advance


Windows Forum Team
Staff member
Which hypervisor are you using KVM, Vmware, Virtualbox? Do you have the most current version as well as the add-on tools updated?

Which hypervisor are you using KVM, Vmware, Virtualbox? Do you have the most current version as well as the add-on tools updated?
VMware 12, and I updated VMware Tools about two hours ago. Thanks for getting back to me so quickly.


Fantastic Member
Premium Supporter
What are the hardware specs on your computer?

Can't help much on repairing your problem, but you could try to run standard windows repair utilities including CHKDSK, SFC, DISM, and W10 IN-PLACE UPGRADE. This has helped other people suffering from unwanted changes due to the new AU updates which are coming out new every 1-2 weeks from MS.:waah:

In the meantime, I'd suggest that you consider making an Image Backup of your system to an external hard drive using one of the free Image backup softwares we have tested on W10 such as Macrium Reflect, Acronis TrueImage, and EASETodo.

Since the new AU's are causing so much havoc in W10 systems, this is a really good idea and several of us here who are W10 Insider Testers we use this on our Test Machines, so we are only a couple of hours away from putting our machines back in good order by rolling our machines back to the pre-AU state. This is often required as System Restore doesn't seem to do a good job of unscrambling damage done to windows by the AU udpates.:scratch:

In the meantime you can take a look at these 2 methods for disabling unwanted changes to your drivers from the AU here:
How to temporarily prevent a driver update from reinstalling in Windows 10

Windows Update Delivery Optimization: FAQ

We are still experimenting with these 2 methods, but they are slowing down the AU updates coming in, but not totally stopping them, which no one has figured out how to do yet. This is why I'm recommending that you take the extra effort to create Image Backups of your system. I have done testing with the above backup softwares on 2 dual-boot Ubuntu-W10 machines I have, though they are just in standard mode; I don't know how well they work to backup/restore in the VM mode. But, it's certainly worth a try.

In the meantime, if none of our tips resolve your problem, you may have to consider doing a Clean Install using bootable W10 DVD or USB media via ISO file from Microsoft's website here: Windows 10

Hope that provides you with some help.

Last edited:
I actually had already done one of your suggestions. I have a backup copy of my VM, so each time Microsoft screws it up, I can just reload it. I even did a registry search for everything related to rotation, copied out the settings for the working machine, and compared them with the broken machine that Microsoft gives me. They were identical. Nonetheless, each update continues to mess things up. (There is a reason I have migrated almost entirely to Linux; I don't have to fight uphill against what is (supposedly) my own team.)


Fantastic Member
Premium Supporter
Well, that has always been one of my complaints about Linux (though I'm a much bigger fan now than I was 10 years ago!)--they have issues running Windows in VM sessions and the ever present pain in the rear to get it working on basic peripherals such as printers.
To check if you have a hardware problem, I think it would be prudent to pop out your Linux hard drive and stick in another drive and install W10 on it via Clean Install. Run all the WU (Windows Updates); set your WUDO to enable and get updates from all PCs on your Network and the Internet; you should get to the latest W10 version (v1607 b14393.351) in 2-3 days if not sooner. If updates are coming into your computer via WU in standard W10 mode, you're hardware (Mobo, RAM, and Hard Drive) are all healthy. :up:

That means there's something wrong with your Linux, and that you need to repair that or the VMware 12 app you have needs to get repaired or reinstalled on your Linux Drive.o_O By the way, exactly which Linux are you running, for example, Ubuntu 16.04LTS, Mint, PuppyLinux, etc. as there are now over 600 versions out there. It's long been known that all VM apps don't run Windows emulation perfectly just as BootCamp doesn't run all Windows versions on Mac OSX. You need to spend some time eliminating your hardware as the problem first *by trying a true W10 native boot install on another hard drive*, and then if that works your hardware is ok, and you now have a software problem causing your real issue. :waah: Once you eliminate your hardware, you can repair your Linux problem or if just the VMware app, fix/replace that.:eagerness: Right now, you have no idea what the real problem is. :andwhat:

Another thing you can try if you have additional hard drives laying around, is to install a different version of Linux on your PC than you have now, and install the VMware 12 app and see whether W10 gets the proper updates or not. That would be conclusive proof if a different version of Linux works with your VMware-W10 configuration you have now. That means for sure your current Linux is messed up or your current VMware 12 install is messed up; no doubt.

Let us know how it goes, and what Linux you now have if you don't mind?


Thanks for the amazingly complete reply. I will try your ideas sequentially. I'm using Kubuntu 14.04LTS. I know that 16.04LTS has come out, but I'm reluctant to make the switch quite yet. I have some litigation papers due November 14th; after I file those, I'll be more adventurous.
I have kept 14.04 up to date rigorously and have never had any trouble with VMWare (v. 12.0) before this. While I was running Windows 7 as a VM, updates went smoothly. I finally went to Windows 10 (largely for the USB 3.0 support) in June, and the first sets of updates installed with no problems. The latest update screws everything up by changing my VM screen orientation from portrait to landscape and greying out everything that might allow me to change it back. I have a backup copy of the VM, so when Windows updates, I can always roll it back, though that poses obvious security risks.
Do you think I should postpone testing the items you mentioned until after I upgrade to 16.04?
As I said at the outset, thank you very much. You've obviously taken a lot of time, and I appreciate it.


Fantastic Member
Premium Supporter
Sure, you're welcome!:up: 16.04 seems Ok now, but when I first attempted to install it on my Acer Mini netbook with a dual-boot W10 configuration I could never get it to work. That was earlier this year. I could only run 14.04.1 with W10 on that netbook. I since discovered that it's something peculiar to my netbook configuration, as I was able to install a dual boot 16.04+W10 on an older Dell desktop PC that is 64bit. Of course, it could be that the 16.04 has issues with 32bit machines, I don't know.

As far as the update, if you use my suggestion of using a different hard drive to test the new configuration with 16.04, you don't have to postpone anything. New hard drives are ridiculously cheap on the Internet. You can get one for $30 US from ebay and load up your 16.04, W10, and VMware 12 config and test it out with the updates as I said in my post above. If it works, you know you could reproduce that update on your existing hard drive, or just swap the drives around, and use your original drive as a spare or for this kind of OS troubleshooting in the future. I have like 6 drives in 2 W10 test machines now to just do that sort of thing.

It might be worth you checking to see whether your existing PC you have your W10+VMware installed on is 64bit or 32bit. That could be a deal breaker even with the new drive installed. This would allow you to find that out now and move on from there.

Have fun,:lightbulb:

This website is not affiliated, owned, or endorsed by Microsoft Corporation. It is a member of the Microsoft Partner Program.