After setting up my new Dell Precision T1600 with OpenSUSE 11.4 I found that I could no longer run VMware. Got a message about some NMI problem and bug # 2293. I searched for a solution and found the following article apparently describing my problem:
In short it says that I need to add the kernel option nmi_watchdog=0 to my boot entry. I did, but it did not solve the problem. Disappointed! I kept searching and came upon some forum entries somewhere discussing different NMI related problems and some of them talked about adding the option nmi_watchdog=0 but also adding nowatchdog. Tried it and it worked! Now VMware starts without problem.
I don't know what this option does and why nmi_watchdog=0 is not sufficient but that is to me less important than getting VMware started.