RDS 2016 web access some published app icons disappear after iisreset or restart.

Jörg Walther 1 Reputation point

On our Windows 2016 RDS farm when one of the two Web Access servers restarts or we perform an iisreset its ../RDWeb/.. web ui drops some, but not all, published app icons. They just disappear despite refreshing the page multiple times. After performing two, three or four further iisresets they re-appear. This does not happen to established apps but only to ones which have 'recently' been added, say in the last year or so.
I cannot find any relevant event logs entries in either System, Application, IIS, RDS or TS logs.
CB Active Management server role is moved to other CB before restart or iisreset.

Our environment:
One Windows server 2016 RDS farm, consisting of nine servers.
Highly available 2* CB&WA servers (CB & WA roles are on same two servers). CB/WA are behind F5 load balancer from an end user p.o.v.. (Although the testing has been done with URLs targetting the WAs directly).
Database is on an MS SQL cluster
Two collections: collection one has two Session Hosts, collection two has four Session Hosts.
One separate license server.
All servers are updated to at least May 2021.

I wonder if anyone has seen this before or has any relevant troubleshooting suggestions. I'd be very grateful for any assistance.

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  1. Leila Kong 3,691 Reputation points

    Hello @Jörg Walther ,

    Thanks for your query.

    1.you might retrieve new icon by manually deleted the cache files on the RD Web Access Server: C:\Windows\Web\RDWeb\Pages\rdp (default location). Delete all files in there and then try accessing the website again. This should force the web server to refetch all settings from the app server or connection broker and the associated icons.

    2.Did the issue occur before Windows update? What about reinstall the Web Access role on the stand-alone server and check if the Web Access publishing function is the cause? Please also refer to the following post for further troubleshooting: https://social.technet.microsoft.com/Forums/windowsserver/en-US/288aa3c4-1f72-4842-82d8-d1da5ef0c049/server-2008-r2-remote-app-web-access-suddenly-apps-are-gone

    Best regards,

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  2. Jörg Walther 1 Reputation point

    Hi Leila,
    Thanks very much for those suggestions, they are much appreciated.

    Re 1) oddly there is no 'rdp' folder in C:\Windows\Web\RDWeb on either of the two WA servers, so I can't delete those cache files. I know this is a default location but I don't think I ever set custom locations. I cannot find where it might be configured (registry or config file) nor find any likely such folder. Would you have a suggestion of where / how I can find this cache location?

    Re 2) we can't pinpoint exactly when the issue started, just that we're aware of the issue for at least six months. We install Windows updates every month, so can't reference the issue to any particular update.
    We could try to re-install the WA role as the two WA servers are load balanced. However this RDS farm is business critical and our business is very risk averse, so likely to shy away from generic 'try re-install and see if that works' fixes. So unfortunately a re-install will be a last resort approach.
    As for the article it mentions restarting the 'RemoteApp and Desktop Connection Management" service to clear a different cache. I tried this, but still the issue persisted so does not prevent it; also once the issue surfaces a subsequent restart of this service does not fix it, only several iisresets do.

    On a side note I have now tested opening the app from a previously downloaded rdp file when the icon disappears from the web page. This does still work. To me this implies the issue is with WA and not CB.

    I hope you may have a few more suggestions.

    Kind regards,

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  3. Jörg Walther 1 Reputation point

    Could the cache location now be this in Windows 2016?


    It contains lots of *.ico files, roughly equivalent to current list of published apps and likewise folders <PublishesAppName>\FileTypes\ (empty).

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  4. Leila Kong 3,691 Reputation points

    Hello @Jörg Walther ,

    Thanks for your information.

    1.If we publish a Notepad app that built in the session host, will the RemoteApp icon of Notepad also disappear when the Web server is restarted?
    2.Since we have highly available RDweb, will the same issue occur on the other RDweb server if we shut down one RDweb server? If this problem only occurs on one RDweb server, we may reinstall a new RDweb server and add it to the existing RDS farm, then delete the problematic RDweb server.

    Please try the above method and check if it works. If not, we sincerely recommend that you open a case to Microsoft support for further professional help since this issue seems a little strange without any relevant event logs for analysis: https://support.microsoft.com/en-us/help/4341255/support-for-busines

    Thanks for your cooperation!

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  5. Jörg Walther 1 Reputation point

    Hi and thanks again for your reply!

    1. Yes. I have just published C:\Windows\notepad.exe. As expected this app appeared immediately after a page refresh on both WA ui's. Then I performed an iisreset on one of the WA's and notepad disappeared off the ui from that WA, but remained visible on the web ui of the other WA. It took five further iisresets for the notepad app icon to re-appear on both WA ui's.
    2. The issue occurs on both WA's. So I believe the cause is more of a systemic underlying issue, rather than just one server being dodgy.

    We agree and will open up a support case.

    Thanks for your help.