VM Role Instances Can Fail or Take a Long Time to Start
Updated: May 12, 2011
Applies to: Windows Azure SDK 1.3 and later
Symptom: For VHDs prepared with sysprep, the instance cycles through the following status messages in the portal: “Waiting for host…”, followed by “Setting up Windows for first use”. For VHDs not prepared with sysprep the instance gives only the user sees the “Waiting for host…” status message.
Cause: The problem is caused by a known issue in Windows 2008 R2 that occurs when the guest operating system is deployed to a virtual environment. The time zone setting of the guest operating system must be the same as that of the host operating system.
Resolution: The time zone for the Windows Azure VM role must be set to UTC by modifying the unattend.xml answer file.
The Windows Azure Integration Components installer places an answer file at the following location: c:\unattend.xml. After installing the Windows Azure Integration Components edit the answer file to include settings for the “specialize” pass, as shown in the following XML sample:
<unattend xmlns="urn:schemas-microsoft-com:unattend"> <settings pass="specialize"> <component name="Microsoft-Windows-Shell-Setup" processorArchitecture="amd64" publicKeyToken="31bf3856ad364e35" language="neutral" versionScope="nonSxS" xmlns:wcm="http://schemas.microsoft.com/WMIConfig/2002/State" xmlns:xsi="http://www.w3.org/2001/XMLSchema-instance"> <TimeZone>UTC</TimeZone> <DisableAutoDaylightTimeSet>true</DisableAutoDaylightTimeSet> </component> </settings> <settings pass="generalize"> ... </settings> <settings pass="oobeSystem"> ... </settings> </unattend>