I've been happily running a couple of Windows 10 VMs on QEMU-KVM with GPU Passthrough for the last few years with little issue. A few days ago however (21 May 2020) both my VMs started crashing on start-up.

If I boot Windows in safe mode - it works. If I boot with the Windows GPU drivers disabled - it works. As soon as install or enable the driver it crashes (blank screen, VM uses 100% CPU, can't toggle num lock on keyboard) and after a few seconds the VM reboots.

Anyone had similar issues or know how I can further troubleshoot?


  • MB: GA-X99P-SLI
  • CPU: i7-6850K
  • RAM: 32GB
  • Host GPU: Nvidia Geforce 9400 GT
  • Guest GPUs x2: Nvidia GTX GeForce 1060 6GB
  • Disk: Samsung 950 PRO NVMe 512GB


  • Ubuntu Server 18.04/20.04
  • qemu-kvm 2.11/4.2
  • Windows 10 x64 1909

Things I've Tried

  • Although unlikely, as both VMs started crashing at the same time, I rolled back several Windows updates
  • Tried old drivers, windows update drivers, and the latest Nvidia drivers
  • This coincided with an apt upgrade so I tried rolling back but I couldn't (easily) as I'd cleaned my cache (d'oh!!) and the packages weren't available
  • There's no errors or warnings in Windows events
  • There's no errors or warnings in /var/log/libvirt/qemu
  • All GPUs run fine together on bare metal
  • Rebuilt everything with latest LTS version of Ubuntu (20.04) and related qemu-kvm (4.2)
  • Switched VMs from i440 to Q35
  • 1
    As you know those are hard to debug, but usually related to FW updates and/or Guest/Host updates. I'm unsure what to do about the Win10 guests, but you could analyze what was upgraded in your host and try to selectively downgrade these components (e.g. check launchpad.net/ubuntu/+source/linux/+publishinghistory) if you can identify one that has broken it report a bug on launchpad against that package. May 25, 2020 at 4:40
  • @ChristianEhrhardt: Thanks for the reply and sorry for my slow response. Thankfully it didn't come to this, but handy to know for future!!
    – Akaoni
    Jul 25, 2020 at 6:52

2 Answers 2


OK, so thanks to this post I've managed to fix the issue, at least in a test environment:

The steps I took were:

  1. Set <kvm><hidden state='off'/></kvm> in my VM config - this disabled the GPU drivers so I could boot into windows
  2. Set the MSISupported registry key to "1" for my GPU
  3. Re-set <kvm><hidden state='on'/></kvm> in my VM config


I'll rebuild my VMs properly next weekend (I've been running one Win 10 instance on bare metal) and, all things going well, accept this as the answer.


Edit: I rebuilt my VMs and the above initially fixed the issue. I run multiple different GPUs across my VMs however and, every time I changed GPU, it reset the registry key. I ended up replacing all my GPUs with AMDs which worked better (still have a reset bug, but at least they worked).


Adding this fixes the problem

          <vendor_id state="on" value="whatever"/>

Had the same problem.

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