Zero Client Troubleshooting

Zero Client Messages

Zero Clients that are not playing content are in one of four states, and show messages that indicate which state. Here is what you can do with each.

Getting IP...

The Zero Client is currently trying to acquire a DHCP IP address. Generally this should only show for 10-30 seconds, at which point it will change to Not Assigned to a Host PC...

If the message persists for longer than 30 seconds, then one of two things is happening.

  • The Zero Client has no network connection

  • The Zero Client has not received a DHCP lease from the network

In either case, eventually the Zero Client will give itself a local IP such as 10.10.254.10 and periodically check for new DHCP leases.

To resolve this, check your network connections and DHCP status on the subnet. Userful can be configured to hand out DHCP leases in a pinch.

Not Assigned to a Host PC...

The Zero Client has an active network connection and an IP address, but is not currently assigned to a Userful server. Either it is a new-out-of-box device, or it has been purposely un-assigned from a Server.

In this state, the Zero Client should be observable and assignable from the Displays section of the Userful Control Center. If not, check to ensure that one network adapter on the Userful server is connected to the same network or subnet as the Zero Clients.

Waiting for the Assigned Host..

The Zero Client has an active network connection, and an IP address, and has been assigned to a Userful Server at one point, but was not purposely un-assigned from that Server.

The Server is either offline, or rebooting. Check your Server to make sure it is up and running. Rebooting can sometimes clear up issues with the Zero Client driver, though these are rare.

Connecting to Host...

The Zero Client is in the process of connecting to the Server. Congratulations! Nothing is wrong, and this message should disappear momentarily.

Zero Client or uClient Disappears from UCC

On-Premise

Zero Clients that are on the same physical subnet as the Userful server will always show up in the Control Center - even if they are set with an invalid IP address and/or subnet mask. If they do not, one of XXX things should be checked:

  1. Ensure Server and Client are on the same network - this could be an L2 (physical) or L3 (virtual) network routing issue. This is very common after a server and zero clients are moved networks. This is the most common cause of displays not showing up in the Control Center. Zero Clients are not cross-subnet compatible, but uClients are, as long as Internet connectivity is present.

  2. Ensure Zero Clients and all related network equipment are powered on.

  3. Ensure all network connections are physically present and in good repair.

Zero Clients can be completely isolated from the Internet, uClients require access.

Userful servers typically ship with and make use of two network adapters - one to connect to the primary corporate network and one to exclusively feed clients. However a client device will connect over either adapter so long as it is powered and physically connected to the same network.

Cloud

Userful clients that disappear from a Cloud Server's UCC have either lost power or internet connectivity. The list of ports and services required by a uClient device is here.

Cannot assign Zero Client to a Server

If a Zero Client will not complete the process of assigning itself to your server, but instead continues to be in a "Connecting..." state, there are two things to check.

First, ensure the network adapter settings match the subnet of the Zero Clients.

If the Zero Clients are on a different subnet than the server, they may not have proper DHCP leases and need to be power cycled, or another configuration change may be necessary.

Second, the Zero Client may be experiencing an IP conflict with one or more devices - either another Zero Client or another network device.

To check this, power off the Zero Client and open a terminal from the Control Center to run a ping to its IP address:

If the Zero Client is powered off but your pings return as pictured above, then there is another device occupying that IP address that must be dealt with.

Zero Client showing 100Mb speed messages

Userful will show a warning message if any zero clients are not running at 1Gb/s (1000Mb/s) speeds. If the Zero Client is connected to a 1Gb/s link, resetting the zero client with the power switch (turn it off for 30 seconds) can clear this problem up.

How To Factory Reset a Zero Client

There is a recessed button in the small hole next to the three USB ports.

With the device powered on, press and hold that button (it will *click* slightly) for 15 seconds, then release it. The Zero Client will return to factory settings within 30 seconds.

Network Zero Client Instability

One or more network zero client(s) freezes or drops its session, seemingly without cause.

Possible Causes

  • IP conflict to the relevant host or zero client(s)

  • DHCP changes or address space exhaustion

  • Damaged or loose network cabling/other infrastructure

  • Outdated software. Check for system updates

  • Excessive traffic on the subnet

  • Inadequate networking hardware

  • QoS or packet shaping rules are in place

  • Subnet shared with open-access device such as public WiFi

Possible Solutions

  • Host PCs and zero clients should always be set to static IPs where possible.

  • Where possible, separate as much staff/wireless traffic from the system as possible.

  • Network hardware should be inspected and repaired where necessary.

    • Check all link speed lights on their network gear to ensure proper 1Gbps connectivity. This includes ports connecting the hosts, zero clients, and any ports that bridge switches, which may not be directly detected by UCC.

    • All cabling should be at minimum Category-5. 5e is of course the published minimum spec, but 5 will work as long as everything is in good condition.

  • Ensure all zero clients have updated firmware.

  • Check network for latency and/or packet loss issues

DHCP is the most important thing to check first, for a number of reasons. If a zero client's IP address changes, it must drop and re-associate to the host, causing the station to reset. This happens more often than you would think - yes, most of the time a client will get the same IP back. However, some locations do not, and address space exhaustion is very common in environments with public WiFi access. Zero clients that have to share a subnet with such things are not going to be stable.

In the most sensitive cases, a complete, protected subnet or VLAN should be created for the Userful system in its entirety. A customer or patron should not be able to walk into the establishment, fire up their tablet or laptop, and affect or communicate with a zero client or Userful host in any way, through either wired or wireless interfaces.

Not all gigabit switches are created equal. A $49 off-the-shelf device from Staples or Wal-Mart cannot handle the traffic requirements of zero clients. As a general rule, any switch used should be rack-mountable and cost somewhere north of $100 at minimum. Known-good, inexpensive and readily available models include the Cisco SG110D and Netgear Prosafe GS series. Higher-end managed switches are generally fine.

Network Zero clients pulling 169.254.10.10 or 10.254.10.10 IPs

Cause

This occurs when brand-new zero clients are installed on a network with no DHCP. They will look for DHCP for about 30 seconds, then revert to 169.254.10.10 and appear in a different subnet in UCC.

Solution

Unplug the power from the zero client for at least 60 seconds and plug it back in. If successful, the zero client will be able to be assigned to the host on the Displays screen within the Userful Control Center.

This may take 2-3 attempts. If the issue persists, contact Userful Support.

USB Zero Clients dropping, freezing, displaying Userful logo

Troubleshooting

  • Ensure all USB connections are firmly in and undamaged.

  • Ensure the zero client is not connected to any USB 3.0 ports. They will either be colored blue or have an "SS" logo next to them.

  • Check that the power supply is not damaged or missing, and their surge protectors or UPS is undamaged and not more than three years old.

Virtualusbc Permission Denied

This problem usually happens when Secure Boot is enabled in the BIOS. You will need to go into the BIOS and disable this (usually in Advanced Settings on the majority of BIOS interfaces).