Tuesday 12 January 2010

Can’t start Hyper-V VM after Windows Server 2008 R2 upgrade

Oh the tedium… Having used Windows Server 2008 R2 for a while, I was keen to upgrade the Hyper-V host environment supporting my dev infrastructure from RTM to R2. R2 seems faster and more refined; I was also wanting to play with the latest version of the System Center Virtual Machine Manager—which requires R2.

The upgrade process went smoothly once I figured out the installer would eventually present me with the upgrade option after telling it to install the Windows Server 2008 R2 Standard (Full Installation) option; this was briefly confusing to me  since I didn’t want to do a full installation! I shut down all my VMs properly beforehand and everything seemed pretty much good (I did have to recreate the one VM I normally auto-start but luckily I was able to reuse the .vhd itself and the machine came back to life with little hassle).

Today, however, I went to create a new VM but was unable to start it post-creation. Clicking start popped up a message telling me the VM could not initialize and Hyper-V could not create or access saved state file. The physical location of my VMs hadn’t changed but I read this error message as a permissions issue—but where to start?! The only thing I had to go on was that I was creating the new VM on another volume.

Fortunately Jevgenij Martynenko saved the day for myself and others in this forum post with the old trick of granting access to the root of the drive. I remember having to do this for ASP.NET back in the day for some reason…

Anyway, as per the instructions, I granted ‘Authenticated Users’ ‘List folder / read data’ permission to the root of my E:\ drive, setting the scope drop down to This folder only. I did not replace all child object permissions as apparently that causes more problems.

Starting the new VM was successful after this change.


  1. Thanks! it helped me

  2. I had the same error, but my problem was not sufficient disk space on the volume containing the VM files. It needs to create a .bin file the size of the assigned RAM, and if you don't have enough disk space, you'll get this error.


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