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Windows 10/2016 Cannot Boot in Compatibility Mode with Guest Agent Tools Installed

Problem: After installing 3.3+ guest agent tools on a Windows 10 or Windows 2016 instance, the instance cannot boot in Compatibility Mode.

Cause: In Windows 2016 and Windows 10, only one type of storage driver can be installed. When the guest agent tools are installed for Enhanced Mode, the old storage driver that only works in Compatibility Mode is replaced by one that only works in Enhanced Mode. Because of this, a Windows 2016 or Windows 10 instance that has the guest agent tools installed can no longer boot in Compatibility Mode. 

Solution:

Switch to Enhanced Mode:

  • Force shutdown the instance
  • In the instance's Profile, click "Switch to enhanced mode"
  • Start the instance
  • Since the last boot failed, it will boot into Windows recovery mode. Force shutdown the instance, then start it. It will now boot successfully
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