VMWare Fusion 5.0.x crashes and must restart Windows

I use VMWare Fusion 5.0.2 on my 15" Macbook Pro Retina (2012) to run several Windows 7 x64 virtual machines for work purposes. After a recent update of OSX, my virtual machines very frequently crash and require a forced restart.

I noticed this happened almost predictably when launching some particular software within the VM. Windows Movie Maker, for example, crashes the VM instantly whenever I try to launch it.

Turns out this is a known issue, and it relates to an incompatibility in the 3D acceleration layer between Fusion 5.0.2 and the latest OSX update. The issue was reported November 2012, but there's still no fix available as of Feb 2013.

A workaround that may help is to close the VM, then go to Settings/Display and disable 3D acceleration. However, this isn't of any use to applications that will not run without 3D acceleration (such as Movie Maker). So until the bug is fixed, this is a show-stopper for certain workflows :-(

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