v_enom
Contributor
Contributor

VMware windows guest machine freezes during work by RDP

Preconditions:
I have a guest virtual machine on Windows 8.1 using VMWare Workstation 15.5.6 build-16341506. I use it for development. It is places on a separate SSD disk of the host machine.

I have a host machine on the same Windows 8.1 in my office with guest virtual machine above. Windows is installed on C:\ drive of own SSD disk.

Steps:

  1. I connect  via RDP  from home (windows 10) to host machine in office.
  2. From host machine I open virtual machine (guest)
  3. Write code and work in guest machine.
  4. Collapse RDP  connection to host machine (return to home)
  5. Return back to host machine and virtual machine (key step)
  6. Work, wait for 2-5 minutes. Make some operation like run desktop application or Visual Studio, or code in Visual Studio IDE. Or sometime (randomly) when SSD read or write operations accrued.

Expected result: no freezes for host or guest machine
Actual Result: guest machine freezes for about 15-30 seconds. CPU (previously I thought that HDD) usage of host machine rises to 100%.  I can collapse VMWare workstation while it it frozen and work by RDP with host machine without any problems

Additionally: If go to office and work with guest VMWare machine - I will never have any freezes. In version 12 I had no such a problem.

Also I already changed system HHD of host machine  to SSD. And mainboard was also changed

 

Could you please help to fix this problem?

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25 Replies
v_enom
Contributor
Contributor

>llocated in regard to overall 120 GB space? The normal way would be something like: max 90 GB with all the virtual disks (could be two inside the VM) and in slices, not one file.

It is a one C:\ drive with 100 GB, 80-90 GB are in use.

>Is your VM-computer on the level of 15.x?

my version is 15.5.6 build-16341506

 

I've noticed one peculiarity. 
1. I work, write code, click buttons..

2. At some moment it freezes. No reaction or icon interaction in vmware. During that I try to click everything, activity interract with interface.

3. After unfreeze it looks like a fast run of all actions collected in queue and waiting for smth. So I mouse over start to blin, some windows sounds start to play and so on. I could blame a connection, but at the same time I can interract with host machine. And as I said, there is nothing equal, if I come to office and will start work. It's related to RDP + VMWare I think.

 

I've cleared all event logs for guest and host machines. After that I've reproduces the freeze. No one error or smth but Login Security record was added in both logs.

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RaSystemlord
Expert
Expert

OK, but this is not exactly what I meant with my questions (yet, again, I'm looking for indirect influencers):

---

1.

>llocated in regard to overall 120 GB space? The normal way would be something like: max 90 GB with all the virtual disks (could be two inside the VM) and in slices, not one file.

It is a one C:\ drive with 100 GB, 80-90 GB are in use.

/Ra - the important thing is the overall disk consumption on your physical drive. If you have 100 GB within the VM, you may have over-committing 120 GB on the physical drive. You should look what the size of the VM folder is, when VM is running.

Is it a pre-allocated single file (very bad if there is over-commitment). Also, in this case, your overall disk consumption would be very close to 120 GB on the physical drive - which is no good, for the fore-mentioned reasons.

Yet, not sure, how RDP is linked to this, but this is something to look after in every case (if there is a problem).
/

 

---

2.

>Is your VM-computer on the level of 15.x?

my version is 15.5.6 build-16341506

/Ra - No. I mean the VM version. Version 15 software can run very old VM-versions. I don't think it is a problem if the version is not very old. I think 21 GB has been supported for quite some time. /

 

3.

Now, for a test - if you haven't already done this.

Use RDP in the office to connect to your Host and see what happens. Not everything that is going on, might be transmitted with the RDP view to your home office.

Your guess is as good as mine, but I suspect Windows 8.1 - RDP -bug for the source of this problem. It just appears with VMware, because VMware requires more functionality to be working. If you have more hardware available, you could run the VM on a different platform with RDP at work - like on a Windows 10 computer ... and see what happens. You said that you have low security and thus this would be reasonably easy, even if this isn't a corporate standard. 

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v_enom
Contributor
Contributor

@RaSystemlord 

I didn't try this yet: "Use RDP in the office to connect to your Host and see what happens."

But I tried to connect direct to guest machine via RDP.

And there is no such problem. So it means that problem is exactly with vmware player via RDP.

Tests cases:
1. Connect to host machine via RDP - no freezes

2. Connect to guest machine via RDP - no freezes

3. Connect to host machine via RDP and open guest machine via vmware player - bug! 

 

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RaSystemlord
Expert
Expert

@v_enom 

Yes, I was hoping that somebody with internal knowledge on VMware, could say what is wrong in that kind of connection. Since that hasn't happen, I'm trying to limit the possibilities and perhaps find the problem somewhere else, if it is somewhere else
- connection to the Host via RDP at your office, might reveal something when using a different connection (you might need to use a mobile network for this purpose). Or it may give more things to observe when the try-out happens physically next to the Host.

- by using another Host with Win 10 might reveal a host-specific problem

VMware does not always work through remote connections. Last year we tested - in a corporate internal network - that VMware computer cannot be used through Cisco WebEx and neither through Microsoft Teams desktop sharing. Host itself works fine, but you cannot point on anything in VM computer. This was all Windows 10 and network configuration was unknown, as it is with corporate networks. VMs were NAT connected.

So, there can be all kinds of issues, but in Your case, it does work - it just freezes, pretty much randomly, for half a minute. That kind of indicates that your Host or network starts to do something for half a minute. So, if LOGs and EventViewer do not reveal anything, it is hard to find the problem. By trying out different configurations, you might get lucky and find something acceptable that does work.

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wila
Immortal
Immortal

Hi,


@v_enom wrote:

@RaSystemlord 

I didn't try this yet: "Use RDP in the office to connect to your Host and see what happens."

But I tried to connect direct to guest machine via RDP.

And there is no such problem. So it means that problem is exactly with vmware player via RDP.

Tests cases:
1. Connect to host machine via RDP - no freezes

2. Connect to guest machine via RDP - no freezes

3. Connect to host machine via RDP and open guest machine via vmware player - bug! 

 


In both scenario 1 & 2, you only have the RDP protocol that's being used. RDP gets it's own resources and is pretty efficient.

Scenario 3 is different. You connect via RDP and then use the local console from VMware Player. VMware Player uses a protocol similar to VNC. So you're connected via both RDP and the console.
The console thread runs at the host whereas the RDP thread will use what is available at the guest.
It's possible that there's some incompatibility somewhere, or that the console thread at the host is out of resources.
However it is not a very uncommon configuration. In fact I use it every now and then in that same setup too and so far no problems.

Personally however I prefer to use RDP to the guest directly as it is much smoother.

Like RaSystemlord says.. this needs studying of a variety of logs in order to figure out the culprit.

--
Wil

| Author of Vimalin. The virtual machine Backup app for VMware Fusion, VMware Workstation and Player |
| More info at vimalin.com | Twitter @wilva
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v_enom
Contributor
Contributor

@wila 
1. >> or that the console thread at the host is out of resources.

Sound reasonable, while most of admins use it just to maintain a running server or SQL, I use it actively as a desktop computer, eating memory and so on - dynamic load.

2. >> this needs studying of a variety of logs in order to figure out the culprit.
If I new a required logger and logging level, I could share more information.

 

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