Sometimes when performing exchange server updates after rebooting the server it will hang on ‘Getting Windows Ready’ then sometimes when logging in it may lock up again and become unresponsive.
This is a common issue with Exchange 2013 and Windows Server 2012 R2 Operating System.

Follow the guide below to resolve this issue.

I restarted VM few times, but the Exchange Server VM was unusable.


The best solution is to enter Boot Menu and run VM in Safe Mode.
For this we have to boot VM from Windows Server 2012 R2 ISO and instead of Install option, we select Repair your computer.
After selecting Troubleshoot, we enter Command Prompt.

We enable Boot Menu on our Windows Server 2012 R2 OS of Exchange Server VM by entering commands:
bcdedit /set {bootmgr} displaybootmenu yes
bcdedit /set {bootmgr} timeout 15

After VM reboot, we can enter Boot Menu by pressing F8 and select Safe Mode option.


In Safe Mode Exchange Server VM starts without problems.

Go into Services and disable all Exchange Services on VM (by changing Start-up Type of services to Manual). After this reboot the VM in normal way and machine will start.
Re-enable Exchange Services again (by changing Start-up Type of services to Automatic) and reboot VM.

The Exchange Server should now boot up straight away without being stuck at the ‘Getting Windows Ready’ screen