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April 3, 2011

Creating a Trace file/detailed Log in RES Workspace Manager 2011

by Grant Tiller
Grant Tiller
From time to time, the support team here at RES Software may ask you for a trace file or a detailed log.
This helps us to better understand what is happening on a machine, and is often an essential part of pinpointing the cause of an unexpected behavior.
There are a couple of ways you can enable the detailed trace, but to keep it easy I always tend to enable tracing from an Admin PC (that way you don’t need to log on as admin, enable tracing, then log on as your test user.
This produces a much cleaner log file)
 
Preparing to Create a Trace File
If you are using the Read-Only Blanketing functionality within RES Workspace Manager, you will need to create an exception in Global Authorized Files to allow the trace file to write.
This functionality is only available in the Gold Edition of RES Workspace Manager so if you are not using the Gold Edition, or if you have not enabled this function, then please ignore this step:
To create the exception, go to the RES Workspace Manager Console and navigate to Security => Global Authorized Files
Click Add at the bottom of the right pane:
In the Authorize file dialogue box fill out the text fields with the appropriate details:
Authorized file (path): c:\temp\RESTrace.log
Administrative note: (optionally) Enter a description of the exception.
Under Authorized operation, make sure that both Execute and Modify options are both checked:
Click OK to commit the new file:
Creating the Trace File
On your admin PC, type services.msc from the run dialogue box:
Within the services console, right click Services in the left pane, and select Connect to another computer…
 
 
 

 

In the Select Computer dialogue box, type the name or IP address of the PC, Terminal Server or Hosted Virtual Desktop running Workspace Manager that you would like to enable tracing on:
Locate the RES Workspace Manager service, right click and select stop:
The next step is to make three minor changes to the registry in order to enable tracing.
From the run dialogue box on your admin PC run regedit:
In the registry editor, go to File and select Connect Network Registry…
 
Type the name or IP address of the PC, Terminal Server or Hosted Virtual Desktop running Workspace Manager that you would like to enable tracing on:
Scroll through HKEY_LOCAL_MACHINE => SOFTWARE => RES => Workspace Manager:
Note that, if you are on a 64-bit operating system, you will need to locate the necessary key in a different location:
 
 
HKEY_LOCAL_MACHINE => SOFTWARE => Wow6432Node => RES => Workspace Manager
You then need to create three String Values:
Value: Trace
Type: REG_SZ
Data: Yes
Value: TraceDetailed
Type: REG_SZ
Data: Yes
Value: TraceFile
Type: REG_SZ
Data: c:\temp\RESTrace.log
You can now go back to the Services snap-in and start the RES Workspace Manager service:
Now turn to the PC, Terminal Server or Hosted Virtual Desktop that is running Workspace Manager, and log in as usual:
Perform the routine or action that contains the unexpected behavior that you would like RES Software to investigate.
If it is appropriate to do so, make a note of the time that the unexpected behavior occurs:
Do not stay logged on to the user session for too long, and be sure not to open applications or perform any actions that are not connected to the unexpected behavior you have seen.
The log file that is being written is limited to two megabytes in size, and when the content reaches this size, it will start overwriting the earliest entries.
Log Off the desktop session (it is important to do this whilst the trace is running, as we can ensure that all processes are being finished and ended cleanly)
Now go back to the Admin PC, and stop the RES Workspace Manager service on the PC, Terminal Server or Hosted Virtual Desktop running Workspace Manager:
Map through the c$ share to retrieve the RESTrace.log file from the temp directory:
Feel free to zip the trace file:
The compression ratio will be very high, and it will keep the load off your mail server:
Tidying up After Creating the Trace File
It is our recommendation that you do not leave the tracing running on the PC, Terminal Server or Hosted Virtual Desktop running Workspace Manager since this will hinder the performance of the User’s session.
Therefore, while the RES Workspace Manager service is halted, set the values of Trace and TraceDetailed string values to No:
Value: Trace
Type: REG_SZ
Data: No
Value: TraceDetailed
Type: REG_SZ
Data: No
Alternatively, you can delete the three keys totally:
You can now close the registry editor, and then start the RES Workspace Manager service:
Create an Instant Report of the Event Log
The final step is to create an Instant Report of the user Event Log – this file gives a great summary of what happened during the user’s session.
In the RES Workspace Manager Console, navigate to Diagnostics => Workspace Analysis:
Type the name of your test user into the Search for: field, and hit the Search button:
Right click the name of the User Account returned after the search and select Analyze:
At the top of the tree, right click the user’s name and choose Select  
items for Instant Report
 
 
Un-check the top of the tree:
Then navigate to Diagnostics => Event Log
You will see a list of time and date stamps that relate to the user sessions
Check the box relating to the last session:
Right click the tree, and select Create Instant Report of selected  
items…
 
 
The Instant Report Viewer will launch and display the report that you have generated.
Click the Save… button to generate a pdf file of the Instant Report:
You will be prompted for the name and location of your report:
That’s it – you now have an instant report to go with the Trace file, which will allow the RES Software Support staff to better understand your issues.
Sending the Data to RES Software
If you have been asked to produce some tracing and logging, it will in association to a support call that has been already opened.
When you send the logs back in to support, please ensure that you put the call number into the subject line of the email to our support department.
The format should take the form of: RES Support Ticket #xxxxxx# – description of support call
This will ensure that we can update the call, and work on your issues as quickly as possible.
Thanks for reading this article, and remember that in order to solve the problem, first we need to understand the cause.

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