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Remote Desktop problem on cloned computer RRS feed

  • Question

  • I setup Vista Business x64 on computer A, installed Live Mesh, joined the computer to user A's mesh with a name of "Computer A".

    Then I cloned computer A to computer B using Acronis True Image. Uninstalled live mesh on computer B, then reinstalled live mesh and joined the computer to user B's mesh with a name of "Computer B".

    Now when user A remotely connects to "Computer A", he ends up connected to computer B instead.

    What can I do to fix this problem?
    Thursday, December 25, 2008 2:20 PM

Answers

  • Hi,

    We had another customer with a very similar problem a while back.  The issue here is that Live Mesh was installed before Computer A was cloned.  In order to get Live Mesh to work on the clone (i.e., computer B in this case) the device ID has to be cleared (with, e.g., sysprep) before installation of the image.  Unfortunately, if this was not done there is no way that I know of to get Live Mesh to work properly on the imaged machine.  Please let me know if you have any questions.

    Thanks,

    Ben.
    Monday, January 5, 2009 11:22 PM

All replies

  • I think the problem could have something to do with the fact that uninstalling doesn't fully remove the certificates that identify the machine. I think you need to remove both machines from Live Mesh (not sure if there will be any weird conflicts) and then add each one separately (i.e. once they are both clean). That should give you two separate live mesh machines...
    Friday, December 26, 2008 9:44 AM
  • The certificates idea seemed like a good possibility.

    I uninstalled Live Mesh from Computer B, then did a "sysprep /oobe /generalize /reboot" on Computer B in an attempt to make that computer have its own unique Live Mesh identity. Then reinstalled Live Mesh on Computer B and joined it to User B's Live Mesh.

    Unfortunately, the problem still remains.

    When User A remotes into Computer A via Live Mesh sometimes he ends up connecting to Computer A, and sometimes he ends up connecting to Computer B.

    If User A attempts to connect to Computer A, but ends up connecting to Computer B, his Mesh system tray icon (on the connect-from computer) still shows Computer A with "Connect to device" available, so while the remote desktop window to Computer B is still open, he can again click on "Connect to device" to Computer A and that seems to work. Not sure if it works because of the open window to Computer B, or just random chance. So there is a workaround for the moment.

    Microsoft folks - please help me get this fixed!
    Tuesday, December 30, 2008 1:42 PM
  • Interesting issue and one I look forward to reading the answer to. I have cloned VPCs in the past and could see myself running into this issue. :-)
    -steve
    Microsoft MVP Windows Live / Windows Live OneCare Forum Moderator
    Tuesday, December 30, 2008 7:06 PM
    Moderator
  • Hi,

    We had another customer with a very similar problem a while back.  The issue here is that Live Mesh was installed before Computer A was cloned.  In order to get Live Mesh to work on the clone (i.e., computer B in this case) the device ID has to be cleared (with, e.g., sysprep) before installation of the image.  Unfortunately, if this was not done there is no way that I know of to get Live Mesh to work properly on the imaged machine.  Please let me know if you have any questions.

    Thanks,

    Ben.
    Monday, January 5, 2009 11:22 PM
  • Ben,

    What is the "device ID" that you refer to, and where is it stored?

    How does Live Mesh use the device ID to connect from remote to host?

    You said that in order for this to work the device ID has to be cleared before "installation of the image". I don't understand. Please elaborate on exactly what steps would have to be performed in order for this to have worked.

    You also said that in this case "there is no way I know of to get Live Mesh to work properly." Is that a definitive "you can't get there from here?"

    Is there someone else on the Live Mesh team who might know how to fix this? If so, please ask around for me.

    Thanks for your help,
    Bob
    Tuesday, January 6, 2009 3:10 AM
  • BobAtPQ said:

    Ben,

    What is the "device ID" that you refer to, and where is it stored?

    How does Live Mesh use the device ID to connect from remote to host?

    You said that in order for this to work the device ID has to be cleared before "installation of the image". I don't understand. Please elaborate on exactly what steps would have to be performed in order for this to have worked.

    You also said that in this case "there is no way I know of to get Live Mesh to work properly." Is that a definitive "you can't get there from here?"

    Is there someone else on the Live Mesh team who might know how to fix this? If so, please ask around for me.

    Thanks for your help,
    Bob



    Hi Bob,

    The device ID is information stored in the user profile that identifies the computer.  When using Live Mesh, if the device ID is the same on computer A and computer B, Live Mesh will see them as the same computer.  In order to avoid this, when you use an image to install Windows on new hardware you need to use the sysprep tool to make the image "generic" before putting that image on the new hardware.  That way, when you create the new accounts on that computer, etc., everything will be new.  Sysprep is a tool that ships with the Windows Deployment toolkit that allows you to generalize a Windows installation after it has been installed.  After generalizing the install, you can then image it (pick your favorite disk imaging software) and deploy it to different hardware.

    You can view additional information in this thread.

    I hope that helps,

    Ben.
    Tuesday, January 6, 2009 7:42 PM
  • Have a look at this article:
    http://support.microsoft.com/default.aspx/kb/302577

    It describes how Sysprep is used to "neuter" a base PC XP install that can then be cloned and used on multiple PCs.
    It is probably *way* more information than you need, but it is interesting reading.

    Apparently, Live Mesh uses a/the Device ID to uniquely identify the PC it is installed on. Cloning a PC without clearing the Device ID will cause the PC to have the same Device ID on all copies. What I can't say is that this Device ID is created by Live Mesh or already exists on the PC before Live Mesh is installed. In any event, the fact that the PC had Live Mesh on it before it was cloned, means that even reinstalling Live Mesh will not change things. It *is* still the same PC as far as Live Mesh is concerned. It sounds like a reinstall will simply put you back in the same place you were before the reinstall.

    It also sounds like the lesson here is that you *can't* clone a PC in this manner. In fact, it does skate on the edge of licensing concerns since you are using the same copy of Vista on two machines, physical or virtual, which is against the license terms for Windows. If you were to clone a PC because the original was to to wiped clean and used for other purposes - new OS install, replaced drive, etc - you would not have an issue since PC A *is* PC B.

    -steve


    Microsoft MVP Windows Live / Windows Live OneCare Forum Moderator
    Tuesday, January 6, 2009 7:53 PM
    Moderator