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Slow boot and black screen on MCS provisioned Azure NVv4 instances


dpalchu521

Question

Deployment:

 

CVAD 1903 with infrastructure on-prem

MCS 

Windows Server 2016 Server VDI

Azure NVv4

 

Having an issue with MCS-provisioned NVv4 instances where on boot the user gets a black screen that stays on for about a minute followed by windows ctr-al-del screen. As soon as user hits ctr-alt-del they can logon without entering credentials. Once the system logs on no issues. Exact same MCS base image that runs on F4s does not have similar problems. Furthermore if NVv4 is pre-booted and allowed to sit there for a bit, there are no logon issues. Something happens on boot where the Citrix services start and logons are allowed, yet the system is not ready.

 

The one thing I can see in logs is that security-spp process takes about 2-3 minutes as opposed to 1 on other instances. 

 

My questions are: has anyone used NVv4's with MCS and on-demand boot? Or seen similar issues with boot and logon delay? Also, is it possible to delay the start of Citrix services until the machines is "settled"? Perhaps scheduled task.

 

Thanks!

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On 11/26/2020 at 8:00 AM, Jochen Eberhard1709155358 said:

Have you ever solved this problem? We use 1912LTSR (VDA on 1912LTSR CU2), Azure NV8as_v4 SKU, non-persistent VMs.

 

When connecting to a pre booted VM everything is fine. But if the VM has to be started first the user gets "Getting Devices Ready" displayed and after the logon is done the "Citrix Display Only Adapter" display adapter is used instead of  the "AMD" adapter.

It seems like the VDA cannot detect the AMD GPU while booting up with a connected session. 

 

 

 

Circling back. After several months of working with MS and Citrix support techs as well as my own trial and error, I believe I have a solution to the boot on demand issue. Because we now have the license for Windows workstation OS in Azure I switched the environment to using Win 10. Keep in mind that only Win 10 1809 and 1909 are currently supported on this base.

 

Per MS support, each time NVv4 boots the graphics driver gets basically reinstalled. This process is NOT fast. When you see the "Getting Devices Ready" screen is when AMD graphics (among other things possibly?) is getting loaded. With Windows 10 at least the session does not break and SSO continues to function once you get past the black screen. This was not the case with the Server OS. 

But as mentioned above, Citrix would load ever DOD adapter or IDD. With the latter you would have some graphics support. Unfortunately several apps in my use case would not work with Citrix's IDD. So here is my fix:

 

1. Set the registry on the Delivery Controllers to allow longer registration times

2. On the base MCS image configure Citrix Desktop Service for manual start

3. Create Scheduled Task to start Citrix Desktop Service on startup but with 2 minute delay

 

This two minute delay give Windows enough time to fully load the graphics driver and when the Citrix Desktop Service is ready to launch it no longer defaults to IDD or DOD. 

 

So currently it takes slightly longer then 5 minutes from start to finish (depending on the user profile size) to spin up the NVv4 and load the session. 

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15 hours ago, James Kindon said:

NV4 is the AMD GPU spec machine right? When you built your image, did you build it on the N-series and deploy the driver sets, into the master?

Not 100 percent on the initial built, but it was last updated on the NVv4. When the boot process is finally done, the drivers including the GPU seem to be OK. 

I will rebuild from scratch again just to be sure, but I think there is another issue. I have seen this problem during the NVv4 preview early in the winter, but did not pursue it given it was not full production roll out. 

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Have you ever solved this problem? We use 1912LTSR (VDA on 1912LTSR CU2), Azure NV8as_v4 SKU, non-persistent VMs.

 

When connecting to a pre booted VM everything is fine. But if the VM has to be started first the user gets "Getting Devices Ready" displayed and after the logon is done the "Citrix Display Only Adapter" display adapter is used instead of  the "AMD" adapter.

It seems like the VDA cannot detect the AMD GPU while booting up with a connected session. 

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