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I have installed Windows 8 Professional 64-bit in a VHD that dual boots with Windows 7. The VHD is dynamically expanding with a 128 GB capacity.

When windows 8 reboots, it seems to get stuck in an infinite loop and will say "Restarting" while the five dots circle around for hours and hours. When I use the power button to force it to turn off, it sometimes says, "Your PC ran into a problem". This error message tells me absolutely nothing that I don't already know. What happened to useful error messages?

If I use the command line shutdown /r /f /t 0 it actually reboots. Is there a way to set the default arguments?

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Are you sure you want to be using shutdown /f? A forced shutdown could cause problems with some properly functioning programs as well. – Jay Oct 29 '12 at 3:13
The problem occurs on reboot every time the /f switch is not used, but it never occurs if the /f switch is used. shutdown /s works correctly without the /f switch. Only reboots are affected. – ctype.h Oct 29 '12 at 4:09
@Jay I have been using Windows 8 Pro for about 2 weeks and have not had any problems with programs not working correctly. – ctype.h Oct 29 '12 at 4:11
up vote 2 down vote accepted

It seems the best solution is not to use VHD boot. After reinstalling Windows 8 directly in a partition on my hard drive, the problem has been resolved.

While VHD boot is a cool feature, unfortunately it seems that it is not yet ready for serious use.

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Create a new .bat file called shutdown2 containing the following

shutdown /r /f /t 0

Put it in a folder of your choice, I.E. C:\scripts and add that location to your Path variable. Easiest way to do this is

  1. Win + W
  2. Type system environment variables
  3. Enter
  4. Environment Variables
  5. Under System variables select Path and click Edit
  6. Scroll to the end and add ; C:\scripts. The semicolon is necessary because it separates it from the previous entry

Now you can run shutdown2 just like any other command, either in command prompt or through Win + R.

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I already have a batch file called reboot.bat with those arguments. I was hoping to set the default arguments in the registry so that when programs (e.g. Windows Update) decide I need to reboot, the machine does not end up stuck in an infinite loop in case I forget to cancel the reboot and enter the command manually. – ctype.h Oct 29 '12 at 2:41
You could try renaming shutdown.exe in C:\Windows\system32 to shutdown2.exe and placing your new file in there. The only caveat is that some programs might expect it to be a .exe file instead of a .bat and some programs won't even use shutdown.exe. There are many ways to shutdown/restart a computer. – Caleb Jares Oct 29 '12 at 3:02

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