Monday, 13 October 2014

Using PSLIST to fix RDP black screen

Ever had those days when you connect to a server by RDP after someone tells you that it’s performing really slowly and you connect only to meet a black screen.

Well how can you fix a performance issue when you can’t see what’s happening right? Now I know the more lazy ones among you would be thinking restart the server, well yes that would fix the issue temporality but you'd still be no closer to solving the issue.

So here is little known fact most often black screen is cause by windows not being able to load resources for example memory to be more exact the non-page pool running out.

Pslist –m \\servername

You now have a list of process id’s now I like to get the output into excel for later competition to work out what happened aka who’s the leaky app that is eating my memory.
But let’s pretend that you know what app that might be already or you just want to kill process to make room for you RDP session.

So another great tool is PSKILL, just like its name it kills processes by id so remember to use the pid number you got from PSLIST or you could kill the wrong one.

Pskill \\servername 37421

Now remember system pid is changed after each reboot or restart of the application so sometimes you might want to use the name if its unique like “app1”

Now having freed up some memory without losing the logs you can do a good troubleshooting job over RDP.