Problems with shutting down Windows when Virtual Server is running

Problems with shutting down Windows when Virtual Server is running

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There is a known problem that can occur when trying to shutdown a physical computer running Virtual Server with a large number of virtual machines running.  The issue is caused by default Virtual Server will attempt to 'Save state' all of the running virtual machines before closing - and with a large number of virtual machines running this can end up taking a long time.  By default - Windows will kill a service that fails to shutdown gracefully within 20 seconds - and when it does this to Virtual Server the result is that your virtual machines behave like they had a power failure (with risk of data loss, etc).

To change this behavior you will need to use 'regedit' on the host computer and edit the [HKEY_LOCAL_MACHINE\SYSTEM\CurrentControlSet\Control\WaitToKillService] entry.  This registry entry defines the ammount of time - in miliseconds - to wait before killing a service.

Cheers,
Ben

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  • Thanks, Ben. I had noticed this before and have been shutting down all virtual machines before shutting my host down. I hadn't even thought of changing the kill timeout.
  • Perfect timing! We had a good lightning show here in Minneapolis last night so I decided to power everything down nicely (since I'm too cheap to buy a UPS). When I did, I wasn’t sure my virtuals had time to shut down and I was wondering how that worked. Thanks Ben!
  • Obviously that is a reason, but there are other reasons too. For example if Sonic Record Now is installed in the real PC, then Virtual PC 2004 (the application in the real PC) and Sonic don't always play well together. Regardless of whether the user tells VPC to assign the real drive to a guest machine or disconnect that assignment, and regardless of whether the user tells Sonic to use the drive for writing or not use it, and regardless of whether the user actually does any writing, the two services don't always get along well in the real PC. Actually I think I have always been able to get guest PCs to shut down properly in that situation, but the real PC still has problems.
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