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Friday, August 30, 2013

Troubleshooting Citrix HDX crashes

Occasionally, users have issues. ;)  Occasionally, we have to fix them.  Citrix users can be especially interesting to troubleshoot.  Personally, when I am wearing my Citrix Administration hat, dealing with actual user PC issues is low on the fun list.  As a Citrix administrator, we would like to think that if our servers are tip top and running smoothly, users would be nice enough to leave us to our server work.  Unfortunately, some Citrix related user issues can be just out of reach from a server standpoint.  No one (me) likes doing it but there are just times as a Citrix administrator that we have to investigate the user’s local PC. 

HDX crashes are one of those times when the local PC is the prime suspect for disrupting our well crafted and controlled user experience. 


The above error can appear on a user’s local PC with a similar counterpart on the actual Citrix Server.  Match up the times and you can see the correlation.


The fix for this issue seems to always be on the local PC.  Some possible fixes include:

  1. Try to see if the local machine’s graphic driver could be updated.  Faulty graphic drivers can cause HDX to crash.

  2. Possible corrupt local print drivers on PC.  If there are any print drivers the user is not using, it would be good to uninstall them (printers and associated drivers) from the PC. 

  3. Upgraded Citrix Receivers on the local PC can cause the HDX issue above.  If possible, fully uninstall the Receiver, reboot and install the Receiver fresh.  Take the opportunity to update the software if appropriate.

  4. If possible, although extreme, a new local profile on the user’s local PC is a nice last ditch effort.  After all, all the important stuff should be on the network anyway! :)

Additionally, for this particular fault error, it looked like the win32hk.dll the HDX faults on is part of a Printer package..  The faulting module in the event viewer can be a great indication helping narrow down the list of possible causes.

Hopefully this will make you next desk visit more productive and rewarding. :)

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Friday, August 23, 2013

P2V Tips you already know but might have forgotten

Haven’t P2V’d a server in a while?  That’s because your environment is likely 90% virtual and 100% of your new machines are built as Virtual Machines.  Completely understandable to be a little rusty on the Physical to Virtual Processes…  Here are some helpful tips to shake the rust off and tackle those pesky remaining P2Vs.

  1. Double check TCP ports 902, 9089 and 443 are open between target, source and vCenter.  Especially important if one of your targets is in a DMZ.  Verify firewall ports here : KB Article.
  2. Even if you are specifying IP addresses in the conversion process, make sure to check that the target can resolve the appropriate DNS entries for vCenter and target ESX hosts for proper communication.  If your source machines are not part of a domain, hosts files are the way to go.
  3. Take the opportunity to right size and clean up the target VM.  For some tips on post P2V clean up strategies, check out http://www.vmwareinfo.com/2008/10/post-p2v-batch-file-information-to.html and http://www.vmwareinfo.com/2008/11/post-p2v-batch-file-information-to.html.

So go ahead and head into your datacenters and stalk those last beige boxes in your environment and take them down. :)

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