Why is my virtual machine "Paused-Critical"? [Hyper-V]

Why is my virtual machine "Paused-Critical"? [Hyper-V]

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Virtual machines will go into the “Paused-Critical” state under Hyper-V if we detect that we are going to run out of space for the virtual hard disks.  If we were to run out of space for expanding a dynamic or differencing virtual hard disk – we would start failing disk write operations inside the virtual machine.  The result would most likely be that the guest operating system would crash.

To avoid this problem we periodically poll the storage that is being used for the virtual hard disks.  If the free space falls under 2 gigabyte we will start to log warning messages in the event log.  If the free space falls under 200 megabyte we will pause the virtual machine and mark it as “Paused-Critical”.

One thing that often trips people up is if they have their virtual hard disks configured on one drive – but have left their snapshot files stored on the system drive.  Once a virtual machine snapshot has been taken – the base virtual hard disk stops expanding and the snapshot file stores new data that is written to the disk – so it is critical that there is enough space in the snapshot storage location.

One final note to make – due to a bug in the current version of Hyper-V – it will file warning messages and place the virtual machine into paused-critical even if the virtual machine is using fixed size virtual hard disks, and the drive that is storing the disk runs out of space for some other reason.


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  • You saved the day. I came in to the office and my hyper-v was telling me it was paused-critical and nothing was helping. I feed up some disk space, and voila it did the trick! Thanks.

  • I still had 104GB free on the host and inside the VM I still had 74GB free.. I don't understand. I did see somewhere that the VSS ran out of space at 74GB.

    I guess this was the problem.. I made that smaller and hope it won't come back now.

  • We are seeing our VMs getting paused, with the warning that the host is out of disk space. But, our host has over 750GB of free space on the drive that has the VMs and snapshots, and over 100 GB free on the OS drive.

    Have you ever seen that?

  • why is this so,every time I power on the VM box an error stating very low disk space appears..what I am to do with this..help me resolve this.

  • I think you have to check physical space on your hard drive.

  • Perfect Shot, friends... my hard driver's full!! Tnks!!!!

  • Thanks given information solved my problem.....

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