Server 2016 VM freeze up

I recently deployed a couple Server 2016 virtual machines within my environment, and have been having an issue with them freezing up after periods of inactivity. Symptoms would be inaccessible on the network, locked up from the Hyper-V console (i.e. unresponsive to the Ctrl+Alt+Del command), and not responding to any shutdown commands (from Hyper-V or command line).

I initially thought this might be an incompatibility with the hypervisor, as it is still Server 2012 R2, or perhaps a missing hotfix/update but after some research this doesn’t seem to be the case.

Yesterday I finally hit on a lead sourced from this discussion thread, which indicates the problem originates from the Pagefile being sourced on a separate VHDX.

Turns out this is exactly how I configure my VMs, so that if I ever decide to protect or Hyper-V replica the VM I can exclude it.

The resolution for this particular issue is to:

  • Right click Start Menu
  • Choose “System”
  • Click “Advanced System Settings”
  • Under Startup and Recovery, click “Settings”
  • Change the Write debugging information dropdown to “None”

The implications of this setting are that if Windows crashes due to unexpected failure, it will not create a memory dump file. More detail can be found here.

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