What to do when the Datto SIRIS VM boot-up time is lagged

by Aug 1, 2012Business Continuity

From time to time Virtual Machines that are hosted on a Datto SIRIS device may experience a painfully slow boot process. This blog post aims to lay out the steps to circumvent this issue in an efficient manner to help swiftly boot up a Virtual Machine. Read on and learn what to do when the Datto SIRIS VM boot-up time is lagged.

Please Note:  This applies only to slow Virtual Machines in a Disaster Recovery environment that are configured to have regular live network connectivity.


Example: 2003 and 2008 OS Datto SIRIS VM boot-up time is lagged



• Most commonly these machines have services by manufacturers other than Microsoft enabled in msconfig.
• These services commonly are found to be what is slowing down start-up of the OS of the virtual machine.

Eliminating lag experienced during the boot process

• First step is to access the “Advanced Boot Options” for the Operating System by pressing F8 on boot.
• This may be very difficult to perform via an RDP session so it is suggested to VNC into your Datto Appliance.
• VNC access to Datto Siris devices can be obtained using any VNC client  from a machine on the local subnet, or remotely using the Datto Resale Portal task “remoteVNC” as shown below.


     Example: “remoteVNC” Portal Task


• If prompted for a password please use either the password configured in the Datto Siris web console, or the default VNC password (contact Datto for more info).
• Once connected double click the icon on the desktop for “Sun Virtual Box”.


Example: VNC connection established with Virtual Box icon identified.


• If no Virtual Machines appear in the Virtual Box program then re-start the VM from the “Local Virtualization” tab on the Siris web console and continue to the next step.


Example: Virtual Box launched with no Virtual Machines mounted.

• If the Virtual Machine appears in Virtual Box and is running then it will need to be stopped from the “Local Virtualization” tab on the Siris web console.

               Example: Virtual Box launched with Virtual Machine in a “Running” state.
 Example: Stop Mounted VM

• Once the Virtual Machine appears in Virtual Box as being “Powered Off” it may be launched by clicking on the Virtual Machine’s name, followed by clicking the button “Start”.

Example: Virtual Box showing Virtual Machine mounted but not running.

• The Virtual Machine will instantly start to boot on the screen so immediately start to repeatedly press F8 to access the “Advanced Boot Options” screen.

Please Note: If the timing to input the key F8 is missed then simply close the window which will power off the Virtual Machine.  Then repeat previous step to start the Virtual Machine again.



Example: Windows 7 Advanced Boot Options Screen – Safe Mode selected
• From the Advanced Boot Options screen select option for “Safe Mode”
• Once the Virtual Machine boots in Safe Mode we will want to access msconfig by click Start > Run > msconfig


          Example: Virtual Machine hosted within Virtual Box starting msconfig
• From msconfig click tab entitled “Services”.
• Click checkbox entitled “Hide all Microsoft services”.
• Select “Disable all” button.


Please Note: The “Virtual Box Guest Additions service” used for Virtual Drivers and is installed on the production machine during the ShadowSnap Agent installation will not be impacted by these steps.  It will still start up when the Virtual Machine is rebooted.

• Reboot the machine.  It should be much faster to boot fully into the Virtual Environment with live networking enabled.

We hope this was helpful in teaching you what to do when the Datto SIRIS VM boot-up time is lagged. If you need further assistance, please contact Invenio IT Support.

Dale Shulmistra is a Business Continuity Specialist at Invenio IT, responsible for shaping the company’s technology initiatives -- selecting, designing, implementing & supporting business continuity solutions to bolster client operational efficiencies and eliminate downtime.