When new sessions are started, either via Microsoft RDP of Citrix ICA, they are disconnected within seconds. This applies to normal users and users with administrative privileges. This problem is caused by a chain of events. One components crash leads to an ungraceful shutdown of other components leaving a garbage configuration, preventing new connections.
When Microsoft Windows systems are virtualized with VMware ESX or Workstation, WMware Tools is installed. When the VMware tools are installed with the Complete option, the shared folders option is enabled. This feature is not enabled when you install VMware tools with the Typical option.
The shared folder feature is not supported by ESX or GSX server and causes problems on Terminal Servers. The file hgfs.dat is opened by the VMware Tools with exclusive acces, which prevents the profile from getting deleted.
Recently I wrote a few articles about the problems with printer drivers in a multi-user environment. In the past weeks I’ve been troubleshooting a problem with Citrix servers who randomly hang, without any clear cause.
The source of all problems was a classic issue, bad printer drivers.
So what happened?
This can be seen through different eyes, and different perspective. The end-user, administrator and the consultant.
A few days ago I wrote an article about the issues with printer drivers in a multiuser environment. In this article I advised you to test you’re printer drivers in a acceptance environment, preferably with real users testing. This can be achieved with a LoadTest / StressTest tool like the Denamik LoadGen, which is free up to 25 users. And since testing with 10 users is enough to stress a driver, there’s no need to buy a license.
Today I would like to tell you how this is done, step-by-step.
We’re going to try to use the printer environment as realistic as possible, but where focusing on the worst case scenario. Because where trying to find out whether the printer driver is functioning correct when multiple users are printing, where going to simulate that a number of users are printing to printers using the same printer driver.
If you’re familiar with the challenges of printer drivers in a multiuser environemnt you can skip the first part of this post.
The challenge of printer drivers in a multiuser environment
The first terminal server implementation i’ve done was a Windows NT 4 Terminal Server. This is where i’ve learned (the hard way) that printer drivers and a multiuser enviroment is a snake pit. Finding the right driver for the printer is a difficult job which was done by trial-and-error.