Server Fault is a question and answer site for system and network administrators. It's 100% free, no registration required.

Sign up
Here's how it works:
  1. Anybody can ask a question
  2. Anybody can answer
  3. The best answers are voted up and rise to the top

We have recently moved our production terminal servers from stand alone blades into a data centre running on virtual servers(windows 2003).

We are starting to suffer quite major performance issues, and one of the main culprits seems to be IE7, and users launching multiple copies of it instead of using a new window/tab. Its taking up quite a large memory footprint.

Has anyone come across anything we can use to stop them launching multiple instances of the same application?

Ideally you could tell it what to watch for, and when the user tries to open a second copy it will stop it happening, and tell them why.

Anyone know of anything, please bear in mind it is running in a terminal server environment so needs to work per user (each user can have one IE process open)

Cheers Luke

share|improve this question
up vote 0 down vote accepted

I would have used a WMI script like here or a script made using AutoIT or AutoHotkey tools to watch out for new windows with same name and kill them.

Specific to Citrix is here

If this is not helpful enough let me know, I can write a AutoIT script or customize the given script.

share|improve this answer
looks good, ill have a look at it – beakersoft Jul 5 '09 at 10:14

I don't think your solution should be terminating the process that the user is trying to do. I'm sure terminating iexplore.exe processes for whatever reason will result in more negative consequences than anything.

I'd seriously consider looking at the resources you have allocated to your virtual machine and start filling in the gaps that are causing your performance issues. Memory is so cheap right now, you should have your servers fully-stocked to accommodate your current and anticipated load. If maximizing your RAM doesn't solve your problem, start looking at clustering the machines for load balancing.

share|improve this answer
Hi, we already load balance the machines using NLB. We are aware that the performance of the servers is the problem, the people who designed the environment did'nt really do a very good job. Unfortunately i dont think we have any money to throw at it. – beakersoft Jul 1 '09 at 19:06

I can't think of a way to natively do this. I know IE8 has a new process model, which means it has to use multiple processes - but there is a way of reconfiguring it so that it only uses one. However, if performance was your main concern, moving to IE8 is not going to be the best idea.

It would be relatively simple to script a solution to this, but I think this is treating the symptom, and not the cause.

share|improve this answer

Are you sure that IE7 is the issue? Because opening a new tab in IE does start a new 'iexplore.exe' in the processes list, so it will in fact appear to the process list that multiple IE windows are opened...

share|improve this answer
Its not a new tab they are opening, most of the users are hitting the ie short cut again so its spawning a new process – beakersoft Jul 2 '09 at 10:26
Sorry, my point was that multiple tabs look the same as multiple sessions in the process list. You cannot stop multiple processes/instances without blocking tabbed functionality as well. – Mark Henderson Jul 2 '09 at 20:11

Tell these people to use Firefox. wink

share|improve this answer

Your Answer


By posting your answer, you agree to the privacy policy and terms of service.

Not the answer you're looking for? Browse other questions tagged or ask your own question.