After the VMWare “cloning” experiment (posted yesterday) appeared to work, I’ve finally got the cloned Windows 7 VMWare machine files onto an offline (non-networked) Server 2008 R2 machine… registered it… and the vm went into perpetual reboot (but no “Launch startup repair”… options). F8 didn’t work. I could get into the BIOS, but that was no help. So- after seeing an error in one of the VM’s log files about Virtualisation not being enable in the host machine, I rebooted, turned Intel VT on in the BIOS, waited for the server to boot and started up the Remote Console for the previously faulty machine. Now it started giving automated startup repair options, but then said it couldn’t repair the guest. So… after giving up on any form of repair, I rebooted the guest and it booted fine… except that it started configuring updates.
The only 2 things I can think that could fix a similar situation are: (1) turn any host virtualisation technology on in the BIOS or (2) don’t try cloning a machine that is waiting for automatic updates to be configured after rebooting from update installation.