I have a Windows XP VM running on ESX 3.5 update 3, after a power failure on the ESX I powered back the VM, but after the Windows logo comes up and the progress bar moves for about 10 seconds, the screen resizes (like when it boots normally) and then goes black. I can click on the screen without locking or loosing the mouse, but nothing else happens.
I tried to boot it on safe mode but the same thing occurs, black screen with a legend at the top of the window indicating the machine is running on safe mode.
The state of the VM is ON, but vmware-tools is not running as seen by executing vmware-cmd gettoolslastactive from the service console.
It looks like the VM is running but the video is screwed up and I cannot do anything to the VM. I didn't see any errors on the vmware.log for the VM.
There were another 2 Windows XP VMs running when the power outage occurred but they came up fine after I powered them on.
Any help is highly appreciated.
Just for everyone benefit:
I discovered that the problem happens when after a power failure I rollback my VM to one of the snapshots I periodically take (scheduled through the service console). These snapshots are taken without active state.
After doing some investigation I change the power options on my Windows XP VMs to never turn off the monitor, and I have not faced the problem again in 3 months.
I cannot completely explain why the power option change might prevent me to run into the same black screen situation but it seems to have solved the issue.