Hyper-V is Microsoft’s hardware virtualization product that lets you run different operating systems on your Windows computer. You can install multiple operating systems on a single Windows operating system using Hyper-V. The computer on which you install Hyper-V is called the host machine. Sometimes, you may encounter technical issues on the Hyper-V platform. One of the most common issues on the Hyper-V platform is getting stuck on starting state. If your Hyper-V Virtual Machine is stuck in Starting State, the solutions provided in this post will help you resolve the issue.
Hyper-V Virtual Machine stuck in Starting State
When you start a Virtual Machine in Hyper-V, its state shows “Starting (x%),” where the x% shows the loading percentage. When the virtual machine is loaded 100%, Hyper-V launches that operating system on your host machine. But in some cases, Hyper-V Virtual Machine gets stuck in Starting State. When this happens, Hyper-V may or may or may not show an error message. You should wait for some time and see if an error occurs. If Hyper-V shows you an error after some time, you should troubleshoot according to that error message. However, you can also follow the suggestions provided in this article to get the issue resolved.
Below, we have listed some possible solutions to fix this issue on Hyper-V. But before you proceed, let’s see some possible causes of this error.
- More than one Virtual Machine is installed on the same disk of your host machine and you are running all of them at the same time.
- Antivirus software is blocking the files required to run Hyper-V VM.
- The Hyper-V Services are not running properly.
We also suggest you restart your computer (the host machine) and see if it works. Sometimes, problems occur due to a minor glitch that can be fixed simply by restarting the device. Also, check for Windows Updates and install the latest patch, if available.
Let’s talk about the solutions to fix this issue.
- Kill the vmwp.exe process
- Restart all Hyper-V Services
- Add vmwp.exe as an exception to your antivirus
- Miscellaneous fixes
Below, we have explained all these solutions in detail.
1] Kill the vmwp.exe process
Sometimes, Hyper-V Virtual Machine freezes and shows the status as “Starting” along with the loading percentage. For example, a Virtual Machine gets stuck at a Starting 1% or 10%, etc. In this case, killing the Virtual Machine Worker process helps fix the issue. Virtual Machine Worker Process is one of the essential Hyper-V processes or services. It is required for the proper functioning of the Hyper-V Virtual Machine. You will find this process running in the Task Manager with the name vmwp.exe.
Killing this process will resolve the freezing Hyper-V VM issues. The steps for the same are as follow:
- Open the Task Manager.
- Switch to the Details tab.
- Locate the vmwp.exe process. Right-click on it and select End Task.
The above steps are pretty easy to perform if you have only one Virtual Machine on your host machine. But if you have multiple VMs installed on your host computer, you may find more than one vmwp.exe process in the Task Manager. In this case, it is necessary to identify the correct vmwp.exe process before killing it. Every Virtual Machine has a unique GUID (Globally Unique Identifier). To identify the GUID of VM, go through the following steps:
- Open Hyper-V Manager.
- Right-click on your Virtual Machine and select Hyper-V Settings.
- Now, select Virtual Machines from the left side. You will see the path where your Virtual Machine is installed.
- Open the File Explorer on your host machine and go to the installation path.
- Open the folder with the name of your Virtual Machine, say, Ubuntu Hyper-V. Then, open the Virtual Machines folder. You will see the GUID there. Note down that GUID.
Now, open the Task Manager and follow the steps described above to kill the vmwp.exe process with that GUID. After killing the vmwp.exe process, launch the VM again and see if it loads this time or gets stuck on the Starting State.
2] Restart all Hyper-V Services
When you start your system, several Windows and third-party services also start automatically and keep running in the background. These services handle different tasks on your computer. There are certain Services that belong to Hyper-V Manager. These Services are responsible for the proper functioning of Hyper-V. If Hyper-V is freezing or gets stuck in Starting State, you should check the status of Hyper-V Services. If any of these Services is stopped, start it. If all the Services are already running, restart them.
Open the Services app and locate the Services that belong to Hyper-V. Right-click on them and select Restart (if they are already running) and select Start (if they are stopped).
3] Add vmwp.exe as an exception to your antivirus
As described above in this article, your antivirus may also prevent Hyper-V VM from starting. To check this, disable your antivirus temporarily and then check if the issue persists. If the VM starts after disabling the antivirus, your antivirus is blocking the vmwp.exe, which is a necessary process for Hyper-V Virtual Machine. To resolve this problem, add the vmwp.exe file to your antivirus as an exception.
Some affected users have confirmed that the issue was fixed after adding the vmwp.exe file to their antivirus excluding list. If you use Windows Security, you can easily exclude programs or files from Windows Security. If you have a third-party antivirus, contact their support person to know how to do that.
4] Miscellaneous fixes
Let’s consider you receive an error message after some time. You may encounter any error message, for example:
The application encountered an error while attempting to change the state of ‘Name of your Virtual Machine.’
‘The system cannot find the file specified.’
From the above error message, it is clear that the system is not able to find the file specified. Such an error occurs if you have installed an operating system on Hyper-V by using an ISO and deleted that ISO after installing the operating system. To check this, open the Settings of your Virtual Machine in Hyper-V and expand the SCSI Controller branch and select DVD Drive. Now, check if there is an image file path mentioned on the right side. If yes, the ISO should exist on that path. If you have deleted the ISO file, select None in DVD Drive.
If the issue occurs due to the Network Adapter, you will see the Configuration Error message under the Network Adapter branch in your Virtual Machine settings. In this case, you must configure your Network Adapter in Hyper-V VM settings.
How do I force quit Hyper-V?
To force quit Hyper-V, you have to end the vmwp.exe process running in the background. You can do this via the Task Manager. The vmwp.exe process is one of the crucial processes required by Hyper-V. If you kill this process, it will result in force quit Hyper-V.
If you have installed multiple Virtual Machines on Hyper-V, you may find multiple instances of the vmwp.exe process in the Task Manager. In this case, you should know the correct GUID of the problematic Virtual Machine to force quit it. We have already talked about how to identify the GUID of a Virtual Machine earlier in this article.
How do I stop VMMS Service?
VMMS is the Virtual Machine Management Service. You can stop it via the Services Manager app or MSConfig. Open the Services Manager app and locate the Hyper-V Virtual Machine Management Service. Once you find it, right-click on it and select Stop.
If you use the MSConfig for the same, go to the Services tab and uncheck the Hyper-V Virtual Machine Management. After that, click Apply and then click OK. You have to restart your computer for the changes to take effect.
I hope this helps.