VM shutdown actions don't run when a host shuts down because of a low battery

This article helps solve a problem that prevents virtual machine shutdown actions from running.

Original product version:   Windows 10 - all editions, Windows Server 2012 R2
Original KB number:   3058418

Symptoms

Consider the following scenario:

  • You're running Windows Server 2012 R2 on a computer that has an attached uninterruptible power supply (UPS) or on a laptop.
  • This Windows Server 2012 R2-based system has the Hyper-V role installed and is hosting virtual machines.
  • The battery is running out of power.
  • The host operating system shuts down because of the low battery condition.
  • After you restart the computer, you notice the virtual machines are in a Stopped state and that errors are logged in the virtual machine event logs. In this scenario, the configured host shutdown actions for the virtual machine (Stop VM, Save VM state, Shut down VM) don't run as expected, and the virtual machines are not gracefully shut down or saved. This behavior may be indicated by the following event log entries on the guest VMs:

Log Name: Microsoft-Windows-Hyper-V-Worker-Admin Source: Microsoft-Windows-Hyper-V-Worker Event ID: 18590 Level: Critical Description: 'Guestname' has encountered a fatal error. The guest operating system reported that it failed with the following error codes: ErrorCode0: 0xEF, [additional variable information]

Event ID: 6008 Source: Event Log Type: Error Description: The previous system shutdown at Time on Date was unexpected.

Cause

When a shutdown is triggered by a low battery (either Low or Critical levels), services that are running on the system are not notified of the shutdown. This behavior occurs because a clean operating system shutdown is prioritized over stopping services, as stopping services can block shutdowns for a lengthy period. Because Hyper-V relies on service notifications to trigger the configured actions on the guest VMs, the configured actions don't run before the host shuts down.

Note

This behavior does not apply when the system is shut down by third-party UPS software.

Resolution

When you're running a Hyper-V server that has an attached UPS, use the UPS manufacturer's software to correctly handle battery threshold levels and to initiate a regular system shutdown when appropriate.