Tag Archives: VDI

Explorer.exe keeps crashing every 3 seconds in Windows 10

19 Oct

It was patch Tuesday time, and we were implementing the Windows 10 1909 Oct October 12, 2021—KB5006667 (OS Build 18363.1854) patch to our base images which are used for VMware Horizon VDI. During our validations, we started noticing the strange behaviour of Explorer.exe crashing and desktop becoming completely unusable.

Issue

The Windows explorer.exe keeps crashing within the virtual desktop of Windows 10 1909. The virtual desktop is entirely unusable. The only way to see the Event Viewer or anything is by using Horizon Client – Options – Send Ctrl + Alt + Del command within the virtual desktop and then opening up the Task Manager.

Cause

Provided by Microsoft – The explorer is trying to update feeds content, and there is a NULL value due to this bug that is causing explorer to crash.

Resolution

We tried performing various steps of un-install and re-installing the patch etc.. However, nothing worked, and we ended up working with Microsoft and seemed like it was a known issue, and they provided us with the following fix:

Option 1 – Registry – Disable News and Interest

Open regedit.exe on the golden image or

 Computer\HKEY_CURRENT_USER\SOFTWARE\Microsoft\Windows\CurrentVersion\Feeds\
 REG_DWORD name: ShellFeedsTaskbarViewMode
 Value: 2

Option 2 – GPO – Disable News and Interest

To access the policy for news and interests on the taskbar, on a device that has installed Administrative Templates (.admx) for Windows 10 October 2020 Update (20H2) – v2.0 ADMX file Feeds.admx is newly added, and we can retrieve it from the below .admx file:

Computer Configuration > Administrative Templates > Windows Components > News and interests > News and interests on the taskbar > Select Disabled

Note – I suspect this fix might be applicable to other Windows 10 versions.

I hope you will find these steps helpful to resolve explorer.exe crashing issue and don’t have to go down the path of troubleshooting the issue.

Thanks,
Aresh Sarkari



VMware EUC stack upgrade – Legacy? or Modernizing? or Middleground?

14 Sep

It was that time of the year to perform a VMware End-User Computing (EUC) stack upgrade on the environment, and I thought of sharing the overall thought process and decisions made along the way. It will be interesting to share with others who might be in a similar situation or process of developing their upgrade/migration strategies. In this post, we shall take a look into these topics:

  • Current versions of the VMware EUC Stack
  • What version numbers did we upgrade/migrated to?
  • Why did we migrate to these versions?
  • Wishlist (Someone Listening?)
  • Valuable links to reference during upgrade/migration

Current versions of the VMware EUC Stack

  • VMware Horizon 7.11 (Connection Server/Agents)
  • VMware Horizon Client 5.5
  • VMware App Volumes 2.18.1.x Manager/VMware App Volumes 2.18.5 Agent version
  • VMware Workspace ONE Access 20.01/Connector 1903 (Not in scope for the upgrade)
  • VMware Dynamic Environment Manager 9.10
  • VMware Unified Access Gateway 3.10

What versions numbers did we upgrade/migrated to?

  • VMware Horizon 7.13.1 (Connection Server/Agents)
  • VMware Horizon Client 5.5.2
  • VMware App Volumes 2.18.10.10 (Manager/Agents)
  • VMware Dynamic Environment Manager 2103
  • VMware Unified Access Gateway 2103.1

Why did we migrate to these versions?

The obvious question everyone might ask is the latest versions are Horizon 8.x and App Volumes 4.x why are you picking older versions for the upgrade? The short answer is the limitations and trade-off, and the following matrix tries to uncover in more detail.

Note – Not all customers might fall under the limitation category, or the limiting feature/functionality could be different in your case. By no means this should be your defacto reasons. Make sure to evaluate your situation and create a matrix to make a data-driven decision. If the project is greenfield/no-limitations applied, it’s a no-brainer to opt for the latest product releases.

ProductUpgrade DecisionVerison of Choice
VMware Horizon++ We had all the boxes ticked from a feature/functionality standpoint to be able to upgrade/migrate to Horizon 8.x version. (Instant Clones, Printing, UAG etc.). Infact everything worked well in the development environment
++ The latest vROPS Horizon Adapter 1.2/Horizon 8.x version doesn’t include the built-in Horizon reports. We use the reporting feature for all sorts of custom reporting on Horizon PODs. The older version of vROPS Horizon Adapter 6.7.1/Horizon 7.x has all the existing metrics and reporting available but doesn’t include support for Horizon 8.x on the support matrix
++ The no reporting on the Horizon Adapter 1.2 + limited metrics on RDSH limited our ability to move to the latest version of Horizon 8.x. Once the built-in reports\metrics and guidance is made available, we shall jump onto the latest version (n-1)
Horizon 7.13.1
VMware App Volumes++ Lack of Writable Volumes (UIA+Profile and UIA) migrations from 2.18.x to 4.x. Need official guidance or tool/script/guidance to upgrade all the wrtiable of the 2.18.x environment to 4.x. I am sure alot of enterprise customers will have plenty of Writable Volumes to migrate and don’t have the flexibility to start from scratch on a new version
++ VMware AppStack Migration fling is the perfect migration utility to migrate AppStacks 2.18.x to 4.x need something similar for Writable Volumes
App Volumes 2.18.10.10
VMware Dynamic Environment Manager++ This was the only piece of software that didn’t have interoperability or upgrade complexity. The obvious choice was to upgrade to the latest (n-1)DEM 2103
VMware Unified Access Gateway++ The appliance has no interoperability issues with Horizon 7.13.1 or upgrade complexity. The obvious choice was to upgrade to the latest (n-1)UAG 2103.1
Upgrade Decision Matrix

The above stack provides us with the required General Availability support until Q2 FY2022 and beyond.

Wishlist

I am looking forward to vROPS Horizon Adapter XX to include the built-in Horizon Reports/Additional Metrics for RDSH in the new version or provide detailed guidance on creating meaningful reports in future releases. Additionally, the App Volumes team releases tools and advice on migrating 4000’s+ Writable Volumes from 2.18.x to 4.x. Once the above is released, I plan to upgrade to the branch of Horizon 8.x and App Volumes 4.x releases version numbers.

Valuable links to reference during upgrades

Here is the cheat sheet for all the useful links to review and formulate an upgrade plan:

DescriptionLinks
VMware Product Interoperability MatrixProduct Interoperability Matrix (vmware.com)
Product DocumentationVMware Horizon Documentation
VMware App Volumes Documentation
VMware Dynamic Environment Manager (Formerly Known as VMware User Environment Manager) Documentation
Techzone Migrating Legacy Horizon Components to Modern Alternatives

View Composer –> Instant Clones
Security Server –> UAG
Persona –> DEM
Persistent Disk – FSLogix
Modernizing VDI for a New Horizon | VMware
App Volumes Upgrade considerationsVMware App Volumes 4 Installation and Upgrade Considerations | VMware
Fling Migrate App Volumes AppStack from 2.18.x to 4.xApp Volumes Migration Utility | VMware Flings
Supported Windows 10 versions based on Horizon AgentSupported versions of Windows 10 on Horizon Agent Including All VDI Clones (Full Clones, Instant Clones, and Linked Clones on Horizon 7) (2149393) (vmware.com)
VMware EUC Stack Agent OrderAgent installation order for Horizon View, Dynamic Environment Manager, and App Volumes (2118048) (vmware.com)
Supported Windows 10 versions based on App Volumes AgentVMware App Volumes and Microsoft Windows 10 Support
VMware Product Lifecycle – End of LifeProduct Lifecycle Matrix (vmware.com)
Reference Material

I hope you will find the above information useful in your enterprise upgrade/migrate strategy for VMware EUC Stack. I would love to hear your strategy and similar situations limiting your ability to migrate to the latest and greatest versions.

Thanks,
Aresh Sarkari

VMware App Volumes upgrade from 2.18.1 to 2.18.10 – Startup Failure – Unable to start App Volumes Manager

13 Sep

While upgrading from VMware App Volumes 2.18.1 to 2.18.10.10 version, the upgrade installer completes successfully. However, when you load the App Volumes Manager portal, you get the following error message – Startup Failure – Unable to start App Volumes Manager – Migrations are pending. To resolve this issue, run bin/rails db:migrate RAILS_ENV=production

Startup Failure

Cause

Upon quickly checking the App Volumes computer account (<Domain>\<MachineName>$ within SQL Server was missing the db_onwer permissions. Obviously, that caused the above error post-migration.

Note – This is a very corner case and not expected to see along on most of the App Volumes Migration/Upgrade scenarios. If you did come across one now you know how to remediate.

Resolution

Step 1 – Adding the missing db_owner permission back to the App Volumes Manager computer security account within SQL Server Management Studio

Step 2 – As the db:migration didn’t complete during the upgrade, we need to re-run the following command on the App Volumes Manager server. Open the CMD and change directory to the following path – C:\Program Files (x86)\CloudVolumes\Manager\ruby\bin and run the following command:

bundle exec rake db:migrate RAILS_ENV=production

You should see the following output:

Command Output

Step 3 – Restart the App Volumes Manager service, and now you will see the login page of the App Volumes Manager.

The mystery remains how did that permission go missing as the additional App Volumes Manager account had retained the db_owner role. But none the less the above steps came in handy with help from VMware support – Suman Rout luckily, has seen a similar issue before.

Lesson Learnt

  • Create a pre-upgrade task item on checking to making sure all the App Volumes Manager computer accounts within the SQL Server have the db_owner permissions.

I hope you will find these steps helpful to resolve missing SQL permissions causing upgrade issues during the App Volumes migration from 2.18.x to 2.18.10.10.

Thanks,
Aresh Sarkari

Script to install VMware EUC Agents – App Volumes Agent, DEM Agent and Horizon Agent

30 Jun

If you are planning for the VMware EUC Stack migration or upgrade and want to install the VMware EUC agent, then continue reading. The guidance on uninstalling the existing agents can be found on this blog post – Script uninstall VMware EUC Agents – App Volumes Agent, Horizon Client, DEM Agent, Horizon Agent and VMware Tools | AskAresh

In this script, we shall perform the agents install and reboot the golden image towards the end. There is no need to install the individual agents one by one, instead, sit back, relax and have a coffee!

VMware EUC Agents:

  • VMware Horizon Agent (Works on 7.x and 8.x/YYMM)
    • Note few MSI switches are deprecated if you still use them, you will have an error code 1603
  • VMware Dynamic Environment Manager Agent (Works on 9.x and YYMM)
  • VMware App Volumes Agent (Works on 2.x and 4.x/YYMM)

Note – All the above testing is carried out on Windows 10 1909 with PowerShell 5.1. Reboot is required to complete the installation operations.

VMware EUC Agents Install

Pre-requisites:

#################################################################################################
# Install EUC Agents in the proper order - Horizon Agent , DEM Agent and App Volumes Agent
# Reboot the OS towards the end after install all Agents. Look for Exit Code 0 or 3010
# If you notice exit code 1603 there is a installation issue. Refer to my MSI switches blogpost
# Comment or Un-comment the Agent that does not apply to your environment
# Author - Aresh Sarkari (Twitter - @askaresh)
################################################################################################

###################################################################
#                    Declare Variables                            #
###################################################################

#Agent Names
$HorizonAgentName = "VMware-Horizon-Agent-x86_64*"
$DEMAgentName = "VMware Dynamic Environment Manager*"
$AppVolumesAgentName = "App Volumes Agent*"
$AppVolMGR = "avm001.domain.com" # Manager LB VIP

# All the installer Location
#Create a folder C:\Temp\Agents and place all the MSI\EXE in there
$TempInstallPath = "C:\Temp\Agents" 

#Log Files location
# Go through all the logs post installation
$HZlogFile = "C:\Temp\Agents\HZAgent.log"
$DEMlogFile = "C:\Temp\Agents\DEMAgent.log"
$ApplogFile = "C:\Temp\Agents\AppVolAgent.log"

###################################################################
#                    MSI Arguments Arrary for EUC Agents          #
###################################################################
# Modify any MSI switched related to the agent here.
# Follow this blog post for swithces - https://askaresh.com/2021/06/28/comparision-vmware-horizon-agent-7-x-8-x-silent-install-switches-and-properties/

# VMware Horizon Agent MSI Switches
$HZMSIArguments = @(
	"/qn"
	"VDM_VC_MANAGED_AGENT=1"
    "SUPPRESS_RUNONCE_CHECK=1"
	"VDM_IP_Protocol_Usage=IPv4"
	"ADDLOCAL=Core,ClientDriveRedirection,NGVC,USB,RTAV,PerfTracker,PrintRedir,HelpDesk,TSMMR,VmwVaudio,V4V"
	"REBOOT=REallySuppress"
	"/L*v"
	$HZlogFile
)

# VMware Dynamic Enivornment Agent MSI Switches
$DEMMSIArguments = @(
    "/qn"
    "ADDLOCAL=FlexEngine"
    "REBOOT=REallysuppress"
    "/L*v"
    $DEMlogFile
)

# VMware App Volumes Agent MSI Switches
$AppVolMSIArguments = @(
    "/qn"
    "MANAGER_ADDR=$AppVolMGR"
    "MANAGER_PORT=443"
    "REBOOT=REallysuppress"
    "EnforceSSLCertificateValidation=0"
    "/L*v"
    $ApplogFile
)

###################################################################
#                    Main                                        #
###################################################################

# Install VMware Horizon Agent
Write-Host "Installing the VMware Horizon Agent" -ForegroundColor Green
$HZAgentPath = (Get-ChildItem -Path $TempInstallPath | Where-Object {$_.name -like $HorizonAgentName}).Fullname

# The switches "/s /v " is the Install Shield switches and rest of the aruguments are passed with MSI
$HZAgentInstall = (Start-Process -Filepath $HZAgentPath -Wait -ArgumentList "/s /v ""$HZMSIArguments" -PassThru)
$HZAgentInstall.ExitCode

Start-Sleep 20

# Install DEM Agent
Write-Host "Installing the VMware DEM Agent" -ForegroundColor Green
$DEMPath = (Get-ChildItem -Path $TempInstallPath | Where-Object {$_.name -like $DEMAgentName}).Fullname
$DEMAgentInstall = (Start-Process -Filepath $DEMPath -ArgumentList $DEMMSIArguments -Wait -PassThru)
$DEMAgentInstall.ExitCode

Start-Sleep 20

# Install App Volumes Agent
Write-Host "Installing the VMware App Volumes Agent" -ForegroundColor Green
$AppVolPath = (Get-ChildItem -Path $TempInstallPath | Where-Object {$_.name -like $AppVolumesAgentName}).Fullname
$AppVolAgentInstall = (Start-Process -Filepath $AppVolPath -ArgumentList $AppVolMSIArguments -Wait -PassThru)
$AppVolAgentInstall.ExitCode

Start-Sleep 20

# Restart the computer
Write-Host "Restarting the computer post the VMware EUC Agents install" -ForegroundColor Green
Restart-Computer -Force

Git Hubscripts/vmwareeucagent-install at master · askaresh/scripts (github.com)

A big thanks to Chris H for providing the original blueprint of the script and Wouter for showing me the magical “space” on the switch /v within the Horizon Agent installer. Final thanks to Jishan for the numerous testing cycles and additions to a different version of this script which tackles VMware Tools reboot and continues installing post a reboot.

I hope you will find this script useful to install the VMware EUC agents and never look back to install them individually. A small request if you further enhance the script or make it more creative, I hope you can share it back with me?

Thanks,
Aresh Sarkari

Reference Article – VMware Agent Install order – Agent installation order for Horizon View, Dynamic Environment Manager, and App Volumes (vmware.com)

Script uninstall VMware EUC Agents – App Volumes Agent, Horizon Client, DEM Agent, Horizon Agent and VMware Tools

29 Jun

If you are planning for the VMware EUC Stack migration or upgrade and are in the middle of uninstalling the existing agents, look no further and here is the script that will allow you to uninstall all the agents and reboot the golden image towards the end. There is no need to remove individual agents one by one from the “Program and Features”; instead, sit back, relax and have a coffee!

VMware EUC Agents:

  • VMware App Volumes Agent (Works on 2.x and 4.x/YYMM)
  • VMware Horizon Client (Optional)
  • VMware Dynamic Environment Manager Agent (Works on 9.x and YYMM)
  • VMware Horizon Agent (Works on 7.x and 8.x/YYMM)
  • VMware Tools (Works on 11.x)

Note – All the above testing is carried out on Windows 10 1909/Windows Server 2016 with PowerShell 5.1. The PowerShell module Uninstall-Package suppresses individual reboot and we perform the final reboot towards the end using the Restart-Computer module. (Reboot is required to complete the uninstallation operations.)

VMware EUC Agents
#################################################################################
# Un-Install EUC Agents in the proper order for Golden Image
# App Volumes Agent, Horizon Client(Optional), DEM, Horizon and VMware Tools
# Suppressed auto Reboot the OS towards the end after un-installing all Agents.
# Comment or Un-comment the Agent that does not apply to your environment
# Author - Aresh Sarkari (Twitter - @askaresh)
#################################################################################

#Un-installing VMware App Volumes Agent
Write-Host "Un-installing the App Volumes Agent" -ForegroundColor Green
Get-Package -Name 'App Volumes **' | Uninstall-Package

sleep -Seconds 60

#Un-installing VMware Horizon Client
#Write-Host "Un-installing the VMware Horizon Client" -ForegroundColor Green
#Get-Package -Name 'VMware Horizon Cli**' | Uninstall-Package

#sleep -Seconds 60

#Un-installing VMware Dynamic Environment Agent
Write-Host "Un-installing the Dynamic Environment Agent" -ForegroundColor Green
Get-Package -Name 'VMware Dynamic **' | Uninstall-Package

sleep -Seconds 60

#Un-installing VMware Horizon Agent
Write-Host "Un-installing the VMware Horizon Agent" -ForegroundColor Green
Get-Package -Name 'VMware Horizon Ag**' | Uninstall-Package

sleep -Seconds 60

#Un-installing VMware Tools Agent
Write-Host "Un-installing the VMware Tools Agent" -ForegroundColor Green
Get-Package -Name 'VMware Tools' | Uninstall-Package

sleep -Seconds 60

# Restart the computer
Write-Host "Restarting the computer post the VMware EUC Agents Un-install" -ForegroundColor Green
Restart-Computer -Force

GitHub scripts/vmwareeucagent-uninstall at master · askaresh/scripts (github.com)

Thanks to Hilko and Joel for reviewing the script and providing valuable feedback.

I hope you will find this script useful to uninstall the VMware EUC agents and never look back to remove individual programs under “Programs and Features”. A small request if you further enhance the script or make it more creative, I hope you can share it back with me?

Thanks,
Aresh Sarkari

Comparison VMware Horizon Agent 7.x/8.x (Silent Install) Switches and Properties

28 Jun

We are in the middle of automating the VMware Horizon Agent 8.x installer for the golden images. To undertake such a task, it’s essential to understand all the MSI Switches that come along with the installer. If you had already automated the Horizon Agent 7.x install it’s also important to check which MSI switches have been removed in Horizon Agent 8.x/YYMM. The below details will show you the switches and highlight the removed/deltas MSI Switches and Properties.

I use a tool called lessmsi GitHub – activescott/lessmsi: A tool to view and extract the contents of an Windows Installer (.msi) file. which essentially extracts the MSI contents and provides a detailed table view of the feature components and properties.

Horizon Agent 8.x\YYMM version (Features available within the agent)

Feature (s38)Feature_Parent (S38)Title (L64)Description (L255)Directory_ (S72)
URLRedirectionCoreURL Content RedirectionRedirects URL content from a server session to a client device and vice versa. 
PSGCore   
VmVideoCore   
VmwVdisplayCore   
VmwViddCore   
SmartCardSingleUserTSCore   
RDSH3D 3D RDSHThis feature enables hardware 3D acceleration in RDSH sessions. 
NGVC VMware Horizon Instant Clone AgentHorizon Instant Clone Agent should only be installed on a virtual machine running on VMware vSphere 6.0/2015 U1 or later. 
ScannerRedirection Scanner RedirectionEnables the Scanner Redirection feature. 
SerialPortRedirection Serial Port RedirectionEnables the Serial Port Redirection feature. 
SmartCard Smartcard RedirectionEnables the Smartcard Redirection feature. 
TSMMR TSMMRTerminal Services Multimedia Redirection. 
PrintRedir VMware Integrated PrintingVMware Integrated Printing Redirection. 
USB USB RedirectionUSB Redirection. Refer to the VMware Horizon Security document for guidance on using USB redirection securely. 
V4V Horizon Monitoring Service AgentHorizon Monitoring Service Agent. 
VmwVaudio VMware AudioVMware virtual Audio driver 
SdoSensor SDO Sensor RedirectionEnables Simple Device Orientation(SDO) Sensor Redirection feature, reports device orientation changes to remote desktop. 
HybridLogon Hybrid LogonEnables Hybrid logon which allows an unauthenticated user access to network resources without the need to enter credentials. 
HelpDesk Help Desk Plugin for Horizon AgentHelp Desk Plugin for Horizon Agent. 
RDP Enable RDP (hidden)  
BlastUDPCore   
Core Core[ProductName] core functionalityINSTALLDIR
VMWMediaProviderProxy VMware Virtualization Pack for Skype for BusinessThis feature will enable optimization for Skype for Business in remote desktop 
ClientDriveRedirection Client Drive RedirectionAllow Horizon Clients to share local drives with remote desktops and applications. If not installed, copy/paste and drag and drop files and folders features will be disabled. 
RTAV Real-Time Audio-VideoReal-Time Audio-Video enables users to redirect locally connected audio and video peripherals back to the remote desktop for use. 
GEOREDIR Geolocation RedirectionEnables redirection of client’s geolocation to the remote desktop 
PerfTracker Horizon Performance TrackerEnables Horizon Performance Tracker 
Horizon Agent 8.x/YYMM Release MSI Features

Horizon Agent 7.x version (Features available within the agent)

Feature (s38)Feature_Parent (S38)Title (L64)Description (L255)Directory_ (S72)
URLRedirectionCoreURL Content RedirectionRedirects URL content from a server session to a client device and vice versa. 
PSGCore  
VmVideoCore  
VmwVdisplayCore  
VmwViddCore  
SmartCardSingleUserTSCore  
FlashURLRedirection Flash URL RedirectionEnables Flash URL Redirection for internal company controlled web pages. 
RDSH3D 3D RDSHThis feature enables hardware 3D acceleration in RDSH sessions. 
SVIAgent VMware Horizon View Composer AgentVMware Horizon View Composer Agent RDSH installs: This machine can be used as the parent image for provisioning Automated Farms 
NGVC VMware Horizon Instant Clone AgentHorizon Instant Clone Agent should only be installed on a virtual machine running on VMware vSphere 6.0/2015 U1 or later. It cannot be co-installed with Horizon View Composer Agent. 
ScannerRedirection Scanner RedirectionEnables the Scanner Redirection feature. 
SerialPortRedirection Serial Port RedirectionEnables the Serial Port Redirection feature. 
SmartCard Smartcard RedirectionEnables the Smartcard Redirection feature. 
TSMMR TSMMRTerminal Services Multimedia Redirection. Does not support IPv6 configuration. 
ThinPrint Virtual PrintingVirtual Printer Support 
PrintRedir VMware Integrated PrintingVMware Integrated Printing Redirection. 
USB USB RedirectionUSB Redirection. Refer to the VMware Horizon 7 Security document for guidance on using USB redirection securely. 
V4V vRealize Operations Desktop AgentvRealize Operations Desktop Agent. Does not support IPv6 configuration. 
VPA VMware Horizon 7 Persona ManagementVMware Horizon 7 Persona Management 
VmwVaudio VMware AudioVMware virtual Audio driver 
DeviceBridgeBAS Device Bridge BAS PluginEnables finger scanners supported by BAS system 
SdoSensor SDO Sensor RedirectionEnables Simple Device Orientation(SDO) Sensor Redirection feature, reports device orientation changes to remote desktop. 
CIT VMware Client IP TransparencyThis feature allows remote connections to Internet Explorer to use the Client’s IP address instead of this machine’s. Does not support IPv6 configuration. 
HybridLogon Hybrid LogonEnables Hybrid logon which allows an unauthenticated user access to network resources without the need to enter credentials. 
HelpDesk Help Desk Plugin for Horizon AgentHelp Desk Plugin for Horizon Agent. 
RDP Enable RDP (hidden)  
BlastUDPCore  
Core Core[ProductName] core functionalityINSTALLDIR
VMWMediaProviderProxy VMware Virtualization Pack for Skype for BusinessThis feature will enable optimization for Skype for Business in remote desktop 
ClientDriveRedirection Client Drive RedirectionAllow Horizon View Clients to share local drives with their remote desktops and applications. Does not support IPv6 configuration. 
RTAV Real-Time Audio-VideoReal-Time Audio-Video enables users to redirect locally connected audio and video peripherals back to the remote desktop for use. 
FLASHMMR Flash RedirectionFlash Redirection 
GEOREDIR Geolocation RedirectionEnables redirection of client’s geolocation to the remote desktop 
PerfTracker Horizon Performance TrackerEnables Horizon Performance Tracker 
Horizon Agent 7.x Release MSI Features

If you want to download the spreadsheet version of the table above/below you can find it below. Note there is a bonus within the spreadsheet: MSI Property comparision between Horizon Agent 7.x and Horizon Agent 8.x and two MSI Properties have been removed VDM_FLASH_URL_REDIRECTION and INSTALL_VDIDISPLAY_DRIVER (Part of the Core in 8.x).

Deprecated/Delta Features between 7.x and 8.x/YYMM release

From the table above, we know all the switches of the Horizon Agent 7.x and 8.x versions. Once we compare the above two tables, we are left with the following delta, and I have commented on whether each feature exists or is removed. Please make sure to remove them from your existing scripts or silent installers if you had added them during your Horizon 7.x installs.

Feature (s38)Title (L64)Description (L255)Additional Comments
FlashURLRedirectionFlash URL RedirectionEnables Flash URL Redirection for internal company controlled web pages.Flash come to EOL in 2020. Feature has been deprecated
SVIAgentVMware Horizon View Composer AgentVMware Horizon View Composer Agent RDSH installs: This machine can be used as the parent image for provisioning Automated FarmsVMware Compose was replaced by Instant Clones
ThinPrintVirtual PrintingVirtual Printer SupportThinPrint is replaced by VMware Integrated Printing
VPAVMware Horizon 7 Persona ManagementVMware Horizon 7 Persona ManagementPersona is replaced by App Volumes or DEM or FSLogic
DeviceBridgeBASDevice Bridge BAS PluginEnables finger scanners supported by BAS systemFeature has been deprecated
CITVMware Client IP TransparencyThis feature allows remote connections to Internet Explorer to use the Client’s IP address instead of this machine’s. Does not support IPv6 configuration.Feature has been deprecated
FLASHMMRFlash RedirectionFlash RedirectionFlash come to EOL in 2020. Feature has been deprecated
Delta or Deprecated feature list after comparing the above two tables

I hope you will find this post useful to perform silent installs on Horizon Agent. My request is if you find any additional delta or enhancements, please make sure to share it back with me.

Thanks,
Aresh Sarkari

Reference – Check out the VMware documentation on Silent Installation Properties for Horizon Agent (vmware.com)

How to collect logs from Horizon View 6.x/7.x Instant Clones – Desktop VM’s

7 Feb

If you have desktops deployed via Horizon View 6.x/7.x Instant Clones technology it can get very difficult to collect the Horizon View Agent logs from the desktop VM for troubleshooting/analysis purposes. The moment the end-user logs-off from the desktop it gets into the Status = Disconnected –> Deleting.

vCenter Task for log-in and log-off of the desktopvCenter Task Log-in/Log-Off

vCenter Task for Deleting –> Customizing –> AvailablevCenter Task Delete - Customizing - Available

The above operations happen very quickly. Suppose in our scenario the desktop was failing on the Status=Customizing (View Administrator). The desktops status would change into the Error state and after couple of seconds get into delete will remain in a loop until the desktop becomes available. This is by design as the Instant Clone is trying to re-create the desktop There was no way to capture the logs for analysis or troubleshooting.

Resolution:Now you can disable the recovery of the Instant Clone desktop VM if they are in the Status=Error (Strictly for troubleshooting purposes). This setting can be enabled at Desktop Pool Level

Desktop Pool Setting (disable autorecovery):

  • Open the Horizon View ADAM – (DC=vdi,dc=vmware,dc=int)
  • Go to OU=Server Groups – on you right select OU=DesktopPoolName (this is the name of your desktop pool)
  • Search for pae-RecoveryDisabled and click Edit
  • Enter Value =1 and click Add – OK
  • ADAM

Now whenever your desktop within the Pool will be in Status=Error it will not delete the VM and keep it in the Error state for you to capture the logs and perform troubleshooting. Please revert the changes of this settings once you have finished analysis. I hope these steps would be helpful leave a comment down below

Additional KB:
Connecting to the View ADAM Database (2012377)

Thanks,
Aresh