Archive for October, 2009

New features in the Remote Desktop Client RDC 7.0

October 27, 2009 Leave a comment
The RDC 7.0 client update contains the following new features.
The RDC 7.0 client can be used to connect to legacy terminal servers or to remote desktops as before. However, the new features that are mentioned in this article are available only when the client connects to a remote computer that is running Windows 7 or Windows Server 2008 R2

Web Single Sign-On (SSO) and Web forms-based authentication

Remote Desktop (RD) Web Access now uses forms-based authentication to improve the user experience. Web SSO makes sure that after a user is logged on, no additional passwords are required for RD Gateway, RD Session Host servers and RemoteApp programs.
For security, Web SSO requires remote applications to be signed using a certificate from a trusted issuer.

Access to personal virtual desktops by using RD Connection Broker

Users can access personal virtual desktops when they use the new Remote Desktop Virtualization Host in Windows Server 2008 R2. Personal desktops are assigned to users on a one-to-one basis and maintain state over time.

Access to virtual desktop pools by using RD Connection Broker

Users can access virtual desktop pools when they use the new Remote Desktop Virtualization Host in Windows Server 2008 R2. Pooled desktops are shared between multiple users, and all changes a user makes are typically rolled back when the user logs off.

Status & disconnect system tray icon

A single system tray icon enables users to see all of their remote connections. The user can disconnect all or individual connections that use this icon. The icon appears only when opening RDP connections which are associated with a RemoteApp and Desktop Connection feed.

RD Gateway-based device redirection enforcement

In Windows Server 2008, it was possible for non-Microsoft Remote Desktop clients to override the gateway device redirection controls. In Windows Server 2008 R2, device redirection settings are defined in RD Gateway and can be configured not to be overridden.

RD Gateway system and logon messages

System and logon messages can be added to RD Gateway and displayed to the remote desktop user. System messages can be used to inform users of server maintenance issues such as shutdowns and restarts. Logon messages can be used to display a logon notice to users before they gain access to remote resources.

RD Gateway background authorization & authentication

Background authentication and authorization requests are performed after a configured session timeout is reached. Sessions for users whose property information has not changed are not affected, and authentication and authorization requests are sent in the background.

RD Gateway idle & session time-outs

Configurable idle and session time-outs with RD Gateway provide better control of users who connect through RD Gateway. An idle time-out lets the user reclaim resources that are used by inactive user sessions without affecting the user’s session or data. This helps free up resources on the RD Gateway server.

NAP remediation with RD Gateway

NAP remediation allows you to manage remote clients by updating them with the latest software updates and settings. This helps keep remote clients in compliance with network security policies.

Windows Media Player redirection

Windows Media Player Redirection enables content hosted in Windows Media Player to be redirected to the client for decoding on users’ computers. This improves the quality of the video and makes sure that video and audio are always in sync. This works for both full Windows Media Player and Windows Media Player controls hosted in Web pages.

Bidirectional audio

You can redirect audio recording devices such as microphones on the client computer. This is ideal for applications such as Windows 7 voice recognition, and applications that record audio.

Multiple monitor support

In Windows Vista and in Windows Server 2008, Terminal Services supported only monitor spanning. Remote Desktop Services now includes multiple monitor support for up to 16 monitors, and works for both Remote Desktop and RemoteApp programs.
Note For connections with multiple monitor support enabled, AeroGlass support is currently not supported and will be turned off.

Enhanced video playback

Bitmap acceleration improves the remote display of graphics-intensive applications such as PowerPoint, Flash, and Silverlight.

Functionality available only when connecting from Windows 7 to Windows 2008 R2

Language Bar docking

RemoteApp allows users to use their docked Language Bar with their RemoteApp applications just as they do with the local applications.
This productive functionality was previously unavailable. Instead, users had to use the floating Language bar.

Remote application task scheduler

Remote application task scheduler functionality automatically starts remote applications on the Remote Desktop client required by the user. The client computer must have Windows 7 installed to use this feature.

Aero Glass support

Terminal Services in Windows Server 2008 did not support Aero Glass remoting for sessions. This is now supported in Windows Server 2008 R2 Remote Desktop Services, but is incompatible with multi-monitor support.

Start applications and desktops from ‘RemoteApp and Desktop Connections

Users can subscribe to all of their RemoteApp programs and desktops which are then listed in their local Start menu. The list is automatically updated as items are added or deleted

Categories: Windows 7

SCVMM : Windows 7 Template Creation Error : –2147024864

October 27, 2009 Leave a comment
if you got the error :  –2147024864 when using sysprep to create a Windows 7 Template in SCVMM, the workaround is to stop the Windows Media Sharing service before executing sysprep.  Once the service is stopped, you will be able to sysprep the Windows 7 VM and successfully create a template. 

Here are the Release Notes from the RC that discusses this issue.  It’s about half way down under the System Preparation Tool section

Remember :  To create the template, the local admin password must be blank.  (no pawword). This might require modification of the local security policy or overriding a domain security policy.
The easy way (using SCVMM) is to build your VM, with a blank administrator password.  Power it off. Right click and choose the template option.

SCVMM takes care of applying sysprep.

Categories: Virtualization

Moving R2 differencing disk to Windows Server 2008 : Need Hotfix

October 17, 2009 Leave a comment

Hotfix needed to move R2 differencing disk to Windows Server 2008


In Windows Server 2008 R2 there was a minor change to the format of differencing virtual hard disks.  As a result you will need to apply an update to Windows Server 2008 if you want to move differencing disks from Windows Server 2008 R2 to Windows Server 2008.

You can download this update from here:

Note that this applies to Windows Server 2008 and Windows Server 2008 SP2 (not to Windows Server 2008 R2).  If you do not have this update installed and you try to use a differencing disk created with Windows Server 2008 R2 you will receive an error message that states that the virtual hard disk is corrupted or unreadable.

Posted by Ben ( Virtual PC Guy )

Categories: Virtualization

Remote Desktop Load Simulation Tools : VDI Deployment sizing tool

October 16, 2009 Leave a comment
The Remote Desktop Load Simulation toolset is used for server capacity planning and performance/scalability analysis.

In a server-based computing environment, all application execution and data processing occur on the server.

Therefore it is extremely interesting to test the scalability and capacity of servers to determine how many client sessions a server can typically support under a variety of different scenarios.
One of the most reliable ways to find out the number or users a server can support for a particular scenario is to log on a large number of users on the server simultaneously.
The Remote Desktop Load Simulation tools provide the functionality which makes it possible to generate the required user load on the server.
Categories: Virtualization

Storage. New version of StarWind allow Cluster Failover Active-Active

October 14, 2009 Leave a comment
for who is using StarWind in Live Migration Scenarios, there’s a new version of StarWind comming : 5.0, that allow you to configure an Active-Active 2 Node storage cluster which ensures a highly reliable and fault tolerant storage
StarWind Enterprise HA 5.0 ensure that your data is accessible and online in the event of a site failure. The High Availability edition uses Synchronous Data Mirroring with Active-Active Automated Failover and Failback technology, allowing the storage to continue operating properly in the event of a failure.


Categories: Virtualization

Migrating Physical Machine into Virtual Machines by using command line

October 10, 2009 Leave a comment


Simple and easy! use the new tool: Disk2vhd, from sysinternals
Microsoft just announced a new Sysinternals tool, Disk2vhd, that simplifies the migration of physical systems into virtual machines (p2v).
Just run Disk2vhd on the system you want to migrate and specify the volumes for which you want data included, and Disk2vhd creates a consistent point-in-time volume snapshot followed by an export of the selected volumes into one or more VHDs that you can add to a new or existing Hyper-V or Virtual PC virtual machine.
1. Download the file ( Click here )
2. Unzip it to a folder
3. Double click on disk2vhd
4. Select the Disk to create ( check if you have space available to do that, before )
5. Click Create
It will create one VHD for each disk on which selected volumes reside. It preserves the partitioning information of the disk, but only copies the data contents for volumes on the disk that are selected. This enables you to capture just system volumes and exclude data volumes, for example.
  • Virtual PC supports a maximum virtual disk size of 127GB. If you create a VHD from a larger disk it will not be accessible from a Virtual PC VM.
  • Do not attach to VHDs on the same system on which you created them if you plan on booting from them. If you do so, Windows will assign the VHD a new disk signature to avoid a collision with the signature of the VHD’s source disk. Windows references disks in the boot configuration database (BCD) by disk signature, so when that happens Windows booted in a VM will fail to locate the boot disk.
To use VHDs produced by Disk2vhd, create a VM with the desired characteristics and add the VHDs to the VM’s configuration as IDE disks. On first boot, a VM booting a captured copy of Windows will detect the VM’s hardware and automatically install drivers, if present in the image. If the required drivers are not present, install them via the Virtual PC or Hyper-V integration components. You can also attach to VHDs using the Windows 7 or Windows Server 2008 R2 Disk Management or Diskpart utilities.
Disk2vhd runs Windows XP SP2, Windows Server 2003 SP1, and higher, including x64 systems.


Categories: Virtualization

Virtualization : Domain Controllers How to resolve Event ID 2095

October 9, 2009 Leave a comment

If the Directory Service event log reports Event ID 2095. Here is how to fix the issue:

  1. Shut down the domain controller virtual machine that recorded the error, and ensure that it does not restart.

  2. Determine whether a snapshot of the domain controller was recently used as a restore mechanism. If so, this is most probably the source of the error.

  3. Attempt to determine whether any changes originated from this domain controller and propagated to other domain controllers. If the event was a result of a snapshot or copy of a virtual machine being started, try to determine the time the USN rollback occurred. You can then check the replication partners of that domain controller to determine whether replication occurred since then.

    You can use the Repadmin tool to make this determination. For information about how to use Repadmin, see Monitoring and Troubleshooting Active Directory Replication Using Repadmin ( If you are not able to determine this yourself, contact Microsoft Customer Service and Support ( for assistance.

  4. Forcefully demote the domain controller. This involves cleaning up the domain controller’s metadata and seizing the operations master (also known as flexible single master operations or FSMO) roles. For more information, see the “Recovering from USN rollback” section of article 875495 in the Microsoft Knowledge Base (

  5. Delete all former VHD files for the domain controller.

Categories: Virtualization

Virtualization : Time Service Syncronization

October 9, 2009 Leave a comment

For virtual machines that are configured as domain controllers, disable time synchronization with the host through Integration Services. Instead, accept the default Windows Time service (W32time) domain hierarchy time synchronization.

Host time synchronization makes it possible for guest operating systems to synchronize their system clocks with the system clock of the host operating system. Because domain controllers have their own time synchronization mechanism, host time synchronization must be disabled on virtual machines that are configured as domain controllers. If domain controllers synchronize time from their own source and also synchronize time from the host, the domain controller time can change frequently. Because many domain controller tasks are tied to the system time, a jump in the system time could cause lingering objects to be left in the directory and replication to be stopped.

You can disable host time synchronization in the virtual machine settings in the Integration Services section of the Hyper-V Manager by clearing the Time Synchronization check box.

Categories: Virtualization

Virtualization deployment practices to avoid

October 9, 2009 Leave a comment


Virtualization platforms, such as Hyper-V, offer a number of convenience features that make managing, maintaining, backing up, and migrating computers easier. However, there are some common deployment practices and features that should not be used for virtual domain controllers. The following list describes the practices to avoid when you deploy domain controllers:

  • Do not implement differencing disk virtual hard disks (VHDs) on a virtual machine that you are configuring as a domain controller. This makes it too easy to revert to a previous version, and it also decreases performance. For more information about VHD types, see New Virtual Hard Disk Wizard (
  • Do not clone the installation of an operating system without using Sysprep.exe because the security identifier (SID) of the computer will not be updated. For more information about running the System Preparation tool (Sysprep), see "Using virtual hard disks" in Ways to deploy an operating system to a virtual machine (
  • To help prevent a potential update sequence number (USN) rollback situation, do not use copies of a VHD file that represents an already deployed domain controller to deploy additional domain controllers. The next three items in this list are also recommended to help avoid potential USN rollback. For more information about USN rollback, see Appendix A: Virtualized Domain Controllers and Replication Issues.
  • Do not use the Hyper-V Export feature to export a virtual machine that is running a domain controller
Running Sysprep on a domain controller damages the AD DS installation. Use Sysprep before you install the AD DS role to produce a unique security identifier (SID) for that installation.
Categories: Virtualization

Processor Compatibility new feature of Windows 2008 R2

October 2, 2009 2 comments


When a running virtual machine is moved to a server running different processor, the virtualization platform needs to provide necessary support to ensure applications running inside virtual machines continue to run on the destination processor. 

The Processor Compatibility new feature of Windows 2008 R2, enables Live Migration to occur between processors at different versions/generations/steppings.

A particular Intel or AMD class of processors exists in a family. That family has multiple generations, or steppings, that define one set of processors from another. While these differences are relatively unnoticeable for most of us during our usual use of the OS, they can be enough to prevent a Live Migration from successfully occurring. The "differences" actually arrive as different processor capabilities that are baked into the chip itself.

This new feature enables the masking of these features so that a running virtual machine can successfully Live Migrate from one host to another. The result is that you must no longer be exactly equal in processor capabilities between multiple hosts. The best part is that the majority of this functionality is kept underneath the covers.

You only need to check if the box "Migrate to a physical computer with a different processor version" is marked for each VM. That’s it. The Live Migration process will eliminates concerns and conflicts and process the migration sucessfully


1. You have a virtual machine running on a host A and would like to be able to move it to another host B   

2. You buy another server and add to the cluster.  The newly added server is most likely has newly added processor features than other hosts in the cluster.  You would like to be able to move running virtual machines freely from any node of the cluster. 

3. You have a virtual machine running on host A, You save the VM with active memory state and would like to restore the same at a later date on any Hyper-V enabled host which may not be the same host.

How it works:

With processor compatibility mode enabled, Hyper-V only exposes the guest VM to processor features that are available across all processors of the same processor architecture, i.e. AMD-to-AMD or Intel-to-Intel. This allows the VM to be migrated to any hardware platform of the same processor architecture. Processor features are “hidden” by the Hypervisor by intercepting a VM’s CPUID instruction and clearing the returned bits corresponding to the hidden features.

When a VM in a processor compatibility mode is started following processor features are hidden from the VM:

Host running AMD based processor
LZCNT, Misaligned SSE, AMD 3DNow!,

Host running Intel based processor
 SSSE3, SSE4.1, SSE4.2, POPCNT, Misaligned
Also, VM’s cache line flush size is set to 8 bytes on AMD and Intel based hosts when in processor compatibility mode.

Important : Windows Server 2008 R2 Hyper-V will not allow migrating a VM (with or without in processor compatibility mode) from AMD based hosts to Intel based hosts, and vice versa.


VM’s processor compatibility mode is OFF by default.  It can be turned on by one of the two ways:

1. Using Hyper-V Manager: from Hyper-V Manager, select CPU setting wizard of the VM. 
Check a check-box labeled “Migrate to physical computer with a different processor version.  You can only change this setting when VM is not running.

2. Using System Center Virtual Machine Manager 2008 R2


Notes :

1. Moving down to older processer versions consider potential performance reduction due to loss of processor features which might accelerate applications performance. It’s recommended that you properly test these scenarios.   
2. An application may use non-recommended methods for processor feature detection, such as instruction probing, i.e. using an exception handler and attempting to execute a feature’s instruction to determine the presence of a feature. Or, basing feature presence on the type of processor, i.e. family, model and stepping. 

3. Applications may fail to launch because of the lack of a specific a processor feature It is recommended that before deploy


Categories: Virtualization