Monday, December 19, 2011

October 2011 Article For TechNet Magazine: Undertanding RD Web Access

This is an article I wrote for TechNet Magazine on understanding RD Web Access. It was published in October 2011:

September 2011 Article for TechNet Magazine: Understanding RD Connection Broker

This is an article I wronte for TechNet Magazine in September 2011 on understanding RD Connection Broker:

August 2011 Article For TechNet Magazine: Understanding VDI

This is an article I wrote for TechNet Magaizne published in August 2011 on understanding VDI:

New Article: Windows Server 2008 R2: Remote Desktop Services - An Owner’s Manual

I have een writing a series of aarticles for TechNet Magazine and it finally dawned on me to put links to the articles on my log (DUH!)

Here is a link to the first one from July 2011: Windows Server 2008 R2: Remote Desktop Services - An Owner’s Manual

This article is about session delivery using RD Session Host server, and some general ideas reagarding licensing, and RemoteApps vs. full desktop sessions.

Sunday, November 6, 2011

Can't Run AD on RDVH machine. That sucks for labs..


I purposefully run AD on a RDVH machine to cut down on the amount of physical machines I need running. I also run AD virtually, but if I do this only, if the hosting machine reboots (and sometimes it has to) and the AD VM does not come up fast enough, this causes problems across my network. So I loaded it on the physical server, which happens to also host a bunch of other VMs, and happens to run RDVH.

Its not a huge deal, I can always stand up another box. I just don't want to HAVE to. Boo, Hiss...

Tuesday, July 26, 2011

Unable to add VMs to a pool in RD Connection Manager on RD Connection Broker - no VMs appear

Today when I tried to start up a Remote Desktop Services Pooled VM, I got the following message:

This correlated with the following Event ID on the RD Connection Broker:
  • Log Name:      Microsoft-Windows-TerminalServices-SessionBroker/Operational
  • Source:        Microsoft-Windows-TerminalServices-SessionBroker
  • Date:          7/26/2011 1:37:28 PM
  • Event ID:      802
  • Task Category: RD Connection Broker processes connection request
  • Level:         Error
  • Keywords:     
  • User:          NETWORK SERVICE
  • Computer:      PYRAMID.ash.local
  • Description:
  • RD Connection Broker failed to process the connection request for user ASH\kristin.
  • Farm name specified in user's RDP file (hints) could not be found.
  • HRESULT = 0x88130018.
On the RD Virtualization Host server, I got this event log error in the application log:
  • Log Name:      Application
  • Source:        Microsoft-Windows-WMI
  • Date:          7/26/2011 1:46:07 PM
  • Event ID:      5605
  • Task Category: None
  • Level:         Warning
  • Keywords:      Classic
  • User:          N/A
  • Computer:      ROCKY.ash.local
  • Description:
  • The root\cimv2\TerminalServices namespace is marked with the RequiresEncryption flag. Access to this namespace might be denied if the script or application does not have the appropriate authentication level. Change the authentication level to Pkt_Privacy and run the script or application again.
On the RD Connection Broker, I removed and re-added the RD Virtualization Host server that houses the VMs for the VM pool was trying to access. I got a dialog box telling me that the "RDS hyper-v agent service was stopped" and the VMs for that virtualization host server would ont be available until it was started.

I naturally looked in the Services.msc to start the stopped service but it was not there. At least not listed as such.


I stopped and restarted the following services on the RD Virtualization Host server:

  • Hyper-V Virtual Machine Management
  • Remote Desktop Virtualization Host Agent (a dependant service)
  • RemoteFX Session Licensing (a dependant service)
Issue solved.


Sunday, July 24, 2011

Screensaver (and screen power off option) does not activate on Windows 2008 R2

This also is not RDS specific but I am glad it’s now fixed so I am going to share it. An issue I had with my Windows 20008 R2 64bit laptop was that the screen saver would not start. I did find out (through trial and error) that if I run the screensaver (c:\windows\system32\bubbles.scr) from the RUN box, it comes on, and when I move my mouse, it goes away. So at least I had a workaround to needing to walk away from my laptop and not have my desktop stuff burned onto the screen over time. However, this is stupid and painful. I just want a silly screensaver to work!!!
Thankfully I found this:
I installed the latest Intellipoint software, as I do use a Microsoft optical mouse. This fixed my screensaver issue.

Incidentally, the screen now also turns off after the specified amount of time, whereas before I installed the latest Intellipoint, this power saving feature did not work.

Cannot Use Sleep Mode on Windows 2008 R2 With Hyper-V

This is not RDS specific but it is annoying. I have a laptop on which I run Windows Server 2008 R2. I use this laptop to run Hyper-V and VMs so I can do demos and testing. I also use this laptop for personal use. I would like to be able to take advantage of power settings like sleep mode, but because I run the Hyper-V hypervisor, I cannot (see:

Here is a way around it: turn off the hypervisor when you boot by making a “no hypervisor” boot option.

IMPORTANT: THIS IS NOT SUPPORTED!!! (but it works for me):
1. At the command prompt, type the following: bcdedit /copy {default} /d "No Hypervisor"
         (this creates the extra boot option).

     The above command should say: The entry was successfully copied to {guid}.

3. Copy that guid to the clipboard including the brackets.

4. Now, type the following command: bcdedit /set {PLACE-GUID-HERE} hypervisorlaunchtype off 
         (this stops the hypervisor from running)
Now when you boot, you can use Sleep mode.

Monday, July 18, 2011

Using Wildcard Certificate and UCC certificates for RD Session Host server farms (2008 R2 SP1)

This is an update to a previous post I did regarding certificates for RDS. It used to be (in 2008, and 2008 R2) that you could not use wildcard or UCC for RD Session Host farm servers. This has changed.

Since installing 2008 R2 SP1, I have again tested securing RDSH farm servers using a wildcard certificate and a UCC certificate, and now I get no errors!

Example: I used a wildcard certificate (* for securing RD Gateway, securing the RDWA website, all RDSH farm servers, and for RemoteApp signing, and I now get no errors.

I have not been able to confirm exactly what change has been made by Microsoft but SOMEthing has definitely changed to make using wildcard and UCC certificates for RDSH farm servers work.

Monday, July 11, 2011

RDS certificate issue - The certificate is not valid for this usage

If you have purchased a certificate for use with RDS, and after you install it you get the error: 'The certificate is not valid for this usage', check to see if your certificate has a long certificate chain ( multiple intermediate CAs in the chain).

If it does, then get the public CA to re-issue a certificate to you that has a shorter chain (like, one root and one intermediary).

Friday, April 29, 2011

Book Review: Getting Started with Microsoft Application Virtualization 4.6 by Augusto Alvarez

For those of you just getting started with App-V 4.6, the following book, Getting Started with Microsoft Appilcation Virtualization 4.6 by Augusto Alvarez is a decent source for information.

Although the copy editors leave something to be desired (many misspellings etc.) here are the positives:

· The book did not take its own user’s manual to get through. It was easy to read, and follow.

· I have gone through the book and followed the instructions for setting up a basic environment and they work. Using this book as a guide you will be able to setup a working lab, and publish basic applications to App-V clients.

· There is a good example of how to complete a more complex publishing scenario - Office 2010, which will give you more insight into what can be involved in publishing more intricate apps.

· The book offers some setup “best practices” that are not intuitive so pay attention and follow the directions!

It’s also worth mentioning that the three tech editors are all Microsoft MVP’s for App-V, so it’s been vetted by the folks that really know their stuff.

Nice work Augusto!

Friday, April 15, 2011

Hotfix for Annoying Wrong Office Icon Appearing in Remote Desktop Session

An incorrect program icon appears on the task bar in a remote desktop session that is running in Windows 7 or in Windows Server 2008 R2

This was last updated 2 days ago. I hope it fixes many people's issue!! Be sure to provide feedback as to if it helped so Microsoft can improve!

Thursday, March 24, 2011

Setup of XP Pooled VM clients for RemoteApp for Hyper-V:

Recently I setup a test bed for a client so that they could test out using pooled VMs to run a Great Plains FRX client that hooked to a Great Plains database back end.

The reason they chose to go this route was that the FRX client did not run on 2008 R2. So if we went with classic terminal services they would have had to use a 2003 Terminal Server, which we saw no reason to go back to now that they have licensing for 2008 R2 RDS.

In the end they will stand up 10 (or so) XP VMs, that will work as pooled VMs. They will also take advantage of RemoteApp for Hyper-V as a way to give access to the FRX client application. Here are my quick setup notes for the pooled VMs running XP (steps are done in order!)

For this example, I started with a base of an XP VM, fully patched, SP3, and added to a domain.
Windows Registry Editor Version 5.00

[HKEY_LOCAL_MACHINE\SOFTWARE\Microsoft\Windows NT\CurrentVersion\Terminal Server\TsAppAllowList]

[HKEY_LOCAL_MACHINE\SOFTWARE\Microsoft\Windows NT\CurrentVersion\Terminal Server\TsAppAllowList\RemoteDesktops]

[HKEY_LOCAL_MACHINE\SOFTWARE\Microsoft\Windows NT\CurrentVersion\Terminal Server\TsAppAllowList\RemoteDesktops\TSRemoteDesktop]
"Name"="Remote Desktop"
  •  Run script:
  • Make sure Firewall exceptions were made (by the script) or the firewall is turned off.
  • Add appropriate Users Group to the local Remote Desktop Users group (enable remote access for this group) Also add any other admin type user or admin group that you want to have remote access.
  • Create RDP file (set the computer name to be the name of the redirector) and then edit these lines to match:
Alternate shell:s:rdpinit.exe
  • Then add the following lines (this test opens Notepad, so customize to your environment):
RemoteApplicationName:s: Remote Notepad Test
Prompt for Credentials on Client:i:1
  • Save the RDP File. 
  • Set this policy on the OU:
Computer Configuration | Policies | Admin Templates | Windows Components | Remote Desktop Services | Remote Desktop Session host | Session Time Limits | Set The time for disconnected sessions
  •  Reboot the XP VM so the GPO takes effect.
  • Shut down the VM - make sure it shuts down cleanly!.
  • Take a snapshot in Hyper-V
  • Rename the snapshot: RDV_Rollback
  • From a test client , test RemoteApp for Hyper-V, and access to the pool from RD Web Access.
  • If you sign your custom made RDP files, then make sure the client you test from trusts the CA cert used to sign the signing cert.
  • If you use RD Web Access, make sure the client you test from trusts the CA cert used to sign the SSL cert that the website uses.

Wednesday, February 23, 2011