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Citrix PVS vdiskdif.vhdx cache file filling up and servers crashing after reboot.


We had a number of production VMs running a Citrix desktop workload on Citrix Xenapp 6.5 via Citrix PVS 7.1 (SP3) with cache to RAM with overflow to hard drive, set at 2048Mb. VMware Hypervisor 5.5 and Appv 5 SP2 with HRP4 running in full infrastructure mode (no Microsoft SCCM) and 30GB of packages running in Shared content store mode from a network file share \\server\appvshare$

Servers have 12GB Ram, with 4 vCPU’s and Windows 2008 R2 SP1

C: Drive is 40GB (with 35GB utilised)

D: Drive is 20 GB (typically 12GB utilised at any one time) with a 6.1GB Page file redirected here, an the vdiskdif.vhdx at 4mb

We have a daily reboot for the entire Citrix desktop estate estate at 3am.

Appv GPO Settings are to use Shared content mode, use the local path of c:\programdata\appv (not app-v), autoload = ALL, user and computer refresh on logon = true



After an IE11 upgrade on the Citrix vDisk, every 2-3 days some of the citrix servers would reboot (as per policy) and quickly fill up the D drive, finally crashing the server and rendering it unusable. Hoorah for PVS cache to disk.

As the machine had crashed there was little way to troubleshoot it after the fact, so we needed to capture it during.

Steps to resolve:

Increase C: Drive to 60GB using the process listed in the first section of this article – NO FIX

Increase D: Drive to 40GB to resolve. The server stopped crashing as the server didnt run out of D drive space, we then noticed that the vdiskdif.vhds was sitting at 13.6GB and growing (vs unaffected servers sitting at 4Mb) When checking the system processes, nothing was obviously running or processing. This was a nice workaround but not a final solution or fix.

We rebooted and remotely monitored the system with PSTools (sysinternals) executable “pslist -s \\servername”. During the reboot the appvclient.exe was siting 25% CPU, whilst the GPO to do a full client sync was ‘called’ and run (powershell: get-appvpublishingserver | sync-appvpublishingserver)

Our crashing was finally narrowed to the AppV client that was sporadically somehow crashing and filling the D drive. When the AppV client was stopped or the server removed from any ‘global’ publishing – the server never crashed. As soon as the production APPV packages were republished to the device, and after every 2 or 3 reboots the appvclient.exe would run, start caching files, and start filling up the D drive as it was ‘copying / caching’ the packages.

This felt very much like the AppV client was ignoring the shared content mode, and trying to cache everything locally.

Final Resolution:

The ‘gut feeling’ on this problem was that the AppV client wasnt getting the correct settings from GPO in time. The local AppV Client settings (registry) were reviewed and it seemed there were some improvements to be made.





Turns out the Appv Client settings were set to disable Shared content mode, and to autoload all apps which we are assuming its doing sometimes before it gets its required settings from GPO.






After creating a new vDisk version with the ‘New Setting’ registry keys listed above tattooed in the vDisk image  the servers haven’t crashed since.

Also we were using a GPO powershell script that tells the client to go and ‘autoload’ all the apps. So the autoload registry option was just confusing things, hence we disabled it.

App-V 5.0 apps not working when published as seamless applications


Our AppV Applications on Citrix are published globally to the citrix servers computer accounts so the apps are available before the users login. These applications all launch and integrate with AppV either directly calling the AppV exe or by using the /appvve or switch on a hosted Citrix desktop. When the same AppV application is launched seamlessly the app opens but without AppV integration.


*UPDATED* – The /Appvve: switch will work if published via Citrix, but only if the Application/s (in APPV) are published to the end user account (not just the computer accounts)

The /appvve switch doesnt work with Citrix published applications. Use the APP-v console to make the applications available for the end user/s or user groups and then script the launch of the app with powershell.


—— begin script——–

$appvname = get-appvclientpackage “James”
start-appvvirtualprocess -appvclientobject $appvname excel.exe

—— end script——–

I then publish this PS1 script from Citrix in the published app command line:

“C:WindowsSystem32WindowsPowerShellv1.0powershell.exe” -windowstyle hidden “\lonfs001xenapp$AppsSAPLaunch_APPV_JAMES.ps1”


There is a myriad of other ways you can integrate or launch apps inside the APPV bubble see below link for more details. We were unable to use the ‘file type associations’ as we want normal excel to load without the APPV integration and add-ins and for select users have this APPV integration be available.


Citrix Netscaler Gateway – Some apps sporadically appearing

Scenario: 2 Citrix XenApp farms (6.5 and a 4.5)

The 6.5 apps were always appearing and working ok

The 4.5 apps would sporadically appear or even disappear during a refresh of the Gaeway page ‘ Some applications have been removed’ even if these applications had the option to allow via access gateway UNTICKED



One of the 2 servers for the 4.5 farm did not have the Trust XML option enabled, once this was enabled the application stayed hidden!


Windows 2008 R2 / XenApp server hanging at 'Applying Microsoft Offline Files Policy'


After a recent image update one of our XenApp/Windows servers was booting but hanging at the ‘Applying Microsoft Offline Files Policy’ and taking a long time to ‘finish’ and display the CTRL + ALT + DEL screen. The Windows offline files policy set to disable for all.


This was in fact a red herring, it was a server powershell start up script that was hanging the device. Running a tasklist /s \%servername it was noted there were copies of powershell.exe and gpscript.exe still running

Upon terminating these processes the server instantly sprang into life.

Citrix XenApp 6.5 session sharing broken through Secure Gateway 3.1.2


When launching PNAgent apps from a published desktop the session sharing would intermittently break.

When running the desktop inside the network, it would generally behave, externally via the Citrix Secure Gateway the session sharing wouldn’t work, a separate session would launch for most if not all of the Citrix applications published via PNAgent or the app wouldnt start at all.

Some apps would work and not others. I deleted any non working apps, copied a working application and renamed / resetup the application and that application would launch for a time.

The following KB articles and sites were visited and their fixes were implemented first.

http://support.citrix.com/article/CTX126839 – How to Set Up Session Sharing Precedence Over Load Balancing in a XenApp Farm

http://support.citrix.com/proddocs/topic/xenapp65-admin/lm-using-attach-loadval-all.html – Changed the server LB policies (I only had the default rule assigned)

Delete and recreated the applications fresh *this worked for a time.

But after numerous attempts of logging in with fresh profile or existing users – the experience wasnt consistent, and still breaking via Secure Gateway.


We were running PNAgent on the published desktop, an upgrade to of the citrix online plugin fixed these session sharing issues.

*We were avoiding the upgrade to the receiver at this stage as there was no storefront (though its not required) and the CIO still requires the users to have dynamic start menu, desktop and taskbar icons to launch applications.

Lock and Windows Security Slow to Appear in XenApp 6.5 desktop session

Clients – Windows XP Thin Client T5740, Receiver 3.1

Servers – Windows 2008 R2, XenApp 6.5

Problem: When end users were selecting the Start> Windows Security or Start > Arrow > Lock option in the desktop menus there is a 10 – 20 second delay before the menu appears. It also affected volume control speed and even the ability to select the Speaker icon on the task bar.

Solution: Microphone redirection. Disable anything to do with microphone redirection and then the menus listed above should then appear instantly.


Add automatic launching of executable from IE in protected mode

When opening Internet explorer on XenApp 6.5 – we would get a prompt that a program is trying to open outside of Internet explorer’s protected mode.


This program will open outside of Protected mode. Internet Explorer’s Protected mode helps protect your computer. If you do not trust this website, do not open this program.

Name: Citrix FTA, URL VDA Redirector

Publisher: Citrix Systems, INC


http://support.citrix.com/article/CTX133274 – Use the citrix Article to disable the URL interceptor entirely, or

[HKEY_CURRENT_USERSoftwareMicrosoftInternet ExplorerLow RightsElevationPolicy{5196FFCF-C942-4E9B-AEDE-88DBF2E1DDE8}]
“AppPath”=”C:\Program Files (x86)\Citrix\system32”

Other applications can be added in here like Excel, Power point, word etc to enable the programs to open without prompting natively from IE’s protected mode.

Appsense EM xml Snippet (txt renamed to doc due to wordpress security)



Additional executables to be allowed for the end users redirector.exe

[HKEY_CURRENT_USERSoftwareMicrosoftInternet ExplorerLow RightsElevationPolicy{5C1359F1-E04E-4231-9E7E-955DE92A17E1}]
“AppPath”=”C:\Program Files (x86)\Citrix\ICA Client”