Problem: VMware frozen in the “Windows shutting down” screen (OS X)

I am running VMware version 2.0.2 and Windows XP on Mac OS 10.5.6. Today, a problem has developed in which the program is frozen in the “Windows is shutting down” screen. This screen is what comes up after I close Fusion and restart it, as well as after I power off and on my MacBook Pro. I can’t get to any of the Windows XP screens to do anything within Windows. I have a feling that this occurred after Windows downloaded an update and was in the process of restarting itself. I would appreciate any suggestions.

Note: This is like pulling the plug from the wall on a Physical Computer. Anything not saved will be lost and there is always the possibility of corrupting the Filesystem when preforming a Hard Shutdown! (Although you may have no other choice but to do this.)

VMware Fusion menu bar > Virtual Machine > press the option key and select Power Off.

Pressing the alt/option key changes “Shutdown Guest” to “Power Off”.

Note: It also changes the “Suspend Guest” and “Restart Guest” commands too.

* Or if that doesn’t work then… on the Virtual Machine Library ctrl-click the target Virtual Machine and select Show in Finder and the ctrl-click the target Virtual Machine Package and then after closing Fusion delete the .vmss file. Note: Anything that was not saved from the suspended state will be lost by deleting the .vmss file. Note: However you may have not other choice is the Virtual Machine will not suspend/unsuspend/shutdown/start properly.

Solution was originally posted at by WoodyZ on Feb 26, 2009.



  1. Alex Katz
    Posted August 10, 2010 at 5:27 pm | Permalink

    I am running VMWare 3.1.0 and my computer got stuck on “Windows is shutting down.” I saw an instruction to hold down “option” in the “Virtual Machine” menu, but this version of VM does not have an option button. What can I do?

    • Gnocchi
      Posted August 10, 2010 at 6:01 pm | Permalink

      Hi Alex,

      The Option button is on your keyboard, between the Control and Command buttons. You need to press this Option button to change the “Shutdown Guest” to “Power Off”, then click on “Power Off”.

      Hope that helps!


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