Every so often, one of my Vista VMs locks up on me. Typically it's during shutdown, but this morning it was actually during bootup. The normal Virtual Machine menu options Shut Down Guest and Restart Guest don't help at this point, because those are equivalent to clicking the Windows Start menu and selecting Shut down or Restart, and with Windows already locked up, that action doesn't do anything. And suspending the VM doesn't help, because when the VM's state is restored, so is its "locked up" condition.
All I wanted was a way to power-cycle my VM: force a shutdown just like pulling the plug. I finally discovered how to do this: After selecting the Virtual Machine menu, hold down the Option key. This changes two menu items:
- Shutdown Guest becomes Power Off. This is equivalent to yanking the power cord.
- Restart Guest becomes Reset. This is equivalent to yanking the power cord, plugging it back in, and restarting the machine.