What happens when you leave your Windows session unattended for days

by Dmitry Kirsanov 11. August 2013 08:33

IE_VM13

This is a CPU usage graph of a Windows Server 2008 R2 machine, with all latest patches applied, and Internet Explorer 10 left opened for a few days. It had only two pages opened, both are Microsoft’s own support pages with no active content.

Remote session (RDP) was opened for about 5 days, and every hour Internet Explorer process took more and more memory and CPU, until it took most resources from server.

Supposedly, it has something to do with MSIE’s automatic updates, even though no hints were left in Event Logs or anywhere else, it’s just a guess. Anyway, MSIE was the thing that did the harm, but it wouldn’t be able to do it, if remote session would be closed properly.

The morale of the story – always logoff when you are closing your RDP session at production server, don’t just close the window. The best way to ensure this is to automate the logoff on idle. There are many ways to do that, either through group policies or Windows Task Scheduler.

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