Hyper-V virtual machine won't start

Posted on 2013-06-06
Last Modified: 2014-11-12
We have a virtual machine that suddenly stopped which means it wasn't shutdown properly either.
I've tried to start it numerous times through both the VMM console and the Hyper-V console on the host server.
Every time I try to start the server, it errors out and goes to a "Failed" or "Missing" or "Incomplete VM configuration" status.
What's really weird is if I wait a few seconds or couple of minutes, the failed status seems to clear and the server is just "stopped".
Since no snapshots have been set up for this machine, I was trying to do that but got an error similar to the one I receive when trying to start the machine (see attached screen print) I realize this error might occur because the machine is in a failed status.
My main questions are: Where do I look to try to replace the virtual machine or what can I do to get the machine to start.
This is a list serv server that is critical but not used every day.  I'd like to get this back up and running before we need it again.
Question by:skbarnard
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Expert Comment

ID: 39227367
Hi there,

See if this helps:

See responses at bottom of blog post for more options.

If that doesn't help, do you have a backup?

Author Comment

ID: 39242147
Eddie-Lopez -- thanks for the link to the blog - it has one solution that I may have to consider but researching our SAN setup, I found we're at capacity.  So I turned off a couple of non-critical, lesser used machines and the server I'm trying to get started, did start.
However, I'm now getting the attached error.  The virtual machine got moved to several different hosts yesterday through the live-migration process and manually as I was trying to get it back to the preferred host.
I now have it on the preferred host and have actually copied the .VHD to that host as well.
I'm trying to do a repair using the installation DVD but how can I get the virtual machine to see the .VHD on the host's D: drive?  Every time I try I get an error that the network path wasn't found.
I don't want to have to rebuild the machine - next question - has anyone ever built a new machine then attached it to an existing .VHD?  Directions on how to do this would be most helpful if I have to go down that path.

Accepted Solution

Eddie-Lopez earned 500 total points
ID: 39242577
Hi again,

Coincidencially, last week I had a situation similar to your original post, it was caused by a full lun due to a thin provisioning issue.

On your VM problem, assuming that your live migration and VM settings are correct, it looks like the VM is not finding its disk boot record for some reason, maybe because the VM can't find the vhd at all or there is a problem with it.

See this post on information about how to fix this kind of issues:

On how to built a new VM and then attach an existing vhd, the process is really straight forward. You just create a new VM with the "attach a vhd later" option, set all VM settings as desired, and add your existing vhd to the IDE Controller 0 of your VM (your boot vhd, that is, other vhds can be attached to any IDE/SCSI controller).

Also note that if you are using a vhd that you copied from another existing VM and you want to keep both running, you should do a sysprep on your new VM.

Best Regards,


Author Closing Comment

ID: 39242605
Just to close this out - we are using thin provisioning but I guess we just ran out of space with as many virtual machines as we have.
While waiting for your response, I kept digging and found exactly what you said.  In all the moving around of the VM from host to host, I think it lost track of its VHD - I looked at the VM properties and found it had no hard drive associated with it.
Once I reattached the VHD, the server came up and running.
Thanks for your help.

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