VMware: Windows Guest VM does not boot due to Error 0xc000186 ntoskrnl.exe


in some circumstances a Windows guest VM does not boot and stops with Error:

  • Stoperror: 0xc000186
  • Boot critical file C:\windows\system32\ntoskrnl.exe is corrupt.


This error occures when:

  • ESXi in version 6.0
  • Windows VM is configered to boot in UEFI Mode
  • Some specific Storagesystems were used, heard from such issues with PureStorage and EMC XtremIO

Resolution is to set the DiskMaxIOSize to 4MiB and reboot your ESXi host(s). With PowerCli

PS D:> Get-AdvancedSetting -Entity yourESXiHost -Name Disk.DiskMaxIOSize | Set-AdvancedSetting -Value 4096 -Confirm:$false


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4 thoughts on “VMware: Windows Guest VM does not boot due to Error 0xc000186 ntoskrnl.exe”

  1. Hi,
    I also have this Problem on ESXi 6.5 and a pure storage System. I changed the value to 4096 but I still have the bluescreen. I installes Windows 10 64bit. Any more ideas on this error?

    1. Hi Chris,

      do you have rebooted your host? I’m on ESXi 6.0 with PureStorage since I changed it the issue is gone.


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