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WS 2008 R2 VM eventually loses network connectivity then becomes completely unresponsive

Posted on 2013-02-03
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Last Modified: 2013-10-12
Hello EE,

We're having reliability issues with just one VM among the 25 we're hosting on this host server.

About this VM:

OS: Windows Server 2008 R2 SP1
Role: RDS
Anti-virus: none
Software: Office 2010 and a line-of-business application called AVImark. Actually, the users start the executable with a shortcut that points to the EXE on another VM. Other VMs start the same EXE residing on the same server but these VMs don't have these symptoms.

After a few weeks, users will report the following and in this order:

- an inability to logon via RDS
- no Desktop icons (folder redirection fails)
- eventually existing RDS sessions become unresponsive.

Other symptoms from the console session:

- numerous service fail:
     - ttkEvents: "Insufficient system resources exist to complete the requested service"
     - WinLogon: "The Windows logon process has terminated unexpectedly"
     - Folder Redirection: "Failed to apply policy and redirect folder..."
     - Group Policy Drive Maps: "not enough storage is available to process this command"

- everything slows down. What slows down? Everything. Clicking anything might result in a 10s, 20s, 60s or longer delay before getting a response. Eventually, no input gets a response and the VM has to be shutdown which it will do gracefully if the shutdown is initiated by Hyper-V Manager. However, I found that if I catch the VM in a semi-usable state (before it completely locks up), I can resuscitate the VM by disabling then enabling the NIC from within the VM. Things aren't perfect - there's still some delay in clicking things, Resource Manager shows no data, etc. - but it'll get them through the day until I can reboot the VM at night.

Questions? Ideas?

Nathan
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Question by:nathanwc
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LVL 30

Expert Comment

by:IanTh
ID: 38849117
is there any resources left for the host as thats a classic error you need resources for the host to work properly and the more vm's make that requirement go up.
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Author Comment

by:nathanwc
ID: 38849129
Good point - I should have pointed out that neither the VM nor the host are out of disk space. Here's a screenshot from the VM:

Disk space in VM
Here's a screenshot of Task Manager in it's typical state also from the VM:

Task Manager performance tab from VM
Nathan
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LVL 119
ID: 38849202
do yu reboot the VM server daily?
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Expert Comment

by:IanTh
ID: 38849206
vm resources no host resources
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Author Comment

by:nathanwc
ID: 38849432
Hanccocka: no
ianth: what? :-)
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LVL 119
ID: 38849448
how many users logon and logoff your RDS host daily?

we reboot our hosts daily to avoid memory fragmentation, and application memory leaks
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Author Comment

by:nathanwc
ID: 38849544
This is in fact one of the smaller sites. I'd guess 10-15 users login per day. Other servers have 30+ per day. We don't routinely reboot this host or any other host since every other VM on this server and others are fine.
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LVL 119
ID: 38849551
also check and replace the e1000 interface in the VM with the VMXNET3 interface.
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Author Comment

by:nathanwc
ID: 38849663
This is a Hyper-V environment.
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Expert Comment

by:IanTh
ID: 38850267
you used pictures from the virtual machine I am saying does the hyper-v HOST have resources left ?
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Author Comment

by:nathanwc
ID: 38850989
Yes, it does:

Host resources
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Author Comment

by:nathanwc
ID: 38861919
I might have solved this one. Looks like RDS isn't too happy when USB devices are redirected to the server. I found that people were plugging in flash drives which I wouldn't think would cause a problem, but I noticed Disk Management hanging and when it finally responded, there was a removable drive in the disk view. I had my client visit each computer and look for any flash drives. Once they were found and removed, the server became responsive.

I've used Group Policy to prohibit redirection, and while only time will tell, things have been good for 48 hours.

http://blogs.technet.com/b/perfguru/archive/2008/03/10/terminal-server-group-policy-guide-in-server-2008.aspx

Nathan
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Author Comment

by:nathanwc
ID: 38981454
Update: we still had lock-up issues on these remote desktop servers after I prohibited USB redirection. I noticed that these three remote desktop servers all lived on one server and all the other unaffected remote desktop servers lived on another. While I can't find anything wrong with that server, I've moved them to the server on which other RDS aren't locking up.
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Accepted Solution

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nathanwc earned 0 total points
ID: 39553430
Turned out to be a problem with Dynamic Memory. The apps running on these VMs weren't returning freed memory to the VM. Assigning a static amount of memory to these VMs put this issue to bed.
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Author Closing Comment

by:nathanwc
ID: 39567864
Gave it an A because it works :-)
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