One of the benefits of a third-party add-on product to Terminal Services such as Citrix MetaFrame Presentation Server is published applications with seamless windows. In fact the default setting for MPS 3.0 is to only allow users to access remote servers via published applications.

Most people use seamless windows every day without actually knowing how the technology works. This article will explain how these technical components work and how you can fix seamless windows problems by focusing on Windows 2000/2003 up through MPS 3.0. Citrix Presentation Server 4.0 will work a bit differently, and we’ll discuss that in a future article.

TThe Windows logon and logoff process is a complex part of a Terminal Server environment, and these processes are complicated even more when Citrix MetaFrame Presentation Server is installed. However, knowing how these processes really work can cut down your troubleshooting time.

This article can’t cover all aspects and every detail of the logon and logoff processes. However, it will take a look at these processes from an administrator’s standpoint (as opposed to taking a developer’s perspective).

The first part of this article covers the session initialization. It covers the steps that take place from the time a client tries to connect until the application shows up on the user’s desktop. (Note that we’re only talking about the actual connection from the client to the server. We are not talking about application enumeration or load balancing since those activities take place before a client connects to a server.)

The second part of this article will cover the disconnection and logoff processes.

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