Article ID: 119204, created on Dec 18, 2013, last review on Jun 17, 2016

  • Applies to:
  • Virtuozzo containers for Windows


  1. A container is in starting state for quite long time with more than 16 processes:

    C:\>vzlist -a 101
    101      32  starting  ct101
  2. There is a hung vzctl.exe process on the hardware node, related to the container:

    C:\>wmic process WHERE "commandline like '%vzctl%' and name <> 'wmic.exe'" get processid,caption,commandline
    Caption    CommandLine     ProcessId
    vzctl.exe  vzctl  exec2 --skiplock 101 cmd /c mkdir "C:\System Volume Information"  59220
  3. After killing the vzctl.exe process and releasing the container, it is not possible to enter it:

    C:\>vzctl enter 101
    Microsoft Windows [Version 6.1.7600]
    Copyright (c) 2009 Microsoft Corporation.  All rights reserved.
    The command prompt has been disabled by your administrator.
    Press any key to continue . . .
    VZExec: Returned with code 255
    Command 'enter' is successfully finished


The issue comes from the fact that CMD access is disabled system-wide on the affected container:

C:\>reg query "HKEY_LOCAL_MACHINE\vz101\USER\.DEFAULT\Software\Policies\Microsoft\Windows\System"   
    DisableCmd    REG_DWORD    0x1

As a result, vzctl exec actions, defined in the startup script for containers, cannot be executed and hang.


Enable CMD for the container:

C:\>reg delete "HKEY_LOCAL_MACHINE\vzCTID\USER\.DEFAULT\Software\Policies\Microsoft\Windows\System" /v DisableCmd /f

(Replace CTID with the proper container's ID value, keeping vz in the registry key name).

That is, for the container #101, the command should be:

C:\>reg delete "HKEY_LOCAL_MACHINE\vz101\USER\.DEFAULT\Software\Policies\Microsoft\Windows\System" /v DisableCmd /f

See also

112953 How to deal with container stuck in transitional status.

113519 No privileges to execute cmd.exe inside the container.

119081 "vzctl enter" fails. Failing service inside a container.

117863 "vzctl enter" fails. RDP attack.

115821 PVA Agent service is stuck in "START_PENDING" state.

Search Words

System Volume Information


container stuck starting

container hangs


VZExec: Returned with code 255



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