Many Citrix or terminal server farms have problems with printer drivers and sometimes even the Administrator is not aware of that. Drivers that are not 100% multiuser aware can have a bad influence in many different ways. Often those buggy drivers can slow down the login process or cause high CPU consumption. In worst cases, printer drivers can even stop the login process for the whole server, kill the spooler service or can cause a blue screen of death (very rare with Windows 2003 and up). For the first two issues, the Citrix health monitor can help tracking the problem.

Ever heard of "context switches"? If yes, then you are probably an Administrator for a Citrix Presentation Server farm. Now this is not a Citrix related problem but the context switches are one of the default performance counters in the Citrix Resource Manager and obviously the most often raised alert. Other systems might also have issues with context switches but if there isn't an alerting monitor you will never know.

One of the benefits of a third-party add-on product to Terminal Services such as Citrix MetaFrame Presentation Server is published applications with seamless windows. In fact the default setting for MPS 3.0 is to only allow users to access remote servers via published applications.

Most people use seamless windows every day without actually knowing how the technology works. This article will explain how these technical components work and how you can fix seamless windows problems by focusing on Windows 2000/2003 up through MPS 3.0. Citrix Presentation Server 4.0 will work a bit differently, and we’ll discuss that in a future article.

TThe Windows logon and logoff process is a complex part of a Terminal Server environment, and these processes are complicated even more when Citrix MetaFrame Presentation Server is installed. However, knowing how these processes really work can cut down your troubleshooting time.

This article can’t cover all aspects and every detail of the logon and logoff processes. However, it will take a look at these processes from an administrator’s standpoint (as opposed to taking a developer’s perspective).

The first part of this article covers the session initialization. It covers the steps that take place from the time a client tries to connect until the application shows up on the user’s desktop. (Note that we’re only talking about the actual connection from the client to the server. We are not talking about application enumeration or load balancing since those activities take place before a client connects to a server.)

The second part of this article will cover the disconnection and logoff processes.

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