Recently I have been working with the different teams here at Citrix implementing Provisioning Server in XenApp environments.  As we venture into this realm, we are finding remapping of drives is quite common in many 4.x, 3.x and XP implementations.  There are typically two scenarios I hear about:

  • Users are confused when they perform a “Saves As” in an ICA session and they do not see their “C” drive a “C” drive.  Remapping addresses this issue minimizing support calls I image.
  • Customers have spent a sizable amount of money creating application packages to work properly in a remapped environment.  To undo this would be another sizable amount of money so customers are not quick to revert. 

As Provisioning Server was introduced into the picture, people have asked… “What about the remapped drives?” Below is the explanation on how to ensure the remapping is seen when streaming a XenApp (Presentation) Server with Provisioning Server.

Below is the process to make a XenApp (Presentation) Server operable when streamed by a Provisioning Server with remapped drives are part of the baseline.

I will have a follow-on article discussing two partition scenarios coming soon!

As always, I am a huge fan of feedback, so please leave comments.


Summary

When using a Provisioning Server to stream a XenApp (Presentation) Server that has a remapped drive, Provisioning Server does not always boot with the proper drive letter therefore making the streamed target device inoperable. This article will provide the “How To” on creating a vDisk in with the Provisioning Server Image Builder when a XenApp (Presentation) Server is currently remapped.

Requirements

Requirements for completing the task and a specific knowledge and/or hardware and software requirements:

  • Basic knowledge and understanding of Provisioning Server for Datacenters 4.5
  • Advanced knowledge of XenApp (Presentation) Server 4.x
  • Basic knowledge of Active Directory, IIS, Windows System administration and Network Terminology
  • A baseline install of Windows Server 2003 with latest patches and drivers
  • A baseline install of XenApp (Presentation) Server on an existing Master Target Device
  • A vDisk created and ready to image
  • Knowledge of the Citrix Provisioning Server PS Integration Utility: CTX116063 (http://support.citrix.com/article/CTX116063)
  • Assumes default remapping of C: to M:

Background

XenApp (Presentation) Server drive letter remapping is only necessary when users will be accessing and saving data on their local client devices from ICA sessions. For example, when a user uses Microsoft Word on a XenApp (Presentation) Server and perform a ‘Save As’ they will be asked where to save the document. Without drive mapping, the user can become confused because their local system drive may appear as drive V (as an example). With drive remapping, their system drive will show up a drive letter C.

The advantages of remapping server drive letters are:

  • Users will be able to see their own local disk drives as the correct drive letters.
  • If you need to change the drive letter, the XenApp (Presentation) Server installation program provides an easy way to do this.

The disadvantages of remapping server drive letters are:

  • Any previously installed applications will most likely stop working.
  • Any new installed applications, patches or hotfixes may not properly install.
  • In some situations, unexplainable things happen on the server.

When dealing with a Provisioning Server that is streaming a XenApp (Presentation) Server down to a target device, the drive remapping may not correctly propagate to the vDisk therefore causing the XenApp (Presentation) Server to be inoperable upon boot. Below explain how to configure a XenApp (Presentation) Server that has a remapped drive so that it functions properly when streamed by Provisioning Server.

Procedure

The steps to complete the task:

  1. Boot the master target device and log on to the system as a domain administrator or a domain user.
  2. Install and configure Citrix XenApp (Presentation) Server.  At the end of the installation, you will be prompted to reboot
  3. Reboot the master target device.
  4. When the master target device is successfully restarted, log on to the system as a local or domain administrator, or a domain user (with local install privileges).
  5. Install the Provisioning Server for Datacenters Target Device client software and then shutdown the master target device.
  6. Boot the master target device, enter the BIOS configuration utility and configure the boot order to PXE boot first.  Save configuration settings and continue the boot process. When PXE booting a master target device for the first time, the Provisioning Server Streaming Service will prompt for the following:
    1. Client Name – Give the master target device a meaningful name
    2. Description – Give the master target device a meaningful description
    3. Select vDisk – Select the vDisk that was created and formatted for this installation
    4. Boot From – Select boot from hard drive
  7. When the master target device is successfully restarted, log on to the system as a domain administrator, or a domain user (with local install privileges).
  8. Double click on ‘My Computer.’
  9. The drives drive will appear (assuming the defaults) as follows:
    1. System = M:
    2. CD-Rom = N:
    3. vDisk = C: 
  10. Right click on ‘My Computer’ and click ‘Manage.’ 
  11. The ‘Computer Management’ service console will open.
  12. Click on ‘Disk Management’ to view all disks associated with the Master Target Device.
  13. Right click on the vDisk drive C and click ‘Change Drive Letter and Paths.’
  14. The ‘Change Drive Letters and Path for C: (vDisks)’ dialog box will open.
  15. Click on the ‘Change’ button.
  16. The ‘Change Drive Letters or Path’ dialog box will open.
  17. Select a drive letter greater than the remapped system drive.
  18. Click ‘OK’ to close the ‘Change Drive Letter or Path’ dialog box and click ‘OK’ to the ‘Confirm’ dialog box.
  19. The drive letters should be as follows (assuming system drive letter is M):
    1. System = M:
    2. CD-Rom = N:
    3. vDisk = O:
  20. Install the “PVS PS Integration Utility.msi” on the master target device.
    • As noted this utility does require a logon to invoke the cpsmods.vbs, which performs a series of steps that are critical for the XenApp (Presentation) Server to fully function while being streamed by Provisioning Server.  Several scenarios for completing the logon process are outlined in: CTX116063 (http://support.citrix.com/article/CTX116063)
  21. Click “Next” on the “Welcome” dialog box.
  22. Select the version of XenApp (Presentation) Server currently installed on the master target device and click “Next.”
  23. Click “Next” on the “Confirm Installation” dialog box.
  24. Click “Close” on the “Installation Complete” dialog box.
  25. Upon completion of the install, an icon will be created on the desktop of the master target device called either the “CPS 4.5 Integration Tool” or “CPS 4.0 Integration Tool.”
  26. Double click on the icon and a dialog box will appear indicating success.
  27. Click “OK” and the “Client Image Builder” will automatically open and proceed to build the image to the vDisk mapped during the PXE boot process.
  28. Build the vDisk pointing the ‘Destination Drive’ to the proper drive letter (Note: Be sure to ‘Optimize’ before building the image).
  29. Upon completion of the image build, shut down the master target device.
  30. The vDisk is now ready to stream to multiple Target Devices using Standard Image mode.

More Information

For more information on drive remapping please following these links: http://www.brianmadden.com/content/article/Should-you-remap-drive-letters-when-installing-MetaFrame-Presentation-Server

http://support.citrix.com/article/ctx457309

Note: This procedure will be available with pictures as a TechNote in the Knowledge Center.  I will update with the link once it is posted.