Horizon VDI – Calculator – Photos – Edge Not launching for end-users – Windows 10

8 Feb

In Windows 10 1909 VMware OST optimized image the end-users report they cannot open the following three built-in UWP windows application.

  • Microsoft Calculator
  • Microsoft Photos
  • Microsoft Edge browser

When the end-users try to open any of the three applications, nothing would happen – No error messages or pop-ups. The application doesn’t launch.

Environment Details

VMware Horizon 7.11
VMware App Volumes 2.18.5
VMware Dynamic Environment Manager 9.10

Process of elimination

  • The AppX package for (Calc, Photos and Edge) did exist in the base operating system
  • We can launch all the three applications within the optimized golden image template.
  • We were running the VMWare OSOT tool with the default VMware Windows 10 template. No additional customization or options selected.
  • One thing was evident the base template was working fine. The suspicion was around AppStack – App Volumes (We disabled the AppStacks/Writable Delivery – Same issue observed) or Dynamic Environment Manager causing the application from launching
  • We were running out of troubleshooting ideas

Resolution

Upon searching, I came across this community page – https://communities.vmware.com/t5/Horizon-Desktops-and-Apps/Windows-10-UWP-Applications-and-Taskbar/m-p/523086 and it outlined a solution of re-registering the UWP AppX package for the built-in application. We tried the fix in the DEV environment and it worked. Further it was replicated to the production setup.

Step 1: A Powershell script to register the AppX packages

Get-AppxPackage -allusers *windowscalculator* | Foreach {Add-AppxPackage -DisableDevelopmentMode -Register “$($_.InstallLocation)\AppXManifest.xml”}
Get-AppxPackage -allusers *windows.photos* | Foreach {Add-AppxPackage -DisableDevelopmentMode -Register “$($_.InstallLocation)\AppXManifest.xml”}
Get-AppXPackage -AllUsers *edge* | Foreach {Add-AppxPackage -DisableDevelopmentMode -Register "$($_.InstallLocation)\AppXManifest.xml"}

Step 2 : Create a Dynamic Environment Manager – Logon Tasks

We selected to put the Powershell script within the UEM Share as the end-users have the read- access.

DEM - Logon Task
DEM-LogonTasks

 Quick Update based on 4th Aug 2021 (Thanks to Curtis for bring this up in the comments section)

The above DEM 9.10 logon task no longer works in situation where end-users dont have local administrative priviledges users not being able to run the script at logon.

In the latest version of Dynamic Enivornment Manager 20XX onwards, you can now hook logon tasks into Elevated Tasks by using Privilege Elevation rules.

In DEM:

1. User Environment > Privilege Elevation > Create new privilege elevation rule

2. In the “Type” drop down menu, select “Elevated Task”

3. Click “Add”

4. In the Executable field:
“C:\Windows\System32\WindowsPowerShell\v1.0\powershell.exe”

5. In the Arguments field type the path to your script logon script

6. In User Environment > Logon Tasks, select the logon task that runs and registers the UWP apps.

7. Check “Elevated Task” and in the drop down select the Elevated Task you just created in the list.

After this, the script should be able to run at logon regardless of whether or not the user has local administrator rights!

I hope you will find this information useful if you encounter the issue. If you manage to tweak or improvise further on this solution, please don’t forget to keep me posted.

Thanks,
Aresh Sarkari

5 Responses to “Horizon VDI – Calculator – Photos – Edge Not launching for end-users – Windows 10”

  1. Andy July 13, 2021 at 11:14 pm #

    Nice writeup Aresh, It looks like you are missing a backslash before the AppXManifest.xml. should be :
    Get-AppxPackage -allusers *windowscalculator* | Foreach {Add-AppxPackage -DisableDevelopmentMode -Register “$($_.InstallLocation)\AppXManifest.xml”}

    • askaresh July 14, 2021 at 2:07 pm #

      A big thank you! I checked the production script and it included / I some how migth have missed within the blog. Now I have updated the script on the blog too..

      • Curtis August 4, 2021 at 2:34 am #

        Hi Aresh,

        I was actually the original poster of the VMware communities article you linked in this writeup. I thought for the sake of it, I would supplement this with something I learned when upgrading my instant clone pools to Windows 10 1909. My organization required a bit more restriction for Powershell scripts. The logon task no longer worked for me because of non administrative users not being able to run the script at logon.

        In the latest version of DEM, you can now hook logon tasks into Elevated Tasks by using Privilege Elevation rules.

        In DEM:

        1. User Environment > Privilege Elevation > Create new privilege elevation rule

        2. In the “Type” drop down menu, select “Elevated Task”

        3. Click “Add”

        4. In the Executable field:
        “C:\Windows\System32\WindowsPowerShell\v1.0\powershell.exe”

        5. In the Arguments field type the path to your script logon script

        6. In User Environment > Logon Tasks, select the logon task that runs and registers the UWP apps.

        7. Check “Elevated Task” and in the drop down select the Elevated Task you just created in the list.

        After this, the script should be able to run at logon regardless of whether or not the user has local administrator rights!

      • askaresh August 4, 2021 at 9:10 am #

        Thanks Curtis for getting back and updating the new findings! You are spot on this new feature is a game changer for alot of non-admin priviledges scenarios.

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  1. Newsletter: February 13, 2021 – Notes from MWhite - February 13, 2021

    […] VDI – Calculator – Photos – Edge Not launching for users – Windows 10 This article talks of an issue where the apps mentioned in the title are launched AOK in the template but not […]

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