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Wednesday, December 5, 2012

Display Full Username in WI Header (v5.4)

clip_image002Display Full Username in WI Header (v5.4)

The following Web Interface modification will take the logged-in username, use it to look up the user’s full name in Active Directory, and display the full name in the Web Interface header.

Original Header:

Updated Header:

Step – by – Step Instructions:

- Copy the attached file – ADRoutines.aspxf – into the app_data\serverscripts directory.

- Edit the file include.aspxf, in the same directory, to include the above file:


- Back up web.config, open with Notepad, and scroll down to the <appSettings> section.

- Add a new key, ldapDC, with your domain (as it is known internally) as its value:


- Save the file.

- Back up app_data\include\header.inc. Open with Notepad, and change:


… to …


- Save the file.

- An IISRESET is not needed.

(If you have not made any other modifications to your source code, you may use the source files attached HERE. Just make sure to back up the original files first, and to change the value of ldapDC in web.config).

About the author:
Sam Jacobs is the Director of Technology Development (TechDev) Services at IPM, the longest standing Citrix Platinum Partner on the East Coast. With more than 25 years of IT consulting, Sam is a Citrix Web Interface and Netscaler customizations and integrations industry expert. He holds Microsoft MCSD and Citrix Netscaler certifications and is the author of IPM’s IT blog, TechDev Corner, a technical resource blog for IT professionals. Citrix has showcased several of his integrations and enhancements at Citrix Synergy and Solutions Summit and he has presented advanced Web Interface and Netscaler customization sessions at BriForum. He is an active Citrix forum contributor. Sam may be reached at:

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Monday, December 3, 2012

Citrix XenApp Edition: Changing the version

By Aaron Silber

Not sure if there is another way, it seems like this should be a policy setting, but I could not find one. In any case, I installed a Citrix XenApp system recently as Platinum only to find out later that the client only had Enterprise licenses. The system was barking at me non-stop, I searched high and low and could not find any way to change this; there used to be a way by right clicking on the server in the AppCenter, but that choice is now gone. In any case, A quick way to swap the values is to use a registry setting and three little characters:


Open the Registry value Product Feature under the key HKEY_LOCAL_MACHINE\SYSTEM\CurrentControlSet\Control\Citrix

Your choices are:

o   PLT: Platinum

o   ENT: Enterprise

o   ADV: Advanced

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Thursday, November 29, 2012

Windows Update error 0x80243004

By Jacques Bensimon -

Got this error today trying to perform a Windows Update run on a Windows Server 2008 R2 machine.  All the updates were downloaded successfully, but as soon as their installation started, I got this error [0x80243004] (with the message that all updates failed).  Looking up the error code, it just means “updates failed” – no help there.  Tried a second time, same result.


I noticed however that the tray icon that’s usually there during a Windows Update run was not showing, which reminded me that I had recently added a Group Policy setting to force all tray icons to always be displayed (yet the Windows Update icon was not being displayed).  I removed that policy setting, refreshed policies, manually unchecked/rechecked the “show all tray icons” setting (not the exact name), and the next update run worked perfectly.  Weird!

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Monday, November 19, 2012

The Bensimon Review: Classic Shell on Windows 8

Here’s a review of the Classic Shell by Jacques Bensimon.

clip_image002 Finally got around to testing Classic Shell on Windows 8 – I delayed it for a while to try life without a Start Menu (it’s workable but, bottom line, it blows!).  The Classic Shell review will be brief: it’s absolutely fantastic! Not only does it bring back a great looking Start Menu (complete with Taskbar orb – see screenshot to the left) and not only does it have the usual Programs submenu to access your “classic” installed apps, but it also adds an “Apps” menu that gives you direct access (from the Desktop side of Windows 8) to all your Store (aka Metro) apps  – as far as I can tell, that’s not an easy thing to do:  creating standard shortcuts definitely doesn’t work, and the only such ability I’d found prior to Classic Shell was launching the following Explorer command line

Explorer.exe shell:::{4234d49b-0245-4df3-b780-3893943456e1}

which opens a folder called “Applications” that contains all your installed apps (Desktop and Store) mixed together (many store app icons in that folder look crappy or barely visible until you highlight them).

clip_image006 clip_image004
When installing Classic Shell on Windows 8, I recommend you don’t select the Classic Explorer and Classic IE features (the Windows 8 Explorer already has a rich ribbon interface with lots of buttons – no need to add a toolbar – and Classic IE is pretty much useless anyway).

SIDE NOTE: By sheer coincidence, soon after I sent the e-mail admitting my previous failure to launch Store/Metro apps from the Desktop side of Windows 8, I ran across a URL type named “xboxgames” in the Registry, so I tried launchingxboxgames:// from the Run dialog and sure enough it started the Games (Metro) app.  It therefore also works from a command line (Start xboxgames://) and from a shortcut (.URL type).  Searching the Registry for other URL types (search HKCR for “URL:” or “URL Protocol” as in the screenshot below, or use NirSoft’s URLProtocolView), it looks as if most (if not all) Store apps have an associated URL type (bingnews://, bingsports://, netflix://, etc.).  I’m not yet sure whether there’s a more direct way to identify the URL type corresponding to a given Store app (I suspect there is), but this is a good start.



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Monday, October 22, 2012

XenDesktop Setup Wizard fails after PVS upgrade.

After upgrading from Citrix Provisioning Server 5.6 to 6.1, I noticed that the XenDesktop Setup Wizard began to fail by tossing up a snap-in error and complaining that a Broker.Admin PowerShell snap-in was not loaded.


This was actually a super easy fix and an equally easy post so here’s the fix. Winking smile

Just rerun the \Console\ISSetupPrerequisites from either the XD or PVS CD.


Be sure to run the appropriate 64 or 32 bit versions for your Provisioning Server. (It should be 64 bit by now though!)

A quick repair on all of them and you will be up and running without even rebooting.image
Pretty Straightforward. 

By the way, every so often, I like to be thrown an easy one.  Thanks Universe.

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Wednesday, October 17, 2012

PVS Target Blue Screen of Death: 0x0000050 [Resolved]


While implementing a new Citrix Provisioning Server 6.1 at a client site, I was stumped by this BSOD popping up when trying to Network boot a Windows 7 x64 bit VM.  Boot up the VM via it’s hard drive and there were no problems.  As soon as you tried the network boot, Blue Screen Of Death!

Inspecting the Windows 7 event log and I was finding an Event ID 7026 error.

The following boot-start or system-start driver(s) failed to load:

That error lead me to this KB article. [http://support.citrix.com/article/CTX133188
Nothing particularly helpful in there unfortunately since I had already made sure to remove all ‘ghost ‘ NICs already.

Since I was pretty sure this was NIC related, I did some more Googling around and found this KB Article [http://support.citrix.com/article/CTX131993].  Although not completely identical to my blue screen, it did have a piece of information in it that was useful (and at the time, NEW to me).

Provisioning Server 5.6.x and 6.0 are now supported on vSphere 5 with an updated Bootstrap configuration change on VMXNet3 NIC’s only.
E1000 NIC’s are not supported on vSphere 5.

A quick double check of my VM’s properties and I verified that we were using the E1000 NIC on the Windows 7 virtual machines.  I actually had explicitly decided to use the E1000 since I was under the impression that it was the most compatible NIC for such basic operations such as the PXE Boot.   I made a quick change to the VM’s properties, added in the VMXNet 3 Network card, restarted to a network boot and was off to the races.

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Wednesday, October 10, 2012

Reader Question : Ask the Readers about VPLEX Backups

A reader asked me this question and I unfortunately did not know of any answers so I thought I would post it up and see if anyone could shed some light on it.  If you have any answers or experiences, please share them in the comments.  Thanks!  - Carlo


Yesterday I went to the 2012 EMC Forum at the Hilton in New York City, and while sitting in a session regarding active/active datacenters I realized something important. 

How do you properly architect your backup for an active/active datacenter using VPLEX and the Nexus OTV transport? 

Today I have an active/passive architecture and my backups remain local to the servers at the active site.  If I enable an active/active configuration, I wouldn’t want the backup traffic to have to travel across my point to point connection because it could easily saturate the line.  I am curious to hear if there are any backup solutions that exist today that are VPLEX/OTV aware? 


In an ideal scenario when the Guest Virtual Machine was moved to another site, the backup software would become aware and run the backup to an appliance/storage local to the VM at the site.  In order for this to work properly, the backup data should be replicated to both sites in case you need to restore at any given time.  As long as the backup data was in sync at both sites, after a guest was migrated, the backup appliance would already have the full backups and should be intelligent enough to know it now only needs to run a differential backup.


Does anything exist, or is anyone aware of anything coming soon that will address this?

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Monday, September 17, 2012

The Mystery of the Disappearing Pinned Shortcuts

Here is another great article by my Colleague Jacques Bensimon.  Be sure to follow him on Twitter. (@JacqBens)


I don’t know if many of you have run across this issue, but it has certainly been kicking my butt ever since we started creating user profiles for Windows 7 and 2008 R2.  The mysterious behavior is easy enough to describe:

(1)    we create a template (or default, or mandatory) profile containing specific pinned items in the Start Menu and/or the Taskbar (a slightly tricky proposition, but a frequent customer request now that Microsoft has kindly eliminated the display of Start Menu root shortcuts and done away with the Quick Launch toolbar … and don’t get me started on the subject of Windows 8!),

(2)    the profile works as designed for a while, i.e. over several days/weeks, users of that profile log on to multiple machines running the same image and consistently get their pinned items, until

(3)    one day, on one or more (or all) machines, users logging on briefly see their Taskbar pinned items but, within a matter of seconds, they disappear (the icons, not the users – that would be a much less serious issue J).  If the users now look at the Start menu, they’ll see that those pinned items have also disappeared.

Further examination of a user’s profile at that point reveals that this is not merely a question of pinned items not being displayed:  they are well and truly gone!  The actual shortcut files have been deleted from the profile (i.e. from %AppData%\Microsoft\Internet Explorer\Quick Launch\User Pinned\StartMenu and …\User Pinned\Taskbar) and the corresponding Registry entries have been reset to “virgin” values (various entries named “Favorites…” at keys HKCU\Software\Microsoft\Windows\CurrentVersion\Explorer\StartPage2 and …\Explorer\Taskband).

Investigating this behavior was simplified by the fact that, as mentioned at the top, it was observed not only on Windows 7 but also on RDS/XenApp servers running Windows 2008 R2, so it was possible to monitor system activity (using SysInternal’s ProcMon) from an admin session while an affected user account was logging on.  Two facts emerged from this monitoring:

(a)    Explorer.exe itself, as it started within the user’s session, was committing the heinous “pinnicide” (i.e. it deleted the shortcuts and reset the Registry entries – no other process was involved), and

(b)    it did so soon after several intensive rounds of querying the values at the two user Registry keys already mentioned above (HKCU\Software\Microsoft\Windows\CurrentVersion\Explorer\StartPage2 and …\Explorer\Taskband) as well as those at the machine Registry key HKLM\Software\Microsoft\Windows\CurrentVersion\Explorer\StartPage, with what looked like a particularly unhealthy obsession with a REG_DWORD entry named FavoritesRemovedChanges found under all three keys in question.

Although I can find no authoritative reference on the meaning or purpose of these FavoritesRemovedChanges values, the name suggests some sort of shortcut change and/or deletion counter.  This guess was bolstered by a review of the machine’s application installation and update reports created with the (incredibly useful and absolutely indispensable) Total Uninstall installation tracker (I’ll have to write about it someday):  this revealed that the three FavoritesRemovedChanges values always seem to match each other, to always change in lockstep,  and to increment by exactly the number of Start Menu shortcuts modified (or simply overwritten) by a setup operation (there may be other scenarios under which these values will change, but I didn’t capture any).  In any case, it quickly became apparent that machines on which pinned items were suddenly being deleted at logon were those on which some application or system component update had been performed, causing the HKLM instance of FavoritesRemovedChanges to be incremented and as a result to no longer match the corresponding HKCU instances in the Registry hives of users logging on following the image update.  I can’t say for sure whether this is an Explorer bug or intentional behavior (a paranoid “Start Menu shortcuts have changed in your absence so I no longer trust your nasty old pinned items” mechanism), but I can say this: if the user’s HKCU FavoritesRemovedChanges entries are modified to match the HKLM entry at logon before Explorer starts (e.g. from a logon script), the pinned items are never deleted and the issue is eliminated.

Here’s a batch command that will accomplish this quietly:

For /F "tokens=3" %%v in ('Reg Query HKLM\SOFTWARE\Microsoft\Windows\CurrentVersion\Explorer\StartPage /v FavoritesRemovedChanges 2^>NUL: ^| Find /i "Fav"') do (

  For %%k in (StartPage2 Taskband) do Reg Add HKCU\Software\Microsoft\Windows\CurrentVersion\Explorer\%%k /v FavoritesRemovedChanges /t REG_DWORD /d %%v /f >NUL: 2>NUL:


Careful:  On a 64-bit platform, the above code fragment will not work as is if the batch file runs under the 32-bit CMD.exe (because the attempt to query something under HKLM\Software with the 32-bit Reg.exe will be redirected to HKLM\Software\Wow6432Node – see this post for details on this and on what follows).  You could change “Reg Query …” above to “%SystemRoot%\SysNative\Reg Query …” to force the use of the 64-bit Reg.exe, but then the code would fail when running under the 64-bit CMD.exe (because “SysNative” has no meaning for 64-bit processes).  You think you always know whether your batch file runs as a 32-bit or 64-bit process?  Consider this:  on a TS/RDS server, if this script runs as a child of UsrLogon.cmd (the “application compatibility” root script), then it will run as a 64-bit process … until you add XenApp to the mix, at which point Citrix, ever helpful, will cause the 32-bit CtxHide.exe to launch UsrLogon.cmd, causing it to run as a 32-bit process (in fact, a different instance of UsrLogon.cmd will now run, the one found in %SystemRoot%\SysWow64 rather than the one in %SystemRoot%\System32, so be sure to always keep them  identical).  But wait, even with XenApp installed, the script might still sometimes run as a 64-bit process: when?  When you test it manually from Explorer or from a CMD prompt, that’s when J.  So, bottom line, practice defensive scripting and make sure your script will run correctly regardless of platform or “bitness”, as follows:

Set TrueSys=%SystemRoot%\System32

If Defined PROCESSOR_ARCHITEW6432 Set TrueSys=%SystemRoot%\SysNative

For /F "tokens=3" %%v in ('%TrueSys%\Reg Query HKLM\SOFTWARE\Microsoft\Windows\CurrentVersion\Explorer\StartPage /v FavoritesRemovedChanges 2^>NUL: ^| Find /i "Fav"') do (

  For %%k in (StartPage2 Taskband) do Reg Add HKCU\Software\Microsoft\Windows\CurrentVersion\Explorer\%%k /v FavoritesRemovedChanges /t REG_DWORD /d %%v /f >NUL: 2>NUL:


Note that it doesn’t matter which flavor of Reg.exe is used to modify the HKCU entries:  as the above-mentioned post stresses, all aspects of a user profile look identical to 32-bit and 64-bit processes.

Jacques.  (@JacqBens)

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Tuesday, September 11, 2012

PSA - No vSphere 5.1 upgrade for PowerPath/VE 5.7 users right now.

With the availability of vSphere 5.1, I am sure those of you on the bleeding edge are starting to craft plans for upgrading but ...

If you are running PowerPath/VE, I noticed the following tweet from @VMwareKB

***ALERT: Important KB affecting customers with PowerPath/VE. See:bit.ly/OE3JMS please RT ***

There is an issue where PowerPath/VE 5.7 fails to load in a vSphere 5.1 environment.

The recommended action is to hold off with the 5.1 upgrade if you are using PowerPath/VE 5.7 and wait for EMC or VMware to release a patch fixing the issue.
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Tuesday, September 4, 2012

Reader Question: What do you add to *your* SendTo folder?

Jacques Bensimon recently posed this question internally and I was curious to push it a bit further out to see if anyone out there had anything additional of interest.


I am curious to know what you guys add to your Explorer “SendTo” folder – always up for good new ideas.

Here’s my list:

clip_image001Alternate Streams – mostly to “bulk-unblock” IE downloads

         <path>\AlternateStreamView.exe /FolderPath 

Dependency Walker x64 – what DLLs does this 64-bit executable require? what function calls?

Dependency Walker – ditto for 32-bit

Everything – quickly list everything in a folder tree

          <path>\Everything.exe -path

EXE Explorer – parse EXE header, show strings, hex view, etc.

Folder Search – (NirSoft SearchMyFiles) Search for files with criteria (strings, timestamps, attributes, etc.)

            <path>SearchMyFiles.exe /BaseFolder

IrfanView – view image(s)

MetaPad – view/edit text file (can handle/convert UNIX line breaks, can search & replace with newlines and tabs, etc.)

Notepad – every user on the planet needs this one

OpenArgs – launch this EXE with parameters (you need this!)

Orca – what’s in this MSI or transform? create a transform, etc.

Resource Hacker – view/extract/modify resources (icons, strings, raw version info, manifest, etc.)

TreeSize – where did all the disk space go?

TS Flag – view executable type (32-bit vs. 64-bit) and Terminal Server Aware flag status

Universal Extractor – find out what’s in this setup EXE without running it

WMatch2 – compare this folder’s contents to another

XVI32 – hex edit this file



Windows Refresher: To get to the SendTo folder, you’ll need to open up an Explorer window, and then paste in the following to the address bar.


- Follow Jacques on Twitter @JacqBens

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Tuesday, August 28, 2012

vSphere 5–Unable to Create NetApp FC DataStore [Resolved & then Resolved AGAIN :)]

Here’s a pretty particular error that I ran into at a customer site.  Brand new ESXi 5.0 installs connected up to a NetApp filer with 4 700 GB LUNs presented to them.  After going through the motions of presenting the storage to the ESX servers, I was unable to create a DataStore on the LUNs.


Stumped, I opened a call with VMware Tech Support.  Here’s the troubleshooting sequence.

A look at the VMkernel log showed the following standout messages:

Vol3: 647: Couldn't read volume header from control: Invalid handle
FSS: 4333: No FS driver claimed device 'mpx.vmhba0:C0:T0:L0': Not supported

Another quick look at the HBA card info, cat /proc/scsi/qla2xxx/8 | less revealed an outdated driver version in use.

QLogic PCI to Fibre Channel Host Adapter for HPAK344A:
        FC Firmware version 5.03.15 (d5), Driver version 901.k1.1-14vmw

Quick search on VMware’s site lead us to this newer driver.  After downloading the driver, I imported it into Update Manager for distribution to the ESX hosts.  For instructions on how to push drivers via Update Manager, check here.


Update: There also seemed to be a corrupted initiator group on the NetApp that allowed the ESX hosts to see the LUNs but not access them.  Recreating the NetApp group completely resolved the issue.

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Friday, August 24, 2012

Not going to VMworld? Follow along at home via VMware NOW

imageVMworld 2012 is happening this Monday (August 27th – 30th) in San Francisco and if you are not going to be there, you are going to miss some amazing stuff.   Fortunately, VMware is doing an admirable job to help combat the depression non-attendees are sure to feel by streaming many of the big announcements live over the web.

For up to date notifications and schedules, register for VMware NOW @ http://bit.ly/VMwareNOW.  You will be able to watch live Keynotes, product announcements and even see some cool new demos.  While no substitute for actually being there, it will help keep you in the information loop.

You can also sign up for the event on Facebook: http://www.facebook.com/events/467710549913815/

If Twitter is your thing, #VMworld hash tag should provide excellent real-time commentary on the events and keynotes.

Of course, don’t forget all the blogs.  Every announcement, event, party and session will probably have a blogger diligently writing a summary for your consumption.  If you don’t know where to look, check out the Planet v12 feed from VMware.

Enjoy the conference no matter where you are.

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Tuesday, August 21, 2012

Aaron Silber’s Registry tip!

I have been meaning to send this out for a while, but just haven’t gotten around to it. Anyway if you are like me you are spending a lot of time in the Registry, I find that I am constantly making a change to an application and tracking it with a tool (RegScanner, RegFromApp, etc.) but sometimes there is no substitute for just good ole eyeballing it. The problem is that usually you have loaded the Mandatory profile in under HKEY_USERS and you wind up scrolling up and down looking for the subtle change that the application made.

Wouldn’t it be nice to just load up another copy of the registry and place them side by side? Give it a shot, unfortunately, RegEdit is too smart for its own good and realizes that it is already loaded, so it just brings the running copy to the foreground. Now try this, one the second launch, run RegEdit –M, there you have it, multiple copies of the Registry editor running! Now you can place them side by side and have a good and proper look.

While we are on the topic of the registry, by now everyone should be familiar with the fact that in the 64-bit world all local machine 32-bit stuff winds up being placed in the Wow6432Node area of the registry, but if you want to really see the registry the same way a 32-bit app sees it, go to C:\Windows\syswow64\Regedit.exe and you will get the same 32-bit view that an application sees. Feel free to combine the two tips so you can verify that the HKEY_LOCAL_MACHINE\Software really is the same as HKEY_LOCAL_MACHINE\Software\Wow6432Node running them side by side.


Aaron Silber 

Follow Aaron Silber on Twitter:@AMSilber

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Monday, August 13, 2012

[iPhone 5 release date Rumor]

image9Consider this :
iPhone released June 29, 2007
iPhone 3G released July 11, 2008
iPhone 3GS released June 19, 2009
iPhone 4 released June 24, 2010
iPhone 4S released October 4, 2011
[iPhone 5] – Rumored to be released on September 12th 2012.1

I have an iPhone 4 on the fritz right now and am going to wait it out another 40 days or so before spending any cash on a replacement or repair.  ;)

1 http://www.examiner.com/article/iphone-5-release-date-details-at-t-source-says-new-iphone-5-coming-september

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Friday, August 10, 2012

Something New : A Tumblr Mini Photo Blog

Today I decided to test out the Tumblr waters.  While vCloudInfo.com is the natural hub for all my ramblings and tech notes, some of the things I want to share are better suited for different platforms.  A while back, I set up a Facebook page for my blog and it was very well received [Be sure to ‘Like’ it if you are a Facebook’er].  On it, I syndicate the main posts but also add in quick blurbs, shout outs and pictures that I feel are appropriate within the whole Facebook experience.  My thought is that the more avenues for readership and community building, the better.  Different people follow and process things differently.  Some subscribe via email or RSS feeds, others Facebook and still others TwitterEnter Tumblr; It is one of the fastest growing social network / blogging platforms around.  While primarily used for visual content, I think it will be a great place for all those interesting pictures of things that a tech consultant in NYC would run across.  Not really appropriate for the main blog but for Facebook or Tumblr, it seems like a great fit.  If you are so inclined, check it out.


Looking back at my iPhone Photo Stream, this new experiment will probably be a mixture of food and Data Centers. Winking smile 
Ooooh… And if YOU have any Tech Photos that you want to share – definitely come check it out.  Tumblr offers a pretty unique blogging feature that allows for easy reader submissions.  I’m positive this community aspect has helped fuel it’s popularity. 

So take a picture of your immaculate server rack cabling, your rat’s nest of a datacenter, your latest greatest gadget or some awesome desktop configuration.  If you find it neat or interesting, your peers probably will as well.  So post it up and let’s see where it goes.


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Wednesday, August 8, 2012

Better understanding Memory Management in vSphere 5.

Ran into a great KB article (2017642) today that diagrammed the process of memory management for vSphere 5.  We’ve all used ESXTOP and the vCenter console to check on Host and VM memory before but this concise diagram should help us better understand the information returned by those invaluable troubleshooting tools.  Check out the snippets below and the full diagram here.
Definitely worth checking out.
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Thursday, August 2, 2012

Removing Personalization Settings from AppSense 8.x

I’ve had these images queued up for QUITE a long time.  I was asked about deleting Personalization Data from AppSense.  Craig Davis took some time and grabbed these screenshots for me from his lab.

Launch the Environment Manager Console. Navigate to the “Personalization” tab then click the “Connect” button.image

Click the “New Server” button to connect to the Personalization Server.

Enter the “Hostname” of the Personalization server, along with a “Friendly” name to identify the newly created connection. Click Add to proceed.

Click the Connect button

Navigate to the “Tools” tab and highlight the proper Personalization Group. Click the “Personalization Analysis” button in the ribbon bar, or right click the personalization group and select Personalization Analysis.



Enter the Username for the user you would like to delete the settings for.


You have the options of deleting parts of or the whole collection of User Data for a particular user.



Pretty Straight  forward once you know where to look for everything.

Thanks Craig!

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Monday, July 23, 2012

XenDesktops not registering with 5.6 Feature Pack 1 [Resolved]

I had some machines on an XenDesktop 5.6 farm that were not registering. [Reviewing this again, I realize that it was actually ALL of the machines]  The first place I went to check was on in the Desktop’s registry to make sure the DDCs were correct:  HKLM\Software\Citrix with HKLM\Software\Wow6432Node\Citrix\VirtualDesktopAgent\ListOfDDCs
WOW6432Node since this particular system was a 64 bit Windows 7 box.  The registry key had both of the DDCs listed with a space between then.  Check.  Event Viewer just showed a generic message stating a failure to register with any DDCs.

Looking at my Eventlog on the actual DDC, I came across this message : 
The Citrix Broker Service failed to determine the base settings needed for the Virtual Desktop Agent of machine ‘<FDQN>’

The stated resolution is to check generic KB article CTX126990 but the real answer for me was in CTX129644!

I had some weird licensing issue where my license server information was corrupted/blanked out.  After following the instructions in CTX129644, all machines began registering fine.

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Tuesday, July 17, 2012

Microsoft Office 2013 Preview is available for download.

SNAGHTML19c3b4b5So if you consider yourself the bleeding edge type, you might want to head over to Microsoft today and check out their Office 2013 Preview ╬▓eta!

The preview is a Click-To-Run version that can be run alongside your standard 2007/2010 versions.  Moshe Silber sent of this Lync 2013 screenshot showing off the new Tabbed Conversation view.

You can grab the bits here @


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Monday, July 16, 2012

XD5 to XD5.6 : Make sure you have some Desktop Groups Defined.


So here is a very unlikely scenario that I ran into recently.  I had an installation of XD5 at a client site and due to some scheduling particulars, I hadn’t been back to work on the XenDesktop installation for some time.  Fast forward a bit and I am revisiting the XD installation and figure before moving forward, let me upgrade the site to XenDesktop 5.6 Feature Pack 1!  The upgrade process moved through without a hitch on all the controllers until I tried to create my first published group. 

No Database user Found.

Grrr.. Apparently upgrading a XenDesktop site without any Desktop Groups will cause the upgrade to silently fail.

Sure, I could have scoured the Citrix KB site to find that article prior to upgrading but it’s summertime! :)  Ohh Well.. Time for a quick rebuild of the controllers, DB and site.

Although the situation and scenario is unlikely to happen to YOU, I felt compelled to write a quick post about it so that I could feel like it wasn’t a TOTAL waste of time! Winking smile

Enjoy your Summer!

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Thursday, July 12, 2012

Citrix Provisioning Services 6.1 error–IPC error 0xA0070002

I’ve been working a lot with Citrix Provisioning Services 6.1 and I REALLY dig the vDisk versioning in it.  Sort of reminds me of snapshot management in VMware.  Makes dealing with various vDisk updates and images much more manageable.

Everything was working great until recently when this IPC error starting popping up.  I am not sure of the environment changes that started the issue but can gladly report that it has been fixed.


The IPC error basically occurred whenever I tried any disk related function.  New versions or new vDisks all resulted in an IPC error.  At the time, I was not up to date on my 6.1 hotfixes so I applied 002, 003, 005 & 006.  004 was a target hotfix and since I couldn’t create versions of my vDisk, I skipped it.  The hotfixes unfortunately did not resolve the issue.  A call to tech support and the following registry keys were sent over to me:

Create the following registry entry under the Subkey and set it to the IP address of the Provisioning Services NIC on the server:


Registry entry: GeneralInetAddr

Data type: REG_SZ

Value: <PVS IP ADDRESS>:6909


Registry entry: MsgTimeout

Data type: DWORD

Value: Range between 1 second to 3600 seconds. The default MsgTimeout value is 60 seconds.

Restart the Citrix Provisioning Services Soap Server and Provisioning Services Stream Service.

I set my MsgTimeout to 60 seconds.  [Issue Resolved].

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Tuesday, July 10, 2012

How to Back Up Your Citrix Netscaler

Here is a great write up by Sam Jacobs of the IPM Tech Dev team.

imageWhen one thinks of backing up a Netscaler, the first thing that comes to mind is the Netscaler configuration file, ns.conf. There are a number of other files, however, which are also crucial to the operation of your appliance, for example, your license file(s), SSL certificate(s), etc. At the very least, it would be time-consuming to locate, download, install and reconfigure the above in the event of an appliance failure.

Most of the above files, can be found somewhere in the /nsconfig directory hierarchy. The attached ZIP file, NSBackup.zip contains a .cmd file which will allow you to back up those critical files. Each time that it is executed, NSBackup creates a date/time-stamped copy of the entire /nsconfig subdirectory hierarchy at the location that you specify. It uses the pscp utility (also included in the ZIP), a secure FTP client, to do its work.

No installation is required. Simply:

  • UnZIP the attached into any directory (e.g. C:\NSBackup)
  • Open a command prompt
  • Change to the C:\NSBackup directory, and enter:

NSBackup <NS management IP> <nsPassword>

If pscp.exe is not in the current working directory, make sure that you add the path to it on line 8 of the .cmd file.

If you have made any source code modifications (for example, customized the Netscaler logon page - index.html), NSBackup will NOT copy them, and you will need to do so manually (or create a script to back them up).

You may also use Citrix Command Center, http://community.citrix.com/display/ns/Citrix+Command+Center, which is available at no charge if you are licensed for any of the following:

  • Citrix Netscaler Enterprise / Platinum Editions
  • Access Gateway Enterprise Edition
  • WANScaler – all editions
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Monday, June 18, 2012

Collecting Old Citrix Client Versions.

Ever need to track down an old version of a Citrix client for testing or troubleshooting?
It can be almost impossible to track down specific versions especially if you are searching for something more than a few versions back.
Aaron Silber sent over a great source that has many of them available:

Definitely worth bookmarking and tucking away to save you hours and hours of searching. :)

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Thursday, June 14, 2012

Possible issue with VMware View 5 and vSphere hardware v8

Jeff Miller ran into some interesting issues with his VMware View deployment and kindly shared. 

I have been working with EMC support for a few months now trying to figure out a strange issue that we have been having.  Our VMware View v5 Windows 7 x64 desktops have been experiencing sporadic and strange issues.  Sometimes the dual monitors will drop to a single monitor and the resolution on that one monitor will drop from 1680 x 1050 to 1024 x 768.  The quick fix is to disconnect from the session and reconnect.  Setting a screensaver to lock, or UserAccessControl popups have cause this issue to surface as well, however the randomness of the error has made it very hard to troubleshoot.  VMware Support has identified the issue and they said for now to stick to hardware v7 and the VM tool version associated with that version in order to avoid this situation.

In summary, if you are using VMware View 5 on vSphere, test thoroughly before attempting to upgrade your virtual hardware to v8 until this issue has been properly resolved.

Thanks Jeff!

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Monday, June 11, 2012

Cool Utility: EventCombMT

Chris Hahn sent over a handy tip for searching Microsoft event viewers.

I stumbled across this MS utility today, it will search across multiple servers for a specific event.  In this case I was looking for servers that had “unexpected shutdown” errors yesterday.  It is pretty fast too, scanned 150 servers in about 5 minutes.





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Monday, June 4, 2012

Cool Utility: NetRouteView

While doing a little inbox cleaning (still working on getting to inbox Zer0), I found this note from Aaron Silber.  I’ve been meaning to post it so here it is.

I have always wondered why someone hasn’t come up with a graphical tool to modify the routing table; seems like it should be easy enough. Have a look below, in Nirsoft’s usual way, the interface is clean and requires no installation.
Definitely worthy of being added to your tool belt.
- Aaron

NetRouteView is a GUI alternative to the standard route utility (Route.exe) of Windows operating system. It displays the list of all routes on your current network, including the destination, mask, gateway, interface IP address, metric value, type, protocol, age (in seconds), interface name, and the MAC address.
NetRouteView also allows you to easily add new routes, as well as to remove or modify existing static routes.

Notice: Currently, this utility doesn't support IPv6.



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