Today I seemed to have 3D Studio Max 8 hanging problem resolved by turning OFF the Autobackup by the following checking off the following checkbox:
[Cutomize]->[Preferences ...] ->tab "File"->Auto Backup. [ ] Enable
I also set the viewpoint Display drivers to OpenGL instead of DirectX. I doubt about this is a related factor, though.
Now that I have the desktop one working OK, I am trying out the VMWare version and see how goes.