Why can't I connect reliably to a Windows Server?

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Problem

I installed Splashtop Streamer on my Windows Server. It's powered on but I cannot connect to it. The Splashtop Business app or the Splashtop web console tells me the server is offline.

[This problem has been resolved. Please download and install version 3 of Splashtop streamer for Windows. See 8/27 update below for more details.]

Reason

Splashtop Streamer was originally architected with individual users in mind. It runs within the context of an individual Windows account. This enables multiple users sharing a PC to have individual streamer setting in their individual Windows accounts. However, this architecture poses some problems on a Windows Server.

When the Windows account is changed (due to a logout, login, or switch user event), streamer shuts down and restarts in the new context. The Splashtop Business app will automatically attempt to re-connect. This usually succeeds on a Windows workstation. But on a Windows Server, where multiple accounts may be in use simultaneously (local session plus RDP sessions), streamer becomes unable to respond to remote connection requests as its context gets switched out. The server then appears as offline to the Splashtop web console.

Splashtop does work fine for those customers where their Windows Servers have the streamer installed in the console session and no RDP sessions are spawned dynamically.

We recognize the criticality of this limitation and we're fixing it. We plan to have the fix available in May.

Workaround

[This problem has been resolved. These workarounds are no longer necessary. Please download and install version 3 of Splashtop streamer for Windows. See 8/27 update below for more details.]

Please do not install Splashtop Streamer from inside a RDP session.

Install Splashtop Streamer directly in the console session (i.e. locally at the server or remoted into the server's console session using another remote desktop tool).

At this point, you should be able to see the server online and connect to it via the Splashtop Business app.

The server should remain online and accessible as long as there are no RDP sessions.

Note that, even if you don't anticipate RDP sessions being established with this server, you may want to disable RDP anyways. We have come across several cases of network malware that continuously probe Windows Servers for RDP connectivity. Such probing activity also switches the Windows account context and prevents the streamer from working properly. For these cases, disabling RDP or changing the default RDP port will allow Splashtop to work normally.

What's next

We are working on changes to the Windows streamer so it binds with Windows at the service level, rather than with individual Windows accounts. This will enable a session in progress to stay uninterrupted as Windows logs in, logs out, or switches user. It will also enable you to reliably remotely access a Windows Server's console, regardless of other RDP sessions that may be happening.

We plan to have the fix available in May. If you're interested in helping us with early beta testing, please send an email to beta@splashtop.com. We'd really appreciate your help!

Update (5/27) - Thanks to all of you who signed up to help us beta test. It is nearing the end of May and we owe you an update. We've gone through several rounds of internal testing on our alpha-level releases. A beta-level release for external testing should arrive within several weeks. We will send that out to all of you who signed up for beta testing. Apologies it has taken longer than originally promised.

Update (6/25) - The beta instructions started going out last week. We're excited with the feedback that's already coming in. If you'd like to help us beta test and didn't receive the instructions, please write to beta@splashtop.com. Thank you!

Update (6/29) - Beta testing is going well, with many of you reporting much improved connection reliability on servers and workstations. Thanks for all your help. Below is a running list of the issues found with the beta build. Fixes will be in the next beta build.

  • Performing a file transfer may crash the streamer.
  • Streamer window may appear in a RDP desktop or app session.
  • Splashtop Business Windows app may crash when the remote computer restarts or switches Windows accounts during a remote session.

Update (8/27) - The new streamer is now officially released! It is versioned at 3.0.0.2. It is now the default download as the deployment streamer.

Screen_Shot_2015-08-27_at_11.01.03_AM.png

Big thanks to the many of you who beta tested and found bugs for us. If you run into issues with this streamer, please call our support line or file a support ticket, and we'll jump on them.

Have more questions? Submit a request

Comments

  • Avatar
    Pblank

    It would be very nice to have this feature available ASAP.  Please do what you can in this regard!

  • Avatar
    Support

    I cannot emphasize enough how urgently necessary this fix is for IT professionals who provide server support.  I have recommended SPLASHTOP to other IT professionals, each of whom are leaving LOGMEIN this year since they have gotten so horribly greedy.  Some of these other IT professionals have told me that this OFFLINE problem is unacceptable as it makes providing remote support impossible without a local admin onsite to help.

    The vast majority of my clients have servers and I cannot support them if I cannot connect remotely.  Additionally, virtually all my servers, nowadays, are hosting several virtual servers each of which I also need to connect to and support and I prefer to have individual remote connections to each of these as well.

    PLEASE PLEASE PLEASE -  this is so important and is something you should be dedicating resources around the clock to fix.

     

  • Avatar
    Support

    @all,

    This is one of our top priority enhancement to complete, and we are working hard on this one. We still target May to have it available. 

    Please remember to send mail to " beta@splashtop.com" to join early beta testing.

  • Avatar
    Scott

    Yes I can not use SplashTop without proper server functionality... so until this gets updated, I can't use it and so far I really do like the product!

  • Avatar
    Info

    I too was planning to chang from Logmein to Splashtop, but the server support is one of my priority and core business.

    So please, I cannot change if Windows server support is not granted

  • Avatar
    Support

    @Scott & Info,

    It should be soon ready, please remember to send mail to " beta@splashtop.com" to join early beta testing.

  • Avatar
    Pblank

    Is it possible that the new version will apply to all versions of Windows, not just Windows server?

  • Avatar
    Support

    @Pblank,

    It is deployment Streamer which will support running as a service on a Windows machine, and deployment Streamer could be installed on all version of Windows.

  • Avatar
    Sales

    Is there any news on release of the beta Streamer

  • Avatar
    Sassan

    Also can you make it possible to have an icon on desktop to request a support session, or right click on the splashtop streamer tray icon to request a session?

  • Avatar
    Pblank

    Just sent an email to beta@.  Hoping it's available now.

  • Avatar
    Support

    I am having difficulties on MANY of the servers I have installed Splashtop Streamer on.  On serveral the Splashtop streamer seems to continuously recycle itself, loading, crashing, loading - over and over.  Several of my servers seem to be running much slower with it on and I notice on some one of the Streamer services is chewing up a lot of system resources.

     

    I am more than a little worried.

  • Avatar
    Pblank

    Beta Report (it's a good start)... I have just installed the Splashtop Business beta on my laptop and on a Windows Server 2012 R2 machine, both after uninstalling the previous versions.  I was able to log on and off that server with no interruption.  And from my Android phone, I could also access the server.  However, the next time I accessed the server from my desktop Splashtop app, I logged out from the server console and the Splashtop service on the server crashed (remote screen froze on my laptop and I could not get back in).  I had to restart the server service before I could get in again.  Luckily I have remote access to the server via IPMI (Supermicro server motherboard) so I could do this from afar. So there's still more work to be done.  I'm not annoyed here, it's not a beta for nothing.

    From the error log entry:

    The program SRServer.exe version 2.66.7.1496 stopped interacting with Windows and was closed....

    Process ID: 135c

     

     

  • Avatar
    Pblank

    More notes on the beta:  The beta Splashtop Business app still can see all other machines in my account; doesn't look like there are any issues there.  And I was able to add the server back into the group it was in before, even though it doesn't accept the deployment code (yet).

  • Avatar
    Support

    @all,

    We have deliver beta build to users who sent mails to  beta@splashtop.com . Please feel free to leave comments here to let us know any questions and results.

     

    @Pblank,

    We tried same scenario you mentioned, log out a console session during remote session, but it will not cause Streamer crash. 

    Does the issue constantly happen? And does it happen on every servers with Streamer installed?

     

  • Avatar
    Pblank

    So far it has only happened once with the beta, but I haven't been working with it. I can assure you that is what happened. You need to make sure that if the service quits, it restarts itself. I've also seen this happen with the last production version of the streamer on a Windows 7 Pro machine (and with other pcs and Macs as well on occasion) - in those cases the computers had to be restarted.  Happens much more often than it did with logmein host. 

  • Avatar
    Pblank

    Just did two more logout / login cycles with that same mserver, no problems. We'll see...

  • Avatar
    Pblank

    oops ... "same server" ...

  • Avatar
    Support

    The beta instructions started going out last week. Thanks for all the feedback thus far. If you'd like to help us beta test and didn't receive the instructions, please write to  beta@splashtop.com.

  • Avatar
    Gene

    I have about 40 servers running the Splashtop streamer, and have intermittent connection issues with all of them. One thing I will say is that I have never been unable to connect. It may take a half dozen tries, but eventually I get in. 

    I've sent a request to the beta list. 

  • Avatar
    Support

    IS there an update to this issue.  I have a "server" (actually a windows PC acting as a server for a small client of mine and I have the same issues.  The Splashtop Application keeps looking like it's trying to start but does not execute.  I have tried uninstalling, removing the two splashtop services and reinstalling.  I have found that after I start the installation if I stop the two splashtop services the installation continues and I can enter the deployment code, spalshtop installs however if I restart the two splashtop services the computer goes offline and the splashtop application again cycles through trying to execute (but fails).  I have temporarily stopped the two splashtop services and set them to manually start which seemed to have resolved the issue .... however this morning the pseudo server is again offline.  I suspect the pseudo server has been shut down and restarted and since I have the splashtop services set to manually restart the application will not execute????

      Is there any update to this issue, it is now July 10th 2015 and we were informed that ot would be resolved by May?

    I too am an ex LogMeIn client who migrated to Splashtop and this is a major issue for me as I cannot support my client 100% as I did with LogMeIn. This is not a complaint, I'd just like to know when I can explain to my client that support services will be back to normal.

    Cheers.

     

    Stewie.

  • Avatar
    Support

    I suspect that a lot of us will be much happier once the new release comes out that is presently in beta.  I have found it to be much more reliable and Splashtop has mostly been a success as a replacement for the horribly overpriced LOGMEIN CENTRAL product for us IT consultants.  I am very much looking forward to seeing Splashtop continue its evolution into a reliable, dominant remote support tool.

  • Avatar
    Support

    We are having issues with multiple servers/computers as well.  is this fix going to be MONTHS from now or are we looking at days/weeks?  I'd love to try the Beta but I'm not sure how to get involved.

  • Avatar
    Support

    @Stewie and Support(support@ticbiz.com),

    Beta build is already available, please you could send a mail to   beta@splashtop.com, our related staffs will reply you directly.

  • Avatar
    Support

    The new streamer is now officially released! It is versioned at 3.0.0.2. It is now the default download as the deployment streamer.

    Screen_Shot_2015-08-27_at_11.01.03_AM.png

    Big thanks to the many of you who beta tested and found bugs for us. If you run into issues with this streamer, please call our support line or file a support ticket, and we'll jump on them.

  • Avatar
    Tyler

    Why doesn't the check for updates ever work? Why do I always have to manually update?

  • Avatar
    Brianhall

    Same here; I can't get the Windows or Mac versions to update.

    Also, the Windows Streamer installation download (from the "download Streamer" link, not deployment) is still the old version, not 3.0.0.2.

  • Avatar
    Support

    @Tyler & Brianhall,

    3.0.0.2 is not pushed to software updater yet. It usually takes two or more weeks to make sure there is no major issue reported before pushing a new version to software updater.

    For now please use the deployment link to get 3.0.0.2 streamer.

    Hope this explains and sorry for the inconvenience. Please feel free to let me know if there is any question.

  • Avatar
    Tyler

    That does explain it. But, I've never had the software updater work for the streamer. I have for the business app, but it has never worked for the clients running the streamer, ever.

  • Avatar
    Thomas

    I hope it will be available trough (auto) update soon!

    Now every time when I manually update a client (by downloading v3 and installing over the current version) I lose connectivity because there is a prompt waiting to ask to reboot to finish the install... So I have to call someone on site to click finish... Not ideal.

    Thanks for implementing this great feature though! Was also missing this the most (as a former LMI user)