Oct 072018
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Just a few words of warning when upgrading your VMware vSphere Windows 10 virtual machines to Windows 10 Version 1809 (October Update). When upgrading, after the first restart, you may notice multiple BSOD (Blue Screen of Death) with the error “Driver PNP Watchdog”. This will fail the upgrade. This issue may also occur on the Windows 10 Version 1903 (May Update).

Update – November 14 2018: This issue is still occurring on upgrades using the re-released November version of the October update.

Update and Fix – November 26th 2018: A very big thank you goes out to my reader Werner, who advised that the issue only occurs if the VM is in a snapshotted state. After his comment on this post, I decided to try upgraded without the VM in a snapshot state and it worked! Thanks Werner!

When the upgrade fails, the system will re-attempt until utlimately failing and reverting to the previous version of Windows 10.

In my case, I had a successful upgrade on numerous physical workstations, and a snapshot, so I decided to uninstall both the VMware tools agent, and VMware Horizon View agent. This had no affect and the VM still wouldn’t perform an upgrade.

I’m not sure if it’s the fact that it’s a VM, the VMware tools install, or the VMware Horizon View agent install, however I highly recommend waiting to upgrade until all the bugs get sorted out.

Leave a comment if you have anything to add! 🙂

  13 Responses to “BSOD “Driver PNP Watchdog” error when upgrading VMware VM to Windows 10 Version 1809 October Update”

  1. Same thing is happening to me. I hope MS or VMware figure this out soon.

    Steve W.

  2. Hey Steve,

    I was doing some reading a little while ago and apperently 1809 should be compatible with vSphere Horizon (the latest version only, which is what I’m running). However, I think there’s an issue with the upgrade that’s not handling it properly.

    I’ve been wanting to attempt a clean install, but just haven’t had time yet. I’ll post an update once I get a chance.


  3. Hi Steve.

    The same issue happened to me. I cannot upgrade to Window 10 1809 in VMware.
    The problem appears, when the virtual machine has a snapshot.
    It seems to be an issue with VMFS6 datastore and Windows 10 1809.
    After deleting all snapshots the upgrade to Windows 10 1809 worked fine.

    Best regards

  4. Hi Werner,

    Thanks very much for posting this! I deleted all snapshots for the VM and the update to version 1809 worked without a problem!

    I’m glad you discovered the problem and the solution! It looks like MS needs to make Win version 1809 fully VMFS6 compatible.

    Steve W.

  5. Hi Stephen,

    I have noted the same behaviour when creating a gold image for Horizon using the 1809 media.
    As of 05/12, the media downloaded from Microsoft still contains this bug.
    Having deleted the snapshot, I noticed that disk operations (create & format partition) were noticeably quicker than with a snapshot.
    Thank you very much for posting this fix.
    In case people are wondering, we deploy builds using MDT and simply revert to a virgin snapshot to restart this process, hence the snapshot on an empty VM.
    I did wonder whether having VMware Tools in the image would fix this but, after installing the OS, VMware Tools and creating a WIM file from the image, it did not.

    Thanks again.
    John G

  6. I am experiencing this issue, I deleted all snapshots, and retried the update and still hit the BSOD upon updating to 1809. My win10 Vm is running on Esxi 6.0.0 Update 3 (Build 10719132))

  7. Hi Jesse,

    Did you fully shut down the VM and cold boot after deletion of the snapshots?

    I’m wondering if it could be that, or if it’s relayed due to the version of ESXi you’re running. I was using the latest release of 6.5.


  8. Hi Stephen,

    This one saved my live also. Updating to 1903 toght this time i make from every step a snapshot due to all the previous ….. with WIN10 upgrades and yip never ending BSOD tried the whatever and never thought about this.



  9. I was having the same problem upgrading from Server 2008 R2 > 2012 > 2016 > 2019. I got the Driver PNP Watch dog BSOD when upgrading 2016 to 2019 on vmware. I had used snapshots to test this upgrade path. Everything was fine until the final upgrade to 2019. I would’ve never have thought snapshots would cause this. I tried changing vm hardware/drivers and editing wim files for the microcode issue but none worked except removing snapshots. Wish i had seen this sooner and saved hours.


  10. Your solution saved me many hours, I was having same issue with in-place upgrading to server2019 on Vmware, after deleting the snapshot, it works finally.

  11. This worked perfect, upgrading from windows 2016 to Windows 2019.
    Thank you so much for posting!

  12. Thank,
    This solution helped me. I upgraded from Server 2008 R2 > 2012 > 2016 > 2019 Server on Vmware, after deleting the snapshots, it finished fine.

  13. Had the same issue, thanks for sharing this as a troubleshooting step..

    Was upgrading 2012R2 to 2019 and snapshots caused failure. Deleted and success. What a crazy thing.

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