Troubleshoot a User's Device (Troubleshoot Device)

Use the Troubleshoot Device dashboard to display relevant data for support teams about the recent usage of a Windows monitored device, including recent installations, recent CPU and memory usage (HRC), the Windows processes using the most resources, boot times, recent health events and network connections, so service teams can troubleshoot the device with minimum effort.

Troubleshoot a device by viewing key support information

For example, if a user calls support, use this dashboard as your first entry point to troubleshoot and resolve a problem with their PC. All your typical device questions are laid out for you: the operating system, network connection, top processes, memory, CPU usage, health events and so on. Change the timeframe to view the device at the time the problem occurred, making it a powerful troubleshooting tool.

The Troubleshoot User's Device Dashboard
Field Description
Summary bar

View a summary of this device's key information, including whether it is currently reporting data to Aternity, location, IP, operating system and last boot.

For more information, see this step below).

CPU and Memory

Look for any high percentages of usage in the history of the device's CPU, physical memory or virtual memory during the timeframe of the dashboard.

For more information, see this step below).

Top Processes

(Windows, Macs, and Android only) View the processes on this device which occupy the most resources during the dashboard's timeframe.

For more information, see this step below).

Battery Level

(Macs and Mobile) View the percentage battery charge for this device at any time.

Additional data related to battery status:

  • Battery Charging is true or false depending on whether it is currently being charged.

  • Battery Health status as reported by the operating system (not available in iOS).

Disk Queue Length

(All Windows devices except virtual application servers) Displays the number of waiting I/O requests to read or write to the hard disk or a logical disk at a given time during the timeframe.

You can also customize the view of this section with the drop-down menu to view:

  • Disk IO Read

  • Disk IO Write

  • Network IO Read

  • Network IO Write

  • Max CPU Core Utilization

  • Signal Strength - Wi-Fi

  • (Macs only) Battery Level

  • (Macs only) SNR - Wi-Fi

  • (Macs only) Noise Level - Wi-Fi

For more information on all these sections, see this step below.

Free Space (%)

(Macs only) Displays the amount (GB) or percentage (%) of free space on the device's system disk which contains the operating system installation.

You can also customize the view of this section with the drop-down menu to view:

  • Free Space (GB) displays the absolute number of gigabytes free on the Mac's system disk.

  • Battery Level

  • Signal Strength

Sessions

(Virtual application servers only) View the total number of open sessions into this virtual application server during the timeframe. Hover your mouse pointer over the line to view the number of active and inactive sessions.

The dashboard displays sessions which connect via the RDP, ICA or PCoIP protocols.

Applications

View the list of applications (desktop and web) running on this device, and key information about their performance for end users. For more information, see the step below.

Outgoing Connections

(Physical Windows device only) Displays any virtual sessions opened from this physical device (which would be the front line terminal) to a VDI virtual desktop, virtual application or RDP session during the dashboard's timeframe. It also displays some details of the virtual device, and the latency time of the connection.

You can drill down to view more about that other device, like troubleshooting that device, the experience of this user over all devices, and performance changes while performing specific activities.

Connected Users

(Virtual device only) View the list of front line users connected to this virtual desktop, and the latency times during the dashboard's timeframe.

You can drill down to view more about the other device, like troubleshooting that device, the experience of this user over all devices, and performance changes while performing specific activities.

Recent Health Events

(Windows, Macs only) Displays the list of hardware health events for this device during the past seven days. See the Device Health dashboard for more details.

(Mobile) For each monitored mobile app, it displays the list of app crashes and app errors for the past seven days.

Recent Installed Applications

(Windows only) Displays the list of applications installed or upgraded as part of an auto-update during the past seven days.

Recent Boots

(Windows, Macs only) Displays the boot date and times, and the total boot time of each boot reported during the past seven days.

(Windows) The total boot time on a Windows device starts from the time the Windows logo appears until the desktop appears and all components are loaded. Agent queries Windows Event Log (ID 100) for the BootTime parameter, calculated as the sum of main path boot and post boot times, located in the Diagnostics > Performance > Windows section of the log.

(Macs) The total boot time on a Mac device starts when the system logs the start of the boot, and ends when the system is ready for sign in.

For more information on the boots performed on Windows, see the Boot Analysis dashboard.

WIndows boot time definitions

Procedure

  1. Step 1 Open a browser and sign in to Aternity.
  2. Step 2 Select Main Menu > Troubleshoot > User or Device.
    Accessing Troubleshoot User or Device
  3. Step 3 Select the user's device to display in the dashboard.
    Select a user's device which needs troubleshooting
    Field Description
    Enter a username or device name

    Start typing the name of the user or the hostname of a device. The system offers choices to auto-complete your text.

    Select a device

    If you chose a username, the system offers a list of devices associated with that username.

    show me

    Select if you are not sure on the device to troubleshoot. The system redirects you to the Monitor User Experience dashboard so you can view the performance of all the devices of that user, and then drill down from there back to Troubleshoot Device.

  4. Step 4 View a summary of this device's key information, including whether it is currently reporting data to Aternity, its location, IP, operating system, user, department and last boot.
    View a quick summary of the key support information about a device
    Field Description
    Stability Index

    (Windows only) This index is made up of:

    • Reliability Value: The stability index (used to be reliability value) is a Windows score (from 1 to 10) of a PC's overall stability (search in WIndows for the Windows Reliability Monitor). As the number and severity of errors increases, it lowers the stability index. Aternity displays the average for the previous day, or, if unavailable, it shows the most recent daily average. The server versions of Windows do not have this measurement, and many virtual desktops (VDIs) disable it in their WIndows settings, and therefore would not report it to Aternity.

    • Reliability Grade: The reliability grade of a Windows device is the colored status of its reliability value, using Aternity's standard method to derive a status.

    Network

    (Devices with Agent 9.x or later) Displays the type of network connection of the device: Mobile or WiFi, and also LAN (for non-mobile devices only).

    OS

    Displays the generic name and version of the operating system (like MS Windows 10, MS Windows Server 2008 R2, MacOS 10.3, iOS 10 or Android 6).

    Last Boot

    (Windows, Mac, and mobile devices) Displays the date and time of the last boot of the device.

    Business Location

    Displays the current location of the device, and whether or not it is connected via VPN (by checking for known VPN adapters which are operational).

    If Aternity uses site-based location mapping, it reports the location as Off-site when the device is not connected to the Microsoft Active Directory. For legacy location mapping, if it cannot determine the location name, it reports it as Not Mapped. A mobile device with no location name reports as Off-site if it is on 3G or 4G/LTE, or Not Mapped if it is on WiFi.

    On virtual deployments (virtual applications like Citrix XenApp and virtual desktops like Citrix XenDesktop), Aternity always tries to report the location of the end user's front-end device by detecting its subnet.

    Manufacturer

    Displays the name of the device manufacturer, for example, Samsung, Apple, Dell, Lenovo, and so on.

    Model

    Displays the name of the model of the device, for example iPhone 6s, GalaxyTab8, MacBook Pro 12.1, Dell Latitude D620.

    IP Address

    (Windows only) Displays the device's internal IP address (including IP v6 if the device runs Agent 10 or later) which it uses to connect to Aternity.

    Subnet

    (Windows only) Displays the subnet configuration of the device (including IP v6 if the device runs Agent 10 or later) used to connect to Aternity.

    Connected User

    Displays the username of the person working with the device.

    Department

    Displays the name of the department to which the user or the device belongs.

    For further information, you can drill down from the Connected User section to any of the following dashboards:

  5. Step 5 Look for any high percentages of usage in the CPU and Memory section, which displays the history of the device's CPU, physical memory or virtual memory during the timeframe of the dashboard.

    Each point in the graph represents the maximum usage of that resource in its one-hour slot.

    Recent usage of CPU, physical and virtual memory

    For each of line in the graph (CPU, physical memory, or virtual memory), look for:

    • High CPU usage slows down the device performance, but it is often caused by only a single application.

      If you see consistent high readings, check the Top Processes section at different points on this graph to discover if a single program is causing the high CPU usage. Also check this application on other devices, and if so, consider removing it from your policy.

    • High physical memory usage (above 80%) significantly slows down the system as the device issues many more data requests to its virtual memory (hard page faults).

      Each request to virtual memory is about 1000 times slower than a request within the physical memory, hence performance is hit hard. To reduce this, check the Applications section for too many heavy applications running simultaneously. If all are necessary, consider upgrading the device's RAM.

    • High virtual memory usage (above 80%) indicates the device is at risk of running out of memory, with many applications issuing multiple memory exception errors.

      Resolve this by clearing out hard disk space and possibly upgrading RAM.

      Hover over any of the graphs to see the value of all three parameters at a given point in time.

    It displays minute-by-minute reports for the last 48 hours, then a 10 minute summary for data 48-72 hours ago, then hourly summaries beyond 72 hours ago. To view finer detail around a specific time period, drill down to Zoom in on this time.

  6. Step 6 In the Top Processes section, view the top processes on this Windows or Mac device which occupy the most resources during the dashboard's timeframe, updated every two minutes.

    You can view five types of measurements which consume the device's resources (HRC), by selecting the resource type in the section's drop-down menu. The Aternity Agent reports a device's highest resource consumers (top processes) only if one of the HRC measurements exceeds its predefined threshold.

    For example, if the CPU usage threshold is 50% (default) and the total CPU usage for all the processes on the device is at 80%, the Top Processes section displays the five processes which consume the most CPU.

    Tip

    To see the top processes at a specific time, select that point on the graph in the CPU and Memory section and check the Top Processes section.

    View the top resource hogs
    Field Description
    Process

    The name of the process which is taking up high resource usage.

    Recorded At

    Displays the time when the process had a high resource usage, where at least one of the five measurements exceeds its threshold.

    Value

    Displays the percentage resource usage of this process.

    The Agent may have recorded these values at different times within the dashboard's timeframe, so the total percentage of all listed CPU Utilization can sometimes exceed 100%.

    Hover over the Value column to view the key resource usage measurements at that time.

    View the full picture of resource usage at that time
    Field Description Default Threshold
    CPU Utilization

    (Windows, Macs, Android only) Displays the processes occupying the highest CPU percentage on the device during the timeframe, and view the maximum usage for each process. For example, when an intensive graphics application uses a high CPU for several minutes, or an application hangs.

    By default, Aternity collects top processes data if the total CPU usage of all processes on the device rises above 50%, or if the disk queue length is more than 1.

    Disk IO Read

    (Windows only) Displays the processes which performed the highest rate of read requests from the device's hard disk during the timeframe, and view the maximum read rate for each process. To look for the exact times when peaks occurred, view the graphs of the Disk IO Read section.

    For example, if a virus scanner slows performance by issuing many disk read requests, reschedule to off-peak times. Alternatively, if the read rate falls to almost zero, the hard disk may be failing, or its connection to the computer may be unreliable.

    By default, Aternity collects top processes data if the total read rate from the hard disk exceeds 1 megabyte per second (MBps), or if the disk queue length is more than 1.

    Disk IO Write

    (Windows only) Displays the processes which performed the highest rate of write requests to the device's hard disk during the timeframe, and view the maximum write rate for each process.

    For example, a movie editor can perform large disk writes, slowing down the device's performance. Alternatively, if the write rate falls to almost zero, the hard disk may be failing, or its connection to the computer may be unreliable.

    By default, Aternity collects top processes data if the total write rate to the hard disk exceeds 1 megabyte per second (MBps), or if the disk queue length is more than 1.

    Physical Memory

    Displays the processes which utilize the most physical memory (known as the total working set) during the timeframe, and view the maximum physical memory usage for each process.

    Use this to find processes which suffer memory leakage, causing other applications to slow down.

    By default, Aternity collects top processes data if the total physical RAM usage of all processes on the device rises above 90%, or if the disk queue length is more than 1.

    Virtual Memory

    (Windows only) Displays the processes which reserve the most virtual memory (known as commit size), during the timeframe, and view the peak commit size for each process.

    High usage of virtual memory slows performance significantly, because using the hard disk instead of RAM is 1000 times slower than physical memory. To resolve, increase the capacity of RAM on the device.

    By default, Aternity collects top processes data if the total commit size usage of all processes on the device rises above 90% of the device's virtual memory, or if the disk queue length is more than 1.

  7. Step 7 Use the Disk Queue Length section to view the essential I/O measurements of this Windows (only) device during the dashboard's timeframe.

    Use the drop-down menu on the right hand side of this section to view different key I/O measurements.

    View any I/O bottlenecks to the disk or network
    Field Description
    Disk Queue Length

    Displays the number of waiting I/O requests to read or write to the hard disk or a logical disk at a given time during the timeframe.

    A consistent queue for the disk indicates a bottleneck in hard disk access, which significantly impacts on system performance, either due to excess system demands on the disk, or it can be a hardware disk problem. To check if the problem is hardware, view if the speed (rate of reads and writes to the disk) is low by selecting Disk IO Read or Disk IO Write from this section's drop-down menu.

    Disk IO Read

    Displays the rate at which the device reads from the hard disk in MB per second at any given time during the timeframe.

    For example, if a virus scanner slows performance by issuing many disk read requests, reschedule to off-peak times. Alternatively, if the read rate falls to almost zero, the hard disk may be failing, or its connection to the computer may be unreliable.

    Disk IO Write

    DIsplays the rate at which the device writes to the hard disk in MB per second at any given time during the timeframe.

    For example, a movie editor can perform large disk writes, slowing down the device's performance. Alternatively, if the write rate falls to almost zero, the hard disk may be failing, or its connection to the computer may be unreliable.

    Network IO Read

    Displays the data downloads of this device in MB per second at any given time during the timeframe.

    For example, if its throughput or usage of bandwidth is low, and the user complains of slow network connections, consider checking the NIC hardware.

    Network IO Write

    Displays the data uploads from this device in MB per second at any given time during the timeframe.

    For example, if its throughput or usage of bandwidth is low, and the user complains of slow network connections, consider checking the NIC hardware.

    Max CPU Core Utilization

    (Windows) Displays the individual CPU core processor with the highest percentage usage at a given time. Look for 100% for a length of time (flat line), indicating a process is stuck and hogging that CPU's resources. For example, if the device has four CPU cores, where one is at 100% usage and the others are idle, it will display a value of 100%.

    Network Speed - WiFi

    (Macs and in Windows from Agent 9.2) Displays the potential speed (bandwidth) of the WiFi connection at that moment, in megabits per second (Mbps). Lower WiFi bandwidth can be due to poor signal strength or overlapping channels, which slows the network time. In Windows, see the potential speed in the Control Panel > Network and Sharing > Adapter Settings > Status of the WiFi connection. In Macs, view it in About This Mac > System Report > Network > Wi-Fi.

    WiFi network speed on Windows and Macs
    Signal Strength - Wi-Fi

    (Windows Agent 9.2 or later, Macs and mobile devices) Displays the percent strength of the WiFi signal which the device receives, which can impact communication speed. For more details, hover your mouse over the graph in the dashboard to see the name of the WiFi network connection (SSID), the wireless network card MAC address (BSSID), and the WiFi channel.

    View the details of the wireless network connection

    (Mobile only) For mobile network connections (3G / 4G / LTE), view the signal strength to the mobile carrier, the type of phone network (like CDMA or GSM) and the name of the carrier.

    SNR - WiFi

    (Macs only) Displays the WiFi signal-to-noise ration (SNR), which is the strength of the data measured in decibels minus the background noise. Low SNR impacts significantly on network performance. Higher speed connections require a higher SNR. For example, at 54 Mbps you need an SNR of at least 25 decibels.

    Noise Level - WiFi

    (Macs only) Displays the background noise level of the WiFi connection for this device, measured in decibels. High noise levels lower the quality of a connection (signal to noise ratio), which slows the effective speed of that connection, which in turn lowers an application's performance.

  8. Step 8 View all the applications (Windows and web) on this device during the dashboard timeframe in the Applications section, along with their usage time, wait time, and UXI.

    When troubleshooting a Mac, this section displays only managed web applications.

    All the applications which ran on this device during the timeframe
    Field Description
    Type

    Displays the type of application: Windows desktop (), web application () which you run in a web browser, or monitored mobile app (), which has been integrated with Aternity monitoring.

    Name

    The name of the application, as specified in the Description field of the executable file's properties.

    Tip

    Web Browsing is an umbrella term for all web browsing in your organization on sites which are not white listed. To white list a site, add it as a managed application.

    An internet browser is both a container of web applications and a desktop application in its own right. You can monitor a browser's performance by viewing its launch times and recent crashes in Monitor Application, and its memory and CPU consumption in the Analyze Process Resources dashboard.

    Usage Time

    The usage time of an application is the total time it is running, in the foreground, and being used. This includes the wait time, the time a user spends waiting for the application to respond. For web applications, the usage time is when both the browser window and the application's tab are in the foreground.

    UXI

    Displays the application's user experience index across all users in all locations in your enterprise. The User Experience Index (UXI) is a value (0-5) which measures the overall performance and health of an application, based on several inputs: the number of crashes per hour out of the total usage time, the percentage of hang time out of the total usage time, the percentage wait time out of the total usage time. For web applications, it also uses the percentage of web page errors out of all page loads, and the average page load time. These ingredients come together to represent the overall experience of a user.

    Activity Score

    (For managed applications only) Displays the overall activity score for this application, calculated by condensing all the activity statuses into a single value. Use this for acute (recent) problems in performance.

    Aggregating many end user activities into a single score and status
    View more information on each application by hovering your mouse over the measurements

    This table lists the fields from the hover windows in alphabetical order:

    Field Description
    Application

    Displays the name of the monitored application, as it appears throughout the system. You can customize it when you add it as a managed application.

    Average Page Load Time

    (For web applications only) Displays the average time required to load the web page in a cloud application. The response times of activities are split into client time ( dark blue), and the combination or union of the server time ( light blue) and the network time ( blue).

    Load time of a web page
    Crashes per Hour of Use

    The crash rate of an application is the average number of crashes which occurred in that application during an hour of active usage. It is calculated as the total number of crashes divided by the total usage time in hours. This is one of the elements used when calculating the UXI.

    Hang Time Rate

    Displays the percentage of hang time of out the total usage time. This is one of the elements used when calculating the UXI.

    Page Error Rate

    (For web applications only) Displays the percentage of web page errors (HTTP error 40x or 50x) out of all page loads in web applications. This is one of the elements used when calculating the UXI.

    Usage Time

    The usage time of an application is the total time it is running, in the foreground, and being used. This includes the wait time, the time a user spends waiting for the application to respond. For web applications, the usage time is when both the browser window and the application's tab are in the foreground.

    User Experience Index

    The User Experience Index (UXI) is a value (0-5) which measures the overall performance and health of an application, based on several inputs: the number of crashes per hour out of the total usage time, the percentage of hang time out of the total usage time, the percentage wait time out of the total usage time. For web applications, it also uses the percentage of web page errors out of all page loads, and the average page load time. These ingredients come together to represent the overall experience of a user.

    Wait Time

    The wait time of a Windows application is defined as the time users spend waiting for the application to respond when it is actively running and in use (part of the usage time). The total wait time is calculated as the time covered by the following components (which may overlap): the hang time when an application is not responding, or when the mouse pointer has a busy icon (Windows devices). For web applications, the wait time is the web page load time when both the browser window and its tab are in the foreground.

    Wait Time Percent

    Displays the percentage wait time out of the total usage time.

    For further information, you can drill down to:

  9. Step 9 You can preserve information regarding health events and their details in a file of your choice.
    Copy health event details to clipboard and save them into files

    If you want, for example, to send health event details in an email, or to save them in a file for statistics, hover your mouse over a Details field in the Recent Health Events section, select Copy event details to clipboard and paste the information into your email, into a file, and so on.

  10. Step 10 You can jump straight to related dashboards using the quick jump menu at the top of the screen:
    Use the quick jump bar to jump to related dashboards about this device
    Field Description
    User Experience

    Jump to the Monitor User Experience dashboard to view a detailed list of activities performed on that device.

    Activity Resource Analysis

    Jump to the Activity Resource Analysis dashboard to correlate an activity's performance with the device's resource usage.

    Device Details

    Jump to the Device Details dashboard for this device to view all the device's static attributes.

    View in NetProfiler

    (If Aternity is configured to point to NetProfiler) When viewing a monitored device in Aternity, you can link directly to the same device SteelCentral NetProfilerâ„¢ to view its network connections, traffic volume, ports and so on, to help troubleshoot slow network performance. From a single device in NetProfiler, you can monitor its broader subnet to see if there is a flood of traffic in this area of the network, or perhaps other subnets are clogging access to a shared network component, which may be causing poor network performance.

  11. Step 11 You can limit the display of this dashboard using the menus at the top of the window.
    Note

    You cannot save this dashboard.

    Select the data to display in the dashboard
    Field Description
    Time Zone Selection

    Select the time zone to view the times associated with the data in this dashboard:

    • Default displays the time zone set in most Aternity dashboards.

    • Yours displays the time zone of your computer where you are viewing the dashboard.

    • Device displays the time zone of the monitored device which is the focus of this dashboard's content.

    Timeframe

    Choose the start time of the data displayed in this dashboard.

    You can access data in this dashboard (retention) going back up to seven days.

    This dashboard displays raw data in real time, refreshing every time you access it or whenever you manually refresh the browser page.