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I have set up ESXi to run some virtual machines. At the moment I only have two machines, an Ubuntu 13.04 and then a Windows XP Pro machine. I want to use the Windows XP Pro machine to run a desktop program I have created. This program is supposed to be running 24h/day. So I logged in on the Windows XP Pro machine and started the program. I checked on it several times by disconnecting it and logging in again. Everything looked fine. But the next day, the session was gone. When I logged in again, it was like starting up a fresh session. Nothing was running and the familiar welcome sound was playing.

My questions are:

  • Are there any timeouts on sessions on Windows XP Pro that kills these sessions if they have been disconnected for some time?
  • How can I see why the session dissapears? Does it say so in the event log or some place like that?
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  1. How good is the latency to your servers?

    ping & & traceroute

  2. Have you considered using a different RDP application? I found from my linux experience Remmina is an excellent program, far better than Windows RDP.

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Nothing in Windows XP Pro should force a session to log off after a period of time unless your power options are such that the computer powers itself off after a certain idle time. Make sure you have all of your power settings set to "Never" if this is a machine that should be always on. Even if the computer had gone into sleep or hibernate, it shouldn't have permanently ended your Windows session.

It is also possible that the ESXi host is powering off or forcing its guest machines to "power off." Be sure to check logs on that as well.

I would check the Windows XP Logs under Event Viewer in Computer Management, specifically under System look back over the last day or so and see if you see anything like: The operating system is shutting down at system time xxxxxx

Or, if the ESXi host experienced a hard power down, of course you won't see anything in the Windows logs about that, but sometimes the absence of log entries can be a clue as well and can give you an approximate time frame to check into.

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