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Windows 10 Enterprise - Upgrade "succeeded" but no docker vm is created, "docker desktop is starting..."

I had a previously working Docker installation on my Windows 10 Enterprise (1809) laptop (not VM) using Hyper-V.

I was prompted to install an update yesterday to This ran an apparently succeeded without any issues

  • Installer said installation succeeded
  • No errors found install log.

Then when I ran Docker for Desktop, the taskbar icon stayed animating with “Docker desktop is starting…”. After waiting for 10 minutes or so, I checked out Hyper-V. There was no VM created for Docker, nor was there a DockerNAT vSwitch.

I have tried uninstalling and re-installing the same version.
I then tried removing Hyper-V (reboot x2), then renabling Hyper-V (reboot x 2) and re-installing Docker for Desktop - still the same, no VM and “Docker Desktop is starting…”.

I then upgraded, same process, install succeeded according to installer, nothing in install log. Alas same problems, no VM, “Docker Desktop is starting…”

There appear to be no error messages in any of the docker log files in %appdata%, %localappdata%, %userprofile% or %programdata%.

I even tried an uninstall, manually deleting the docker and docker desktop directories in all of these locations followed by a reboot, then a clean install. Still the same issue :frowning:

Any suggestions?

I have finally managed to locate the cause of the issue.

My company uses AppLocker to restrict which applications can be run, it appears to be blocking C:\ProgramData\Docker\cli-plugins\docker-mutagen.exe mutagen daemon run from running.

I have a separate account that isn’t subject to AppLocker restrictions, running Docker Desktop as that user account gets it running fine :slight_smile:

Download the Docker Desktop for Windows executable from : Open the installer executable when the download has completed. This will launch the Windows User Account (UAC) window shown below. Click Yes to allow the installation to continue.


Wait for the installer to download packages : The next window you’ll see will be that of the Docker Installer as it downloads the necessary packages.


Accept the default configuration : Click OK on the configuration window.


Wait for the installer to complete : The installer will begin unpacking files and installing Docker to your computer.


When the installation has completed, you will see the ‘Installation succeeded’ window. Click Close.


Open Docker from your Start Menu. Docker does not start automatically after installation. To start it, search for Docker, select Docker Desktop for Windows in the search results, and click it (or hit Enter).


If your computer does not have HyperV enabled, you will see the Docker Window below asking you if you would like to enable it. Select Ok.


Docker will now enable Hyper-V for you and if needed restart your machine. If you use the VirtualBox virtualization solution, after Hyper-V is enabled, VirtualBox will no longer work, but any VirtualBox VM images will remain. If you are unsure if you use VirtualBox, you most likely do not.

Your computer will likely shutdown and restart, perhaps even more than once in order to get Hyper-V and virtualization setup. You will know it has completed the setup process when you are presented with your Windows Login screen.

Log in to Windows and wait for Docker to start-up. By default, Docker is set to run when at Start -up. You should see a notification message that states that “Docker Desktop is starting…” on your taskbar.


When setup is complete, you the notification message will inform you that “Docker Desktop is running”.


When the “Docker Desktop is running” message above appears or the whale in the status bar stays steady, Docker is up-and-running, and accessible from any terminal window (e.g, Command Prompt, PowerShell).