Problems with shutting down Windows when Virtual Server is running

There is a known problem that can occur when trying to shutdown a physical computer running Virtual Server with a large number of virtual machines running.  The issue is caused by default Virtual Server will attempt to ‘Save state’ all of the running virtual machines before closing – and with a large number of virtual machines running this can end up taking a long time.  By default – Windows will kill a service that fails to shutdown gracefully within 20 seconds – and when it does this to Virtual Server the result is that your virtual machines behave like they had a power failure (with risk of data loss, etc).

To change this behavior you will need to use ‘regedit’ on the host computer and edit the [HKEY_LOCAL_MACHINESYSTEMCurrentControlSetControlWaitToKillService] entry.  This registry entry defines the ammount of time – in miliseconds – to wait before killing a service.