Knowledgebase: Errors and Problems
Troubleshooting Issues with dropped Connections Within Citrix
Posted by Jon Klubnik on 04 October 2012 05:15 PM

"Software caused connection abort" or "The network connection to your application was interrupted" errors 

When Citrix drops out, there may be no error message or you may receive one of the following messages:

  • Software Caused Connection Abort
  • Software Caused System Abort
  • The Citrix XenApp Server is No Longer Available
  • The Network Connection to Your Application Has Been Interrupted
  1. Citrix will appear to be the only application affected, even when the issue is on your end.
  • Citrix is a persistent web application which requires a steady stream of bandwidth. If you had Citrix, and a couple web pages pulled up on your computer and you unplugged your modem, Citrix would drop out, but those other applications would remain, even if you can’t communicate through them. This is because those applications use the internet, but Citrix depends on the internet.
  • If you drop your connection for one second, this would typically not be noticed in a web browser or chat client, because these applications will continue to send requests for several seconds before giving up, whereas Citrix is always connected and will freeze, and sometimes drop, if interrupted.
  • At times when you briefly lose connectivity, Citrix will first appear to freeze while it attempts to maintain your connection. You’ll be unable to affect anything on the Desktop during this time. If it’s able to regain it’s connection, you’ll resume where you left off. If not, it will drop.
  1. One of the most common causes is toolbars in your browser
  • Open your browser, right-click where it says Tools, and uncheck any third-party toolbars such as Norton, Google, Yahoo, MyWebSearch, etc.
  1. Other software on your computer or devices can cause Citrix to drop
  • Antivirus, antispyware, and firewall programs can sometimes be overzealous and detect Citrix as an problem, causing it to close. Citrix is a widely-used, legitimate application, but is used to remote into other computers, which may cause it to be detected as harmful.
  • Other applications that use network traffic can also interfere with Citrix by using up too much bandwidth. Antivirus and Windows Updates should be scheduled to run so they’re not going during your shift. File sharing programs such as Limewire, Bearshare, BitTorrent, and other P2P applications can use a significant amount of bandwidth running in the background and should be disabled while working.
  • Other devices in your home such as other computers on your network or video game systems that connect through your network (Xbox, Wii, Playstation, etc) can also use a considerable amount of bandwidth. Be sure none of these devices are using your network while you’re working. If you plug into a router connected to your modem, you may want to bypass the router completely and plug the modem directly into your computer so you know that you’re the only one using your connection. If your modem has wireless capabilities, be sure it’s secure so that people outside your home aren’t connecting to it and using your bandwidth without your knowledge.
  • If this is an issue on our end, it will either affect one full Citrix server (30-60 people at any given moment) or everyone in Citrix.
  1. If you’re using DSL and Citrix only seems to drop out when your phone is in use, try changing your DSL filters.
  • DSL filters go bad from time to time. When that happens, you get crosstalk between the voice communication and the data communication. If the data crosses to the voice line, you will hear static, buzzing, or humming on your line. If the voice crosses to the data line, your modem won’t know how to interpret it and it can cause latency spikes and packet loss, which can in turn cause Citrix to drop.
  1. Perform a test Ping and a Traceroute to check your internet connection.
  • Running a Ping test or a TraceRoute will help you diagnose a connectivity problem by monitoring your connection live. Pinging a large, reliable website such as Google, Yahoo, or MySpace while you’re working will let you see how stable your connection is when you’re having trouble maintaining a connection to Citrix.
  • Generally speaking, most DSL users pinging Google should ping around 50-60 ms. Most Cable users should ping around 30-40 ms. Lower is better. Your Minimum, Maximum, and Average ping times should be as close to each other as possible. 
  • If you’re running steadily over 70 ms, you’re having higher than expected latency. 
  • If you’re running steadily over 100 ms, you’re at a level of latency which can cause small freezes in your Citrix connectivity and, in some cases, cause you to drop your connection all together and receive one of the following messages:
    • Software Caused Connection Abort 
    • Software Caused System Abort 
    • The Citrix XenApp Server is No Longer Available 
    • The Network Connection to Your Application Has Been Interrupted 
    • If you see your Maximum jumping up 20 ms or more higher than your Average, you’re experiencing latency spikes which can cause your Citrix connection to freeze up or drop out as well.
    • The reason we have you run your ping to large websites is because they’re reliable and you should always be able to communicate with them. If you lose Citrix and the ping test you were running when your Citrix connection dropped says that you also lost packets going to Google, this would indicate a connectivity problem. For every packet you lose, that’s about 1 second that you couldn’t reach the site you were pinging. And while 1 second of connectivity loss will typically not be perceivable in web browsing or chatting, that’s all it takes to cause your Citrix connection to drop. 
    • Citrix will try to maintain your connection and, during this time, your Citrix Desktop will appear to freeze and you’ll be unable to affect anything on it. If Citrix is able to recover the connection, everything will resume. If not, the connection will drop.
  1. Start a continuous Ping to monitor connectivity issues
  • As a normal practice, start a continuous Ping on your PC to monitor your connection for the duration of your shift. It may help determince where this issue may be stemming from. Do the following:
  1. Click on Start
  2. Go to Run
  3. Enter CMD
  4. Enter the following command in the black box that appears: ping google.com -t
  • You will get several lines that look like the example below:
    Reply from 206.46.232.39: bytes=32 time=61ms TTL=246
  • While running a continuous Ping, if you experience Citrix disconnecting or slowness, press CTRL C on the ping window to stop it and get a summary. You’ll be able to see if there was any latency during the test. More importantly, you’ll be able to see if you lost any packets during the test. This will be indicated on the individual lines of the test by showing “Request Timed Out” instead of displaying the time in milliseconds. 
  • The important part for this test is the "time=61ms"; this indicates how long it is taking to get from your PC to that server. Citrix is more sensitive than other Internet applications such as chat programs or your web browser to this time. Normally the time should be around 100ms or less. Keep this window running while you are taking calls and when Citrix drops return to the window. If you see that the time has gone up or if you see the entry "Request times out", that will indicate a problem with your Internet Provider and you will need to contact them. Keep the window open so you can reference it when talking with your ISP.
  • It can be difficult to convince your ISP that you’re having connectivity problems based on latency alone. If you’re having packet loss as well, however, that much more clearly indicates a problem. Typically, all it takes is for you to explain that you’re running a program called Citrix, which is a persistent web application which requires a steady stream of bandwidth and that you’re losing your connection to it and, at the same time, also dropping packets while pinging Google. 
  • If you still have trouble convincing your ISP that the issue your having is with connectivity, try running three separate ping tests to three separate sites all at the same time while running Citrix. If you lose your connection to Citrix and also show packet loss or latency spikes to three unrelated sites at the same time, that should be more than enough to convince them. Typically, one ping test to Google is all it takes.
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