I was trying to improve one of my VDI machines and decided it was a good idea to enable RemoteFX on the host (Windows 2008 R2 Service Pack 1) to improve the responsiveness of the VDI machine (Running Ubuntu 12.4 LTS in this case) by giving it some extra graphical oomph.

My Hyper-V lab host is also running as the Domain Controller for my lab domain, and as it turns out this combination is not able to work properly. There is no error message, nor is there a warning when you install either role on the server.

The only sign there is something wrong is the fact that the Hyper-v Manager will hang on ‘Loading Settings’ when you open the Settings for a Guest or that the machines enabeled with RemoteFX will fail to load at all.

To cut to the chase Microsoft does not offer a solution where this configuration will result in a working RemoteFX enabled machine with the Domain Controller role installed on the Host. In stead it has been declared the issue is by design and therefore not supported.

Technet article:

You have a server that is running the Remote Desktop Virtualization Host service in Windows Server 2008 R2 Service Pack 1. When you configure Active Directory on the server to add the server as a domain controller, you experience the following symptoms:

  • All existing RemoteFX-enabled virtual machines do not start.
  • An administrator cannot create a new RemoteFX-enabled virtual machine.

I have not been able to find a way around this, several articles on the web suggest different ways to remedy the ‘Loading Settings’ issue. But all solutions end up either uninstalling or disabling the RemoteFX role or driver or moving the Domain Controller services off the machine.

Looks like i will be re-purposing some hardware to get my RemoteFX fix on.

RemoteFX whitepaper download from Microsoft:

Stopping the RemoteFX VideoCap driver via command line

dism /online /disable-feature /featurename:Microsoft-Windows-RemoteFX-EmbeddedVideoCap-Setup-Package