I upgraded my Windows 2008 Hyper-V host server to Windows 2008 R2 last night. The upgrade went smoothly, but when it settled down as the new version, I found two virtual machines out of seventeen to be missing from the Hyper-V console UI.

From the Hyper-V event log i see

Log Name:      Microsoft-Windows-Hyper-V-VMMS-Admin
Source:        Microsoft-Windows-Hyper-V-VMMS
Date:          6/4/2011 2:31:26 AM
Event ID:      16300
Task Category: None
Level:         Error
User:          SYSTEM
Computer:      elune
Cannot load a virtual machine configuration: General access denied error (0x80070005) (Virtual machine ID 5185AC13-4148-4AFE-9024-6E74FE3C9754)
Event Xml:
<Event xmlns="http://schemas.microsoft.com/win/2004/08/events/event">
    <Provider Name="Microsoft-Windows-Hyper-V-VMMS" Guid="{6066F867-7CA1-4418-85FD-36E3F9C0600C}" />
    <TimeCreated SystemTime="2011-04-05T18:31:26.432942100Z" />
    <Correlation />
    <Execution ProcessID="1964" ThreadID="2064" />
    <Security UserID="S-1-5-18" />
    <VmlEventLog xmlns:auto-ns2="http://schemas.microsoft.com/win/2004/08/events" xmlns="http://www.microsoft.com/Windows/Virtualization/Events">

These "missing" VMs do not have any online snapshots tied to them. Even for those that did I removed and merge the snapshots based on Microsoft's advice, and they've "survived".

There seem to be a lot of "General access denied error (0x80070005)" discussion when it comes to starting virtual machines. But my case is the Hyper-V service being unable to even load the configuration, so Hyper-V knows where those VM config locations but don't have permission to access them?

The three Hyper-V services are launched with LOCAL SYSTEM account, and the "Virtual Machines" folders for those VMs do grant Full Control permissions. What I observe from the other VMs is their folders have additional ACEs for Virtual Machines group and the VM GUID itself?

enter image description here

I tried to duplicate this ACE structure, but Windows cannot locate the GUID principals of those missing VMs. What would be causing this problem?

  • I don't know what is causing the issue you are having and maybe this is obvious but you can easily recreate the VMs in Hyper-V Manager assigning the same resources (CPU, memory, NIC, etc) that were there before and just point the new VMs at the existing .vhd files and be back up in minutes.
    – icky3000
    Apr 6, 2011 at 7:10
  • yes, that is a possible workaround. however i am interested in investigating the details that influence these aspects.
    – icelava
    Apr 6, 2011 at 8:07

1 Answer 1


Well, this is a strange means.

The key thing is Windows/Hyper-V is referring to a "list" somewhere to tell it what virtual machines are registered with the server. My virtual machines are scattered across multiple drives, so there has to be a centralised repository. Which turns out to be

C:\ProgramData\Microsoft\Windows\Hyper-V\Virtual Machines

there are symbolic links that refer to the physical locations of the actual config XML files. I noticed the troubled VM links had a "lock" icon. enter image description here

I edited the security ACL of the troubled symbolic link. Sure enough it does not have the NT Virtual Machine account like the rest, so instead I granted it Full Control to the Users group. Restarted Hyper-V Virtual Machine Management service, and it could once again load up the missing VMs. It appears to work without the Virtual machine accounts.

Still haven't gotten the complete deep answers I was looking for to explain just what Hyper-V is requiring out of those Virtual machine accounts, but at least the original virtual machine config can be reused.

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