Now having had two clients with a related system process problem, I am documenting what I’ve discovered and the needed tweak to fix it. Both of these small businesses are heavily using Remote Desktop Services aka Terminal Server. One with SBS 2011 and Windows 2008 R2 on the member server (both virtualized on Hyper-V); the other uses SBS 2008 with Windows 2008 on its member server. The first biz uses 98% of its connections as thin clients and has seen huge amounts of memory (commit size) set aside for instances of ‘splwow64.exe’. The second client experienced an issue with Windows 2000 clients (yes they are still out there …yikes!) not automatically ending their session when they closed the Environment Tab specified application that their TS session is limited to running/displaying – just got the blue logoff screen in a hung stasis.
On the first I tried changing the configuration of the main shared printer. The printer is which I determined was where all the SPLwow64.exe related print tasks were being sent. First I disabled spooling and secondly I unchecked the box to render print jobs on client (in this case the RDS server). Neither satisfied the desired memory release I wanted to see achieved. I could confirm the correlation with the SPLwow64.exe process and actual memory consumed via the Hyper-V Manager console which showed the dynamic memory demand of this RDS machine. When the topmost listed instances of the SPLwow64.exe process were ‘ended’ the overall memory dropped equally dramatically. This server which typically needed roughly 4 GB of running memory was underperforming when maxing out at 10 GB that were dynamically being made available to it.
The link below states in the first post that you can adjust the time this process takes to release its memory and links to a dead KB article.
That applicable control registry key is:
The second client’s issue led me to find the following thread and and in the last post the solution. It’s a simple technique that can be applied if you want to turn off the use of system processes, SYSwow64.exe in this case, for a Terminal Server.
Add a REG_DWORD called "splwow64.exe" set the value to 0
**Here’s another related conversation thread by an application developer found in the private Microsoft Forums
Posted in Admin Tools & Tips, Performance, Printing and Faxing, RDS, Registry, SBS, Terminal Server, Virtualization, Windows Server 2008, Windows Server 2008 R2
Tagged RDS, Terminal Server
Just the Fax – Where did it go? Post Office 2003 SP3 Blues – **note** this former blog entry pertained to XP and its instructions are still relevant; however, Vista presents its own unique challenges
Just the Fax – Where did it go? Post Office 2003 SP3 Blues « Upwards with SBS – SBSisyphus’ Weblog
The above link is from XP and Office 2003 days gone bye. In the new era of Vista we have a new problem, .tif files are not opened by this same program and registering the .dll mentioned in the former blog article won’t set thing straight. Instead you will have to attempt to open a .tif and then choose the correct program file along with “always” to set this as the default program for .tif viewing going forward.
The default should be the Windows Photo Gallery. To choose this to open the single targeted file and not a whole gallery, rather than select the Windows Photo Gallery program instead choose to browse to %systemdrive%\Program Files\Windows Photo Gallery\PhotoViewer.dll.
A Microsoft KB has come out with a fix: http://support.microsoft.com/kb/967054/en-us
You can also do this without invocation by instead opening Default Programs (Winkey – Default Programs) and then specifying by file type association the above path and file.
**note** Quicktime seems to like to set itself to open .tiff files so just change that one too why you are at it.
Terminal Server Printer Redirection Wizard Tool
This tool will help resolve Terminal Server Printer Redirection errors by scanning the event log of a Terminal Server to create a custom mapping file for administrators.
Knowledge Base (KB) Articles:
The Terminal Server Printer Driver Redirection Wizard will help you troubleshoot and replace print drivers that were unsuccessfully redirected. This tool automates the process found in the Microsoft Knowledge Base article KB239088 entitled “Windows 2000 Terminal Services Server Logs Events 1111, 1105, and 1006”
This tool will scan a server’s System Event Log and detect all events with Event ID 1111 and Source ‘TermServDevices.’ The tool will then scan the server’s registry for installed Version 3 MINI drivers, and prompt you to substitute an installed Version 3 MINI driver for each of the printers that failed printer redirection. Any changes will be written to a file named NTPrintSubs.inf which is where custom redirected printer mappings are stored.
note that this tool will eventually ask for drivers for the printers it discovers weren’t properly redirected . So be prepared first to run it as a method to catalog what you need to go get and then re-run it to install whatever drivers you’ve gotten and uploaded to some local directory or network share in relation to the server
If you have ever found it annoying that when you use RWW with SBS 2003 that you end up with a lot of printers to choose from then this tip might be something you’ll also find awesome. How would you like it if the only printer that redirected was the one you normally print to, your default? No longer be cluttered with Adobe .pdf printers, One Note printers, Microsoft Document Imaging printers, fax printers, …etc.
Well there is a way to do it via the registry. The KB this comes from also referred to a hotfix; however, being that this KB is over 3 years old I’m assuming that the hotfix has been rolled up in an update or service pack by now. -
How to modify the registry to configure default printer redirection on a Terminal Services client
To configure default printer redirection on a Terminal Services client, add the RedirectDefaultPrinterOnly registry entry to the Windows registry. To do this, follow these steps:
- locate and then click the following registry subkey:
“HKLM\SOFTWARE\Microsoft\Terminal Server Client\Default\AddIns\RDPDR”
Note To configure default printer redirection for only the current user, locate and then click the following registry subkey instead:
HKCU\SOFTWARE\Microsoft\Terminal Server Client\Default\AddIns\RDPDR
- On the Edit menu (assuming the value below doesn’t yet exist), point to New, and then click DWORD Value.
- Type RedirectDefaultPrinterOnly, and then press ENTER.
- Double-click RedirectDefaultPrinterOnly, type 1 (on) in the Value data box, and then click OK.
Note Type 0 (off) in the Value data box to disable the registry entry. Setting the value data to 0 turns off default printer redirection.
- BTW while you are in the registry at that Subkey you might consider another addition. Another KB discussed issues regarding some printers that use a DOT4 printer port instead of a COM, USB, or LPT1 port. This key forces all ports to be filtered for redirection. I see no downside to doing this proactively even before a DOT4 printer is introduced – KB302361
add a DWORD value named FilterQueueType to “HKxx\Software\Microsoft\Terminal Server Client\Default\AddIns\RDPDR and set its value data to FFFFFFFF”.
An issue with the SBS Fax Server I’ve recently rediscovered is that there is a condition that can render a previously outbound functioning Fax Server inoperable and you won’t receive any errors or alerts to this fact until someone doesn’t get the fax they were intended. You will appear to successfully send the fax from the workstation but it never make it onto the phone line to the outside world. Here’s why and how to remedy it.
Fax Device got unplugged (intentionally or otherwise) and server reboots without it connected. Fax device plugged back in – server stays running without rebooting. Fax powers on and receives faxes. When sending a fax it never gets received.
SBS Fax uses Outgoing Routing Groups and Rules. The previously configured Group and Rule do not automatically add the fax device that had previously been associated even when the system can recognize the device.
Manually use the fax manager to select the Target Device for all needed associated Rules.