September, 2013

  • Performance Monitor Averages, the Right Way and the Wrong Way

    Performance Monitor (perfmon) is the preferred tool to measure the performance of Windows systems.  The perfmon tool provides an analysis view with a chart and metrics of the Last, Average, Minimum, and Maximum values.   There are scenarios ...read more
  • Duplicate Windows Folders

    Hello my name is Shasank and today I am going to discuss a customer issue that we recently worked on where a customer reported that Windows Explorer was displaying two Windows directories and Windows Explorer (or powershell) could not remove the folder. For example:

    clip_image001

    Both folders had the same content.  This extra \Windows folder was created by the Windows Search Service based on this DataDirectory registry key:

    clip_image003

    It was determined that an administrator had configured the following group policy for Windows Search Indexer Data Location


    It was set to c:\windows search.  When the Windows Search service saw this registry key it created a Windows folder with a trailing space as shown in the following from NTFSI output

         FRS     1568 <DIR> "Windows"     //This is the original windows folder

         FRS      78b <DIR> "Windows  "  //This is the folder created by Windows Search that has the trailing space.

    If we used dir /x to view the 8.3 names we could see the following:

    clip_image004

    We were able to finally remove the directory using one of the following commands:

    rd C:\window~1

    rd "\\?\C:\Windows “


    Hope this helps if you ever encounter an issue like this.  Thanks


    Shasank Prasad
    Senior Support Escalation Engineer
    Microsoft Customer Service & Support

  • RD Licensing Configuration on Windows Server 2012

    Good morning AskPerf! Today we are going to discuss the steps in installing/configuring Windows Server 2012 Remote Desktop Services Licensing in your environment using various available options.

    Adding a new License Server in a new Deployment

    Let us assume that you already have created a Remote Desktop Services Deployment. You have a Session Based Collection and a Virtual Desktop based collection as per your business requirement. Now, you have introduced a new Server in the domain that will serve as a License Server for Remote Desktop Services.

    Before you configure Licensing on any Remote Desktop Server Session Host or Virtualization Host server, the RD Licensing Diagnoser looks like below. To open RD Licensing Diagnoser, Click Tools, go to Terminal Services and click RD Licensing Diagnoser.


    clip_image002

    The image below shows that the RD Session Host Server RDS1.contoso.com neither has a Licensing mode configured nor there is a License server configured for it.

    In the RD Licensing Diagnoser Information section, it will throw 2 warning(s): 
    1. The licensing mode for the Remote Desktop Session Host server is not configured.
    2. The Remote Desktop Session Host server is within its grace period, but the RD Session Host server has not been configured with any license server.

    clip_image004

    Configuring Windows Server 2012 Remote Desktop Services Licensing involves 2 step process.  

    Note Make sure that the new License Server is already added to the Server Pool on the RD Connection Broker Server before you add it to the deployment.
    1. Configuring the Deployment Settings
    a. In the Server manager RDMS console Overview page, click on clip_image006 to add a License server which is already added to the domain

    clip_image008

    b. In the ‘Add RD Licensing Servers’ applet choose the server that you want to add to the deployment from the Server Pool and click Next


    clip_image010

    c. Click on Add on the Confirmation page and click Add

    d. If the Licensing Role Service is not already installed, the Wizard will install the role, reboot the system if required and add it to the Deployment.

    clip_image012

    e. Once done, the Overview page will look like this

    clip_image014

    Adding the License server to the deployment will not automatically configure the RD Session Host server or the RD Virtualization Host servers with the Licensing mode type or point them to the License server in the deployment that you just added. To configure them you need to follow below steps.

    2. Configuring the Licensing Mode.
    a. In deployment Overview page, select on Tasks and click ‘Edit Deployment Properties’

    clip_image015

    b. In the ‘Deployment properties’ applet, click on the ‘RD Licensing’ page. Here you will see the License server is already added i.e., License.contoso.com in our case, however, the Licensing mode is not selected. Choose the appropriate Licensing mode. Click Apply and OK to exit the wizard.


    clip_image017

    c. At this stage the License server is installed, added to the deployment and mode is configured. However, the Licenses are yet to be installed. On the Session Host server or on the RD Virtualization host server License Diagnoser will show up as below

    clip_image019

    d. Once you have installed the required Licenses and Activated the License server, the console will look something like below

    clip_image021

    e. Also make sure to check License Configuration and that there are no Warnings with respect to configuration. The License Server should be part of ‘Terminal Server License’ group in Active Directory Domain Services.

    clip_image022


    clip_image024

    f. On the RD Session Host server if you rerun the Diagnoser, you will see that the server now recognizes the License server the CAL type.

    clip_image026

    Adding an existing License Server in a new RDS deployment

    In this scenario, let us assume that you already have an existing License server with all the required licenses installed. You just deployed a RDS deployment and created a collection. You, now want to use the same License server in your environment for the new deployment.

    The steps are exactly the same as “2. Configuring the Licensing Mode” above.

    In the ‘Deployment properties’ applet, click on the ‘RD Licensing’ page. In the text box specify the Licensing server name with complete FQDN and then click Add. Choose the appropriate Licensing mode ‘Per device’ or ‘Per User’. Click Apply and OK to exit the wizard.


    clip_image015[1]

    clip_image027

    Rest of the steps are similar and should be followed as applicable.

    Configuring License server manually

    There might be situation when you want to configure License server on the RD Session Host or on the RD Virtualization Host manually since you do not have any RD Connection Broker in your environment. You have already configured RD Session Host server or Virtualization Host Server as required and now you want to configure the License server which is already installed and configured with licenses. All you are left to do is configure the License Server and the Licensing mode on the corresponding RD session Host or Virtualization Host servers.

    Note The following commands must be ran from an Administrative PowerShell prompt.

    To configure the license server on RDSH/RDVH:

    $obj = gwmi -namespace "Root/CIMV2/TerminalServices" Win32_TerminalServiceSetting

    $obj.SetSpecifiedLicenseServerList("License.contoso.com")

    Note “License” is the name of the License Server in the environment

    To verify the license server configuration on RDSH/RDVH:

    $obj = gwmi -namespace "Root/CIMV2/TerminalServices" Win32_TerminalServiceSetting

    $obj.GetSpecifiedLicenseServerList()

    To change the licensing mode on RDSH/RDVH:

    $obj = gwmi -namespace "Root/CIMV2/TerminalServices" Win32_TerminalServiceSetting

    $obj.ChangeMode(value) - Value can be 2 - per Device, 4 - Per user

    To validate the licensing mode:

    $obj = gwmi -namespace "Root/CIMV2/TerminalServices" Win32_TerminalServiceSetting

    $obj. LicensingType

    $obj.LicensingName

    Configuring license server using Group Policy

    Per your design requirements you can also configure License Server using Group Policy in your environment.
    The policy is located here:


    Computer Configuration\Policies\Administrative Templates\Windows Components\Remote Desktop Services\Remote Desktop Session Host\Licensing\


    “Use the specified Remote Desktop license servers” – Provide the FQDN of the license servers to use

    Set the Remote Desktop licensing mode – Specify the ‘per user’ or ‘per device’ licensing types.

    Known issue with RD Licensing Diagnoser:

    You may receive an error “Licenses are not available for this Remote Desktop Session Host server, and RD Licensing Diagnoser has identified licensing problems for the RD Session Host Server”

    In the RD Licensing Diagnoser Information Section, will show the possible cause and its remediation.

    clip_image029

    To make sure that the License Diagnoser runs successfully, you need administrator privileges on the license server.

    clip_image030

    Additional Resources

  • Heads up: New Servicing Stack Update for Windows RT, Windows 8, and Server 2012

    Hello AskPerf.  Another quick post to alert you of a new update for the Servicing Stack, which is very important for Remote Desktop Services.  Previously, installing the Remote Desktop Services role and Active Directory Domain Services role on Windows Server 2012 was not supported.  This is now supported after installing the update below, along with a few other improvements.

    A servicing stack update is available for Windows RT, Windows 8, and Windows Server 2012: September 2013

    -Blake

  • RTM bits now available on MSDN/TechNet for Win8.1 & Server 2012 R2

    Hello folks,

    We have just announced the availability of Windows 8.1 RTM and Windows Server 2012 R2 on MSDN and TechNet.  Please see the following “Official” blog for more information on downloading these bits.

    Getting Windows 8.1 RTM bits

    Attention TechNet and MSDN Subscribers: Windows Server 2012 R2 available for download today

    As an FYI, we will be publishing a Mini-Blog Series of some new features in these updates.  These blogs will be published around General Availability.

    Till then….happy upgrading!

    -Blake

  • Heads up on a new TechNet Blog you may find useful

    Hello Folks, this is a quick post to inform you of a new TechNet blog that is now available.  For the past year or so, our own Robert Mitchell has been sending us “Tips of the Day” to our inbox, which are very informative.  These quick tips are not only useful, but only require a few minutes to read.  Check out his first post entitled “The Beginning” to get a small backstory on its roots.

    Tip of the Day

    -Blake

  • ResAvail Pages and Working Sets

    Hello everyone, I'm Ray and I'm here to talk a bit about a dump I recently looked at and a little-referenced memory counter called ResAvail Pages (resident available pages).   The problem statement was:  The server hangs after a while.   ...read more