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This posting is provided "AS IS" with no warranties, and confers no rights. The opinions expressed within are my own and should not be attributed to any other Individual, Company or the one I work for. I just happen to be a classic techie who is passionate about getting things to work as they should do (and are sometimes advertised and marketed as being able to?) and when I can I drop notes here to help others falling in to the same traps that I have fallen in to. If this has helped then please pass it on - if you feel that I have commented in error or disagree then please feel free to discuss with me either publically or privately? Cheers, Dave
Thin Clients, VDI and Linux integration from the front lines.... Raw and sometimes unedited notes based on my experiences with VMware, Thin Clients, Linux etc.

I must confess there seems to have been a fair bit of work stacking up in the queue on the Help Desk recently, and there have been some problems that have seemed to defy logic, and then after a while they almost take on the persona of the Ugly Troll guarding the bridge, you just don't want to know about it - because you almost feel defeated just glancing at the heading, or when a request for an update lands in your email?

Let me state for the record that I'm not *tied* to the Help Desk, all of the Consultants are supposed to have "a turn in the barrel" (as the Navy says?  ;-), it's just sometimes that's the way it goes? Thankfully there is some nice lengthy projects coming up that have my name on it, so I could be effectively out of the office on *assignment* for some time, so it does all even out over time.

Anyway, I digress, this Govt. Dept. has what *purports* to be a 32bit app thats based on OpenInsight from Revelation Software, and it appears to be running fine on their two older Citrix Servers that are Windows 2000, but when we try to run the Application for more than one user on the newly built 2003 Server the Application slows to a crawl, so slow it's painful to watch.

So even when I first looked at the Application, and saw that it was effectively running from a batch file in C:\Program Files\AppName\start.bat I knew it wasn't going to be easy, this then maps a drive, then calls the Executable from a folder in the the mapped drive, in the folder is an INI file (wait, it gets better.....) AND, in the INI file it's referencing back to the original starting location as C:\PROGRA¬1\APPNAME!!! (Sorry my tilde key's not working)

So I'm figuring that the reality is we're looking at something that's sort of trying to kid us it's a 32bit App, but it's still got way too much Legacy stuff going on that we really should think of it as a 16bit App just to be safe?

Now a search on their Knowledgebase - simply for Citrix - returns this:

91% OpenInsight in a WinFrame Environment with the Revelation NLM OpenInsight,AREV,Networking Products
88% Citrix WinFrame: Software Configuration Requirements OpenInsight,AREV,Networking Products

I mean that tells a big story right there, I know I'm biased, but really! has this Knowledgebase been updated sometime this century? WinFrame indeed.......

So anyway, what with me messing about trying to get their new install of AppSense working, in the vain hope that this might fix their issues I sort of really found this thing growing in to a Monster that I really didn't want to deal with.

Then out of the blue I get a call today from the Govt. Dept. chap, and he's got one of the chaps from the Company that develops this software (not Revelation I might add..), and he starts telling me that although he doesn't know the details (other than it's in the registry) but it has some thing to do with Compatibility Flags - and all of a sudden it's like the biggest *Light* has just gone off inside my head.

All of a sudden I'm starting to recall some of the details about Compatibility Flags, things that control shitty apps and tell the keyboard to go to sleep when it has no right asking to keep polling, etc..  Then, while I'm opening this page at Microsoft on the details, he also mentions that you can't be signing in as all the same ID or it won't work either, and I spot this entry in the MS TechNet -

0x00000010

Return user name instead of computer name for GetComputerName.

Wouldn't you know it - this application by default will use the HOSTNAME or NetBIOS name to reference all of the sessions on the Database!! Unless of course you change it' behaviour by using these Compatibility Flags.

and now it's all starting to make sense? The start of the table is:

Value Description

0x00000001

MS-DOS-based program

0x00000002

OS/2-based program

0x00000004

Windows-based 16-bit program

0x00000008

Windows-based 32-bit program

0x0000000C

Windows-based 16-bit and 32-bit program

0x0000000F

Any version of a program

0x00000010

Return user name instead of computer name for GetComputerName.

Now the thing to remember here is it's all cumulative? So if I was going to have a 32bit App that needs this setting, I'd use 0x00000018, OK?

So from this epiphany, we then go and have a look at this registry location
HKEY_LOCAL_MACHINE\SOFTWARE\Microsoft\Windows NT\CurrentVersion\Terminal Server\Compatibility\Applications\OINSIGHT
on one of the 2000 Servers where it's working and we find:

[HKEY_LOCAL_MACHINE\SOFTWARE\Microsoft\Windows NT\CurrentVersion\Terminal Server\Compatibility\Applications\OINSIGHT]
"Flags"=dword:00000018
"FirstCountMsgQPeeksSleepBadApp"=dword:0000000f
"MsgQBadAppSleepTimeInMillisec"=dword:000000c8
"NthCountMsgQPeeksSleepBadApp"=dword:00000005

Bingo!!!!!!!  Initial Testing appears to confirm this is the answer, we'll find out more tomorrow when we put it under a bit of stress, but already I feel real good about this because it just fits!!

The real lesson here is that I can't afford to just let the old 16bit Application Troubleshooting skills get too rusty (and neither should you?), always keep an eye out for how the Application is held together, and try and understand something of how the Architecture components work, that way you will start to gain an idea as to where to search for the Answers?

I hope some of you find this useful?

Cheers,
Dave

Posted on Thursday, March 2, 2006 7:31 PM Citrix , IT Management , Real Cool Stuff , Microsoft Tips , VMware and other Virtualization tools , Security | Back to top


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