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RWW - Remote Web Workspace Main Menu loading very slowly

Posted on 2008-10-20
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Last Modified: 2008-10-22
Our organization runs Small Business Server 2003 R2 SP2 with Exchange.  RWW is running with SSL on our T1 connection and serves Outlook Web Access (OWA) and Remote Desktop Protocol for remote access to users' LAN clients and a Terminal server.

Initial login works quite well; the SSL cert is passed quickly and once it's accepted the main login page loads right up.  But, once a user enter credentials it takes about 3 1/2 minutes for the main menu to load.  This is for the typical Domain User, not Domain Admins; everything loads up very snappy for any account with AD membership to Domain Admins.  I have not made any changes to the other AD groups or user memberships, at least nothing that I recall on a global or universal basis.

This problem has been getting progressively worse over the past few months.  I originally thought I noticed it starting after a Critical Updates installation sometime in Spring of this year.  The problem would get progressively worse and then I would restart the server, about every 10 - 14 days, and all would be fine again for a while.  But, not lately.  Even with a fresh reboot it's about 2 minutes to main menu.  So, I'm not sure if there is cause and affect with the Critical Updates for sure or not.  Oh, and restarting IIS/Web Service does not improve the problem.  It takes a full server restart.  My gut tells me to suspect SSL, but I don't really know much about it or where to beging troubleshooting.  Or, it's a permissions issue, but then why would it only result in a slow loading and not just a flat out authentication failure?
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Question by:commongroundwa
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by:Rob Williams
ID: 22762034
Except for the fact that you say it gets better after a reboot this sounds like a fairly common, known problem.
You mentioned logging in as an admin there is no delay? If so it is likely due to SBS looking for Terminal Servers. In the RWW page for non admins, there is an option "connect to my application sharing server", if you have ever had a terminal server installed. The list of TS's is not static but rather when the page is opened it scans for terminal servers, if the everything is as it should be it only takes a couple of seconds, however if you improperly remove the terminal server, it is turned off, I have seen when adding a second TS, or just simple corruption, it searches for approximately 4 minutes then times out and opens the page.
When logging in as an admin the TS is part of the servers list and there is no delay.

The only solution I have found, which is posted in numerous places on the net, is to edit the client.aspx file. The following link explains how to do so.
http://www.tech-archive.net/Archive/Windows/microsoft.public.windows.server.sbs/2004-08/1384.html
However this removes the "connect to my application sharing server" option.

Another similar option, which I have not tried, is to change the value of the following registry key from 1 to 0. If the SBS at least thinks there is a server missing from Active Directory it will wait until the connection times out. Changing the registry key stops it from looking. I don't suggest leaving this in place but it may help to isolate the problem.
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by:commongroundwa
ID: 22762180
Hi,

Yes, we do have a Terminal Server running; Windows 2003 STD.  It has been here since before I started and is currently running.  I can ping it from the SBS box fine, so I don't think it's a DNS issue.  It's also in the same OU as when I started  MyBusiness\Computers\SBSServers.  It is available in the RWW Main Menu.  Once the Main Menu loads up, users have no problem accessing it from the "...Application Sharing Server" link.

Is there some place for me to static the IPs for known terminal servers in the RWWW configurations?
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Rob Williams earned 250 total points
ID: 22762286
>>"Is there some place for me to static the IPs for known terminal servers in the RWWW configurations?"
No I am afraid not and I doubt that would fix it.

I would try editing the client.aspx file. Make a back up as suggested in the link, and see if that sops the delay. If so you know where to start. If not, change it back, and perhaps someone else will have another suggestion.
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Author Comment

by:commongroundwa
ID: 22762406
Hi,
Ok, yes, by changing "rapLinks.canShowSharedAppsLink" to "false" in the client.aspx page it does cause the Main Menu in RWW to load within a normal time, like a couple seconds.  So, this is definetly somehow related to the search for the Terminal Server.  By the way, you mentioned a registry key but didn't list it.  I was going to try that as well, maybe turning it off then back on will kick something loose.  Of course, I'll put the client.aspx back to original first.
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by:commongroundwa
ID: 22762503
To confirm, now that I've put "rapLinks.canShowSharedAppsLink" back in the client.aspx file the Main Menu loads very slowly again for a Domain User.

I have a vague memory of discovering that the Terminal Server was running as a DHCP client and I made it's IP static.  I can't remember the exact time frame, but it's probably related.  This could mean that RWW is looking for the Terminal server at it's old IP address.  But, other than doing an ipconfig /flushdns on it, what else can I do?  The DC is the DNS/DHCP server and it can ping the Terminal server but name.
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by:Rob Williams
ID: 22762637
I am not sure how the SBS looks for the TS, but if it was DHCP before, make sure in DNS that there are no old/incorrect Host (forward look up zones) or PTR (reverse lookup zone) records present. If so you can delete them.

Usually this problem is caused by a terminal server that was removed from the domain, powered off, or renamed. Might any of those be possible?

If the client.aspx made a difference there is no need to edit the registry key as it just covers a wider scope of the same thing. I haven't used that method myself, I have only read about it.
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by:Rob Williams
ID: 22762674
Sorry I forgot the reg key if you do want to try:
HKLM\SOFTWARE\Microsoft\SmallBusinessServer\RemoteUserPortal\KWLinks\AppTS
Change from 1 to 0 to disable
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Author Comment

by:commongroundwa
ID: 22762708
There is only one record in the Forward Lookup Zone for TERMINAL at it's current IP.  However, in the Reverse Lookup Zone, in addition to there being a correct record for TERMINAL there is also a record for a machine called termserv, which does not exist.  There is actually nothing at the IP listed for it.  I'm going to delete it.
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Author Comment

by:commongroundwa
ID: 22762753
I deleted the  Reverse Lookup record for termserv, restarted DNS service and there is no change, RWW is still loading slow for Domain Users.
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Author Comment

by:commongroundwa
ID: 22762805
I also did a quick test by editing that registry key.  Changing value to 0 immediately affects Main Menu load time, without even restarting the server or services.  Putting the value back to 1 returns the user to slow load times.
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by:Rob Williams
ID: 22762849
You now know all that I know about the issue :-)

I have come across it 3 times so far. 1) the TS was powered down, 2) the terminal server was replaced with a new one and the old had not been properly removed from the domain, 3) I had a physical and a virtual terminal server (for back up/redundancy purposes). The virtual was powered off. Powering it up reduced the delay from 4 minutes to 1.5 but I still haven't been able to resolve the problem.

I am still not exactly sure how it does the search, but it does it at each logon to RWW. Sorry, but I don't have any other suggestions. I will be sure to stay "tuned in" and add anything else I think of, and with any luck maybe someone else will have some fresh ideas.
--Rob
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by:commongroundwa
ID: 22762910
What did you have to do for the situation where a server had not been properly removed from the domain?  And, how was it improperly removed?
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by:Rob Williams
ID: 22762970
Ideally when removing it, it should be done from the server that is to be removed, and it should be joined to a workgroup (assuming not a DC), and then the computer account removed from active directory. In that case they had just "pulled the plug" and disposed of it. I could only remove the account from AD. Doing so and rebooting the SBS did seem to resolve.
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by:commongroundwa
ID: 22762988
I'm tempted to remove TERMINAL from the domain, then remove the account from AD, then restart the DC and TERMINAL and rejoin TERMINAL to AD.
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by:Rob Williams
ID: 22763039
Doing so is not that big a job, so long as the fact that it will create new local profiles is not an issue. If you do so test the speed while it is disconnected to make sure it is not another ghost server causing the problem.

Not sure if you are aware but re-joining an SBS domain requires several steps to do so cleanly. TechSoEasy, ultimate SBS consultant, has written an excellent set of instructions:
http://techsoeasy.spaces.live.com/blog/cns!AB2725BC5698FCB8!278.entry
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Author Comment

by:commongroundwa
ID: 22781521
I've not worked on this for a couple days now, but I want to award you the points because you at least narrowed down the nature of the issue for me.
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by:Rob Williams
ID: 22781589
Thanks commongroundwa. Sorry I, or someone else, do not have a complete answer for you.
Should I come up with anything else I will post it here.
Cheers !
--Rob
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