Virtual Machines, BizTalk Configuration and DTC Madness


Looks like an instance of my stupidly has actually positively impacted the BizTalk 2006 documentation.

I'm teaching a class here in SoCal next week, and just finished building a server farm sitting in
Virtual Server 2005 R2
.
I've got myself a nice Active Directory (plus DNS, plus DHCP) box, a server with SQL 2005 installed, and a couple servers
prepped for BizTalk installation by the students. So in typical virtual-development style, I created my first virtual machine, copied the
hard drive, and reused it for a different virtual machine. Now, I was bright enough to remember to change the new machine's
SID using my favorite SID modification tool, NewSID from
SysInternals. I figured that this would be enough to avoid communication problems
among my other boxes. I was wrong.

I spent WAAAY too much time trying to figure out why my attempts to configure BizTalk (which uses MSDTC transactions)
repeatedly failed. I applied every DTC configuration trick in the book, and used some of
the various useful DTC debugging tools such as
DTC Tester and
DTC Ping.
I finally got to the point where I received a message from the DTC Ping tool complaining of duplicate SIDs. I quickly compared the SIDs on my boxes using
GetSID and they were definitely different.

I then stumbled upon a
newsgroup post
that told me something I was starting to suspect. The DTC service actually held onto the original SID. The only way
for DTC to see my newly generated SID, was to uninstall DTC and reinstall it.

So, I mentioned my challenges to one of the BizTalk technical writers, and it looks like we'll add something to the Help docs about
sysprepping virtual machines which makes sure a unique SID is generated for use by both the machine, and, MSDTC. Hopefully
my pain is your gain.

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Comments (9)
  1. Kris says:

    Interesting post and thanks for sharing your experience. Such information is really useful (if you can find it though!) and will save someone a lot of hassle.

  2. Adam Beal says:

    Richard,

    Great post I am facing similiar issues right now. Do you have any links for resources on how to uninstall/reinstall MSDTC?

  3. Interesting information if you are trying to create Virtual Servers for

    BizTalk. I did the same…

  4. Hey Adam,  I just did a  "dtc -uninstall" and a "dtc -install".  I played it safe and did it AFTER removing BizTalk and IIS.

  5. Greg says:

    Just had the same problem with cloned VMWare hosts.

    The dtc -uninstall, dtc -install worked for me without removing Biztalk or IIS. Although it needed a server reboot before taking affect.

  6. Paul Petrov says:

    Very similar issue you can run into if deployment boxes were cloned using some disk imaging software. Check out my post for details: http://geekswithblogs.net/paulp/archive/2006/04/06/74517.aspx

  7. Richard Harrison says:

    Working on a project using Biztalk 2004 in a Virtual enviroment I’ve seen this issue too. Sysprep solved the problem. I always recomend sysprep to avoid SID issues in Virtual machines.

  8. This is an issue on which I’ve been chasing my own tail for some time, it seems. Remote deployment of

  9. [Cross-post from old blog.] This is an issue on which I’ve been chasing my own tail for some time, it

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