Wednesday, May 30, 2012

Problem with VMWare view v5 and Vsphere hardware v8

I have been working with EMC support for a few months now trying to figure out a strange issue that we have been having. Our vmware View v5 windows 7 x64 desktops have been experiencing sporadic and strange issues. Sometimes the dual monitors will drop to a single monitor and the resolution on that one monitor will drop from 1680 x 1050 to 1024 x 768. The quick fix is to disconnect from the session and reconnect. Setting a screensaver to lock, or UAC popups have cause this issue to surface as well, however many times is just randomly happens.

Vmware Support has identified the issue and they said for now to stick to hardware v7 and the vm tools associated with that version in order to avoid this situation.

In summary, if you are using Vmware View 5 on Vsphere, do NOT upgrade your virtual hardware to v8 until this issue has been resolved.

If you did upgrade to V8 already, here are the steps provided by VMWare support to roll back to hardware V7.

Downgrading the virtual machine hardware version:

VMware vCenter Converter Standalone 5.0


Download link:

The external link below can be referenced, the outlined steps can be used, but, ensure that you are selecting Virtual Hardware version 7.

- Once the VM has been converted (virtual to virtual aka V2V), please uninstall VMware tools & View Agent

- Power off VM and then power back on

- Install VMware tools first reboot and then View agent

- Power off the VM and then power on.

Friday, March 16, 2012

How to update firmware on a wyse R90x

I downloaded the latest version of the wyse USB imaging tool, v 1.15, ran the tool, formatted an 8 gig thumb drive, pointed it to the .rsp file for the R90, and then connected it to the wyse terminal. I powered on the wyse terminal, hit P a few times, selected the thumb drive to boot to, and it would hang up on a black dos screen with a flashing cursor. I tried this several times just in case I was doing something incorrectly and each time I ended up stuck at the same screen. After scouring the web I finally came across a posting from someone who ran into a similar problem, the USB tool does not seem to work if you run it from a windows 7 computer. As the message board suggested, I tried from a windows XP computer and immediately the problem was solved!

Thanks for the post MrAdam

Wyse clearly states that win7 is supported in their guide, however clearly it is not.

It seems like I will have to keep an old XP computer lying around for years to come!

Wednesday, February 1, 2012

Vmware Vsphere Host(s) suddenly show as disconnected

I had an issue where my vsphere hosts would suddenly appear as disconnected in vcenter.  I am running vsphere 5 esxi on cisco C200-m2 servers.  Every guest that was running on that host would show as disconnected as well.  This was a ticking time bomb, because if I left it in this scenario the guests would eventually crash and the host would stop responding all together as well.  The heavier the load on the server the quicker this would occur.  In my environment I have 5 servers, and with an even load, my server would crash approximately every 5-7 days, and each time it was a different host.  When I put 2 in maintenance mode to do some troubleshooting it crashed in <36 hours.  This was a really painful issue because I would have to run around the floor letting users know to save their work as I would have to run a power cycle from the remote access card which would hard crash all of the desktops and servers running on this server.  Keep in mind that I am 99% virtual here, desktops and servers, so this was very painful.  The only way I was aware that there was an issuu was by seeing the disconnected state while in vcenter, or if a user rebooted their vdi it wouldn’t come back online, or the guests would eventually crash triggering an alert.  The monitors that we have in place were unable to detect this scenario to lete me know that it was in this zombie state.  Vmware and cisco worked on this issue for a few weeks, cisco pointed me to the following KB from vmware three weeks ago,

I followed the powercli method (must have missed the console method by accident) and the issue still occurred.  After a few weeks of working with vmware it was determined that the powercli method was written incorrectly and the console method was written correctly.  After running the console method the problem has been resolved, and vmware also just updated the article to correct the powercli method.

Vmware view client not connecting for home users

Vmware view 5 client and Norton internet security

I had a few users who had difficulty connecting to vmware view from their home pc. They were running windows 7, and after it installed they could launch the client, then they could type in their username and RSA passcode, and then after hitting connect the vmware view client would just disappear. After digging around I suspected that Norton internet security was getting in the way. Instead of poking the appropriate hole, I just disabled it first, and after successfully connecting to vmware view, I decided to uninstall the program. I typical use the free Microsoft security essentials which did properly allow view to connect. I don’t see any kb’s out there yet that reference this as an issue, and I am sure someone can find the correct hole to poke to make it work, however to me it looked like it was setup properly and allowing vmware view access yet it wasn’t working.

Friday, January 13, 2012

wyse p20 login to windows kicks back out to login screen

I had users who had problems logging into their view desktops while using p20 wyse devices and vmware view 5. After typing in their username and password it would make the sounds for windows login, sometimes flash the login screen, the monitors would go black, and then it would kick them back out to the login screen. Before I figured out what was going on I found out that restarting their computer would solve the problem. After digging around on the internet, I found a few posts that mentioned this may be isolated to teradicci clients (p20) however when the windows desktop was setting the monitors to sleep (default 15 min) the view login was not able to wake them back up properly.

In order to resolve this create a COMPUTER gpo that sets the monitors to never sleep for all windows desktops that are using this type of setup.

Slow Windows 7 Desktops on View 5 vsphere 5 hardware v8

After updating my windows 7 desktops to vsphere hardware version 8 (v8) all of my users began to complain of VERY slow activity in windows including delays in typing, delays in dragging windows around, and overall general responsiveness. VMware support passed along an INTERNAL KB that explains how to fix this issue, which did solve the issue for me.The following workaround has been verified where you will need to make changes to the .vmx file (the VM's configuration file.)

1. Verify that SSH remote access is enabled in the Security Profile of the ESXi host 2. Connect to the ESXi host with an SSH client with the root account 3. Once logged in, change to the path of the virtual machine folder (for example: cd /vmfs/volumes/Storage1/vmname/ ) 4. In this directory, you should find the VM's configuration file with the .vmx extension.
5. Use vi to open and edit the vmx (example, vi vmname.vmx) 6. Add the following line at the end of the .vmx file:

mks.poll.headlessRates = "1000 100 2"

7. After making the change on the .vmx file, you will need to completely power off the VM, and power it back on so that it re-reads the .vmx (a restart within the OS level will not re-read the .vmx file)

Additional steps will be needed if this applies to linked clones. You will still need to follow steps 1-6 above on the parent VM's .vmx file.

7B. Power down the parent VM
8. Take a new snapshot
9. Recompose the pool to the new snapshot

After the recompose is complete, the changes made should now be applied to the linked-clones.

Thursday, January 5, 2012

Vmware view 5 and Wyse P20

Add a disconnect icon for all users in a vmware view environment

I am using view 5 on wyse p20’s and I needed the ability for my users to disconnect from their desktop for receptionists who rotate desks, and for users connecting from home. View 5 seems to have a few issues allowing a user to connect from the p20 or from home is a session is already connected. After several attempts the user can usually get into the session, however I have noticed solid black screens after logging in and quick disconnects from the p20 if it can’t display the windows desktop properly.

As a fix I decided to deploy a disconnect icon to all users through active directory. Here are the steps that I took
1. First create a disconnect batch script in your netlogon share (or somewhere else all users can access)
a. The only line you need in the batch file is:
2. Then create a group policy in AD and apply to your employee user OU

3. I selected icon 131 which was a red X, however feel free to select any icon of your choice. A full listing of icons and their associated number is found at
4. You can either run gpupdate /force to see if it works, or logoff and log back on.
5. Inform your users that this is the best option to use when finished for the day or finished with their remote connection. Also make them aware that this will not close anything on their desktop, it will keep all programs and documents open until they connect again.