Windows Hyper-V Server Core 2019 hangs after fresh install just before OOBE

Brian Chan 0 Reputation points

I am installing Windows Hyper-V Server Core 2019 to a 512GB NVMe SSD via USB on a new Dell Precision 3660 tower. The installation proceeds as normal, first copying installation files to the NVMe, restarting, doing the spinning dot churn for setting up the system, and another automatic restart. After that second restart though, the spinning dots appear but never spin - the system just hangs and no drive activity is indicated on the front panel. Restarts have not yielded any results. I have tried setting Windows to start in Safe Mode, and, while it gets somewhat farther, it alerts that "Windows cannot complete installation in Safe Mode. To continue installing Windows, restart the computer".

Restarts with "Enable Boot Logging" does not yield any logs, presumably because startup never advances past the point where the logging is initialized.

I have successfully installed Windows 11 to that same machine subsequently, and also, as a test, added the Hyper-V feature, created a VM and installed Hyper-V Server Core 2019 to it! This installs fully with no issue.

Since I now have 2 instances of Hyper-V Server Core installations (the baremetal one and the virtualized one on Win11), I've compared the C:\Windows\Panther\UnattendGC\setupact.log and it shows that WinDeploy never manages to launch again subsequent to the restart, and hence OOBE never starts either. No errors are reported and the logs are identical up to the point where the failed one ends.

Screenshot 2023-05-03 160108.jpg

Does anyone have any ideas on why this isn't working, or leads as to where I can search next for the source of the error?

Windows Server
Windows Server
A family of Microsoft server operating systems that support enterprise-level management, data storage, applications, and communications.
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  1. Limitless Technology 44,011 Reputation points

    Hello Brian,

    Thank you for your question and for reaching out with your question today.

    A possible workaround for you to try is to install Windows 2019 in BIOS (Legacy) mode instead of UEFI. This can result in Hyper-V not causing the boot loop and therefore installing successfully.

    If the reply was helpful, please don’t forget to upvote or accept as answer.