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Unable to shutdown Windows using the Shutdown Guest option (1004764)

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  • Cannot shutdown Windows using the Shutdown Guest option.
  • A Windows 2003 virtual machine stops responding at the Windows is shutting down screen.
  • The virtual machine shuts down completely when you just open the console of the virtual machine.


The registry key DisableCAD inside the Windows registry HKEY_LOCAL_MACHINE\SOFTWARE\Microsoft\Windows NT\CurrentVersion\Winlogon can affect virtual machine behaviour.
To determine the setting for the key DisableCAD:

This procedure modifies the Windows registry. Before making any registry modifications, ensure that you have a current and valid backup of the registry and the virtual machine. For more information on backing up and restoring the registry, see the Microsoft Knowledge Base article 136393.

The preceding link was correct as of April 29, 2013. If you find the link is broken, provide feedback and a VMware employee will update the link.
  1. Open the registry editor. Click Start > Run, then type regedit and click OK.
  2. Navigate to HKEY_LOCAL_MACHINE\SOFTWARE\Microsoft\Windows NT\CurrentVersion\Winlogon. 
  3. Check the key DisableCAD (REG_DWORD). When it is set to 1, the GINA.dll file bypasses the Ctrl-Alt-Del dialog and goes straight to the logon prompt. The system cannot be shutdown when the logon prompt at the console is displayed.
To shutdown your Windows guest from VMware Infrastructure Client or VirtualCenter, ensure that the logon prompt does not display by default when starting up the virtual machine.
To ensure that the logon prompt does not display by default when starting up the virtual machine, perform one of these options:
  • Set the registry key DisableCAD to 0.
  • Ensure that the Group Policy is disabled. To ensure that the Group Policy is disabled:
    1. Click Start > Run, type gpedit.msc and click OK.
    2. Navigate to Computer Configuration > Windows Settings > Security Settings > Local Policies > Security Options > Interactive logon: Do not require CTRL+ALT+DEL.
    3. Set the property to Disable and then click OK.

Update History

03/29/2010 - Provided more specific instructions. 11/13/2014 - Added 4.1 and 5.x products.

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  • 12 Ratings