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calling terminal server experts

I am running terminal server 2003. periodically, the users are complaining about the slowest or lag when typing within terminal server. All users are working from home thru broadband and vpn. When they say it is slow, I check the performance of the server, memory and cpu looks fine. I also verify the Internet connection is not saturated. What is the best way to troublshoot this? Is there a tool to see what process is hang which can cause slowest to server? any tool people can refer me to?

3 Solutions

On the client machines.
The simplest to speed up the rdp connection is to select in display options of mstsc(remote desktop) and use colors 256 or the lowest possible; and in experience disable the themes.

On the Server.
Right click Mycomputer - goto - Properties- Advanced - Settings -- Select Adjust for best performance.

Also ensure the terminal services server is rebooted once a week.

Should be fine..

There was also a small problem with Terminal Services and Service Pack 2. You might look into this:

A few of things:-

1. Even if your test show non-saturated links many other communications things can slow it down. I would try from a PC local to the server. If that doesn't have issues then its communications.

2. If it is the server loging on locally and running task manager can show which processes are using which reources. For more detail get Process Explorer from http://live.sysinternals.com/

3. A tool I still use (but it is getting oldis) is spotlight. Its a free tool you can download from here:-


I would still get the users to use something like:-


to test their network speed. Also check they don't have other family members who share the connection using peer-2-peer networing. As well as torrents some things such as the BBC I-Player do this (or whatever you local equivalent is) do this. (but make sure its not looping through the VPN). Are they listening to streamining services (radio) while working?

Hope this is helpfull
officertangoAuthor Commented:
I think sometime i have verified that running lrdp locally on the LAN rather than over WAN, its also slow. This tells me something on the server rather than WAN connection with VPN. But when i check the server, the cpu and memory on the server ok. What else can I run on the server to isolate?

thanks for everyone help.
If the the applications do not depend on any other machine, so no file shares, no databases on other servers, no external network access and  the CPU and RAM are Ok the most likeley cause is a disk bottle neck. Quest Spotlight is free and can be downloaded from:-


The default alarms will be a good starting point for problem analisys. It will highlight many bottle necks out of the box.

One more thought, if the application is single threaded and the server has many cores then you might see low CPU utilization (say 25% on a 4-core box) because the application can't use ore than one core. If you run task manager on the box, switch to the "processes tab" sort on CPU and one process is using 25% CPU on a 4-core, or 12.5% on an 8-core etc that may be your problem.

I guess the other question one must ask is, did this ever work properley, and if so what has changed to break it?

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