Thursday, February 26, 2015

Error deplying a new XenApp 7.6 Machine Catalog using Citrix Machine Creation Services (MCS) with VMware vSphere

Problem

You’re attempting to create a new XenApp 7.6 Machine Catalog using Citrix Machine Creation Services (MCS):

image

image

Completing the wizard starts the process of cloning the XenApp application server’s master image but you notice that the process does not complete and you are presented with the following error:

An error occurred while preparing the image.

image

Clicking on the View error details button displays the following error details:

Error Id: XDDS:0DAA3833

Exception:

Citrix.Console.Models.Exceptions.ProvisioningTaskException An error occurred while preparing the image.

at Citrix.Console.PowerShellSdk.ProvisioningSchemeService.BackgroundTasks.ProvisioningSchemeTask.CheckForTerminatingError(SdkProvisioningSchemeAction sdkProvisioningSchemeAction)

at Citrix.Console.PowerShellSdk.ProvisioningSchemeService.BackgroundTasks.ProvisioningSchemeTask.WaitForProvisioningSchemeActionCompletion(Guid taskId, Action`1 actionResultsObtained)

at Citrix.Console.PowerShellSdk.ProvisioningSchemeService.BackgroundTasks.ProvisioningSchemeCreationTask.StartProvisioningAction()

at Citrix.Console.PowerShellSdk.ProvisioningSchemeService.BackgroundTasks.ProvisioningSchemeCreationTask.RunTask()

at Citrix.Console.PowerShellSdk.BackgroundTaskService.BackgroundTask.Task.Run()

DesktopStudio_ErrorId : UnknownError

ErrorCategory : NotSpecified

ErrorID : FailedToCreateImagePreparationVm

TaskErrorInformation : Terminated

InternalErrorMessage : Either the account is not granted sufficient privilege or disabled or username/password is incorrect

image

Reviewing the Recent Tasks pane in vCenter shows that the create folder task never begins:

image

Solution

This problem is most likely caused by missing permissions for the service account used by Citrix Studio to connect and execute operations in your vSphere environment. In this particular case, the missing permission was the Advanced permission under Configuration:

image

The cloning and deployment of the XenApp application server completed successfully once the permission was granted:

image

image

Tuesday, February 24, 2015

NetScaler VPX 10.5 build 54.9.nc loses network connectivity shortly after restarting the appliance

I recently ran into an issue that had me troubleshooting a NetScaler VPX issue for a good two weeks and while there’s an actual VMware and Citrix KB article about the issue, I hope that this blog post will reach out to anyone who actually follows my blog or twitter so that they are aware of it.

Problem

I was informed by a client that the NetScaler HA Pair I deployed over a year ago that the Citrix portal published behind it no longer worked and when I logged on, I noticed that I was unable to log into the management GUI of the NetScaler.  What I would basically get is the login page and once I type in the credentials and attempt to log in, I would see a white page indicating it’s loading and eventually fail after a very long time.

Attempting to ping the device would either flat out no longer respond or exhibit drop packets shown in the following screenshot:

image

Logging onto the console and attempting to ping other servers on the same subnet would fail but pinging the NetScaler VPX’s own IP address would work.  A quick restart of the NetScaler would return the appliance to what appear to be a regular state for various window of time but will be short lived.

The NetScaler VPX in the environment is version is 10.5 build 54.9.nc:

image

Solution

After troubleshooting over the week, I finally found the following VMware article:

After applying patches to an ESXi 5.1/5.5 host, Citrix NetScaler virtual machine with e1000 vNIC loses network connectivity (2092809)
http://kb.vmware.com/selfservice/microsites/search.do?language=en_US&cmd=displayKC&externalId=2092809

… and the following Citrix article:

NetScaler VPX Loses Network Connectivity on VMware ESXi 5.1.0 2191751 and VMware ESXi 5.5 2143827
http://support.citrix.com/article/CTX200278

What I found out shortly after asking was that the ESXi hosts were recently updated to ESXi 5.1 Update 3 which supersedes the Patch 5 build that VMware and Citrix indicates would cause the NetScaler to lose its network connectivity.

I can confirm that the workaround as outlined in the Citrix KB as well as updating the appliance to 10.5 build 55.8 resolves the issue.

Monday, February 23, 2015

Presenting PowerPoint presentation from Lync 2013 fails with: “Some presenting features are unavailable due to server connectivity issues.”

I’ve noticed that I get asked at least once every few months to look at why sharing PowerPoint presentations in a new Lync Server 2013 deployment with Office Web Apps would fail with the error message:

Some presenting features are unavailable due to server connectivity issues.

Retry

image

If you try to share the same PowerPoint .pptx presentation, you would notice that the file was successfully loaded as indicated by the following message:

This File is Already in the Meeting

Rename and Attach

image

You’ve also confirmed that lal the Lync Server services have been started:

image

What I’ve noticed is that 9 out of the 10 times I get called for this is because .NET Framework 3.5 Features is not installed on the server:

image

This component is required for the Office Web Apps server when it is installed on either a Windows Server 2012 R1 or R2 server:

image

Hope this helps anyone who may run into this issue as there isn’t really a specific error logged in the events that points to this.

Sunday, February 22, 2015

Customizing Microsoft Lync 2013 client options with registry keys

I’ve recently been asked by a client whether it was possible to set the Lync 2013 client’s Show Menu Bar option as enabled by default:

clip_image002

… and as any IT administrator would respond, my answer was yes because it is most likely configured via a registry key.  While I figured there is a registry key for this setting, the first approach I took was actually downloading the Office 2013 admx templates to see if the policy definitions for the user or computer configuration contained these settings.  What I found was that the policy definitions for the Lync 2013 client contained very little configuration settings so I set off to locate the setting in the registry.

Before I begin, note that the client I am using in this example is 32-bit:

clip_image002

With the above out of the way, all the registry settings for configuring the client is actually located at the following path:

HKCU\Software\Microsoft\Office\15.0\Lync

… and the registry setting for the Show Menu Bar is the REG_BINARY AlwaysShowMenu:

clip_image002[4]

To following 0000 00 value disables the setting:

clip_image002[6]

The following 0000 01 value enables the setting:

clip_image002[8]

clip_image002[10]

Another question that the client asked was whether the Minimize to the notification area instead of the task bar configuration could be enabled by default:

clip_image002[12]

… and this could also be configured via the following registry key in the same path as above:

HKCU\Software\Microsoft\Office\15.0\Lync

REG_DWORD MinimizeWindowToNotificationArea

clip_image002[14]

clip_image002[20]

The value of 0 is to disable and 1 is to enable:

clip_image002[16]

clip_image002[18]

I won’t go into the other configuration settings but most of them could be located in the same registry key folder as well.

Friday, February 20, 2015

Configuring Lync 2013 Federation with Google Talk through XMPP

I’ve been reminded several times by my colleagues over the last two years that I never wrote a blog post demonstrating how to federate Lync Server 2013 with Google Talk and my usual response has always been that there are plenty of posts out there already but because I had to recently configure this for a client, I figure I’ll write the post just so I can say I’ve done it.

Before I begin, please note that Google is going to discontinue XMPP and their Google Hangouts does not support XMPP federation. Adding users on Google Chat has been problematic over the past year as Google has been trying to block domains that SPAM users. What all this basically means is that your mileage will vary and the amount of time Lync 2013 users would be able to IM Google Talk users will be limited. The following blog post by Matt Landis does a good job of explaining this:

Google Blocking XMPP Invites From Federated Partners

http://windowspbx.blogspot.com/2013/03/google-blocking-xmpp-invites-from.html

With that out of the way, the TechNet documentation that I will be following can be found here:

Example XMPP configuration in Lync Server 2013 – XMPP federation with Google Talk

https://technet.microsoft.com/en-us/library/jj204807.aspx

Step #1 – Enable XMPP in the Lync Topology

Begin by launching the Lync Server 2013 Topology Builder and loading your organization’s topology:

image

Then open the properties of your Edge server and ensure that Enable XMPP federation for this Edge pool (port 5269) is enabled:

image

Next, edit the properties of your Lync server and enable the Enable XMPP federation setting:

image

image

image

Proceed by publishing the topology:

image

image

Step #2 – Add gmail.com as an XMPP Partner

Continue by launching the Lync Server Management Shell and execute the following cmdlet:

New-CsXmppAllowedPartner gmail.com -TlsNegotiation NotSupported -SaslNegotiation NotSupported -EnableKeepAlive $false -SupportDialbackNegotiation $true

image

The cmdlet above basically configures the following in the XMPP Federated Partners section in the Lync Server 2013 Control Panel:

image

image

Step #3 – Creating a Public DNS SRV Record for XMPP

Create a public SRV record in your public DNS SIP domain with the following properties:

Domain: <your SIP domain>

Service: _xmpp-server

Protocol: _tcp

Priority: 0

Weight: 0

Port number: 5269

Host: <your SIP address>

image

Step #4 (Optional) – Install XMPP Components onto the Edge Server and Assign Certificate

If the configuration setting Enable XMPP federation for this Edge pool (port 5269) was not enabled and you had to enable it during Step #1, log onto the Edge server, launch the Lync Server 2013 Deployment Wizard and run the Setup or Remove Lync Server Components to install the Lync Server XMPP Translating Gateway Proxy:

image

Once the Lync Server XMPP Translating Gateway Proxy has been installed, you should see the service listed in the services console:

image

Ensure that there is a certificate assigned to the XmppServer service by launching Request, Install or Assign Certificates:

image

Step #5 – Ensure that TCP 5269 is allowed through the firewall to the Edge Server

As noted in the following TechNet article:

Port summary - Single consolidated edge with private IP addresses using NAT in Lync Server 2013

https://technet.microsoft.com/en-us/library/gg425891.aspx

… ensure that TCP 5269 is allowed through the firewall and into the Edge server:

image

With the above steps completed, you should now be able to communicate with Google Talk users via Lync 2013.

Thursday, February 19, 2015

Simple batch file to continuously ping a defined set of computers and log failures to a text file

There have been times in the past where I’ve had to set up a quick and dirty way to ping a set of servers for a period of time to determine whether any packets are lost and while there are quite a few tools available to download, I’ve preferred to use the following simple batch file:

@echo off

set logfile=F:\continuousPinglog.txt

setlocal enableDelayedExpansion

echo Starting Continuous Ping !DATE!_!TIME! >> %logfile%

goto main


:func

  ping -n 1 -w 1000 %1 1> NUL 2> NUL

  if %ERRORLEVEL%==1 echo !DATE! !TIME! Problem pinging %1 >> %logfile%

goto :end


:main

  call :func Server001
  call :func Server002
  call :func Server003
  call :func Server004
  call :func Server005
  call :func Server006

  goto :main

:end

Simply paste the commands into Notepad and save the file as a .bat file.  The log generated will display only entries of failures similar to the following output:

image

Wednesday, February 18, 2015

Remotely retrieving Programs and Features list of installed applications on a Windows desktop or server

I was recently asked by a small client to provide them with an inventory of the application installations on their 30 or so desktops for documentation purposes.  The environment did not have any management software that could pull this information so I ended up using a combination of the sc command and psinfo to retrieve the information and thought that I’d write this blog post so I could reference this method in the future.

Remotely Starting Remote Registry

The first step is to start the remote registry service on the remote desktop with the sc command as such:

sc \\desktopName start remoteregistry

You can use a spreadsheet and populate rows with the desktop names and concatenate the sc \\ + desktopName + start remoteregistry then execute the commands in bulk as such:

sc \\Computer001 start remoteregistry
sc \\Computer002 start remoteregistry
sc \\Computer003 start remoteregistry
sc \\Computer004 start remoteregistry
sc \\Computer005 start remoteregistry
sc \\Computer006 start remoteregistry
sc \\Computer007 start remoteregistry

Remotely Dumping Programs and Features List

With the remote registry service enabled, proceed and download the psinfo.exe tool from:

PsInfo v1.77
https://technet.microsoft.com/en-us/sysinternals/bb897550.aspx

Then execute the command to pipe the installed applications on the target computer to a text file as such:

psinfo -s \\Computer > C:\Report\Computer.txt

As with starting the remote registry service, use a spreadsheet and create a list of commands as such:

psinfo -s \\Computer001 > C:\Report\Computer001.txt
psinfo -s \\Computer002 > C:\Report\Computer002.txt
psinfo -s \\Computer003 > C:\Report\Computer003.txt
psinfo -s \\Computer004 > C:\Report\Computer004.txt
psinfo -s \\Computer005 > C:\Report\Computer005.txt
psinfo -s \\Computer006 > C:\Report\Computer006.txt

The output of the text file should look similar to the following:

System information for \\Computer001:
Uptime:                    21 days 4 hours 13 minutes 15 seconds
Kernel version:            Windows 7 Professional, Multiprocessor Free
Product type:              Professional
Product version:           6.1
Service pack:              0
Kernel build number:       7601
Registered organization:   Microsoft
Registered owner:          Microsoft
IE version:                9.0000
System root:               C:\Windows
Processors:                8
Processor speed:           2.3 GHz
Processor type:            Intel(R) Core(TM) i7-2760QM CPU @
Physical memory:           514 MB
Video driver:              Intel(R) HD Graphics Family
Applications:
AT&T Connect Participant Application v9.0.82 9.0.82
Adobe AIR 15.0.0.249
Adobe AIR 15.0.0.249
Adobe Acrobat XI Pro 11.0.09
Adobe Flash Player 15 ActiveX 15.0.0.167
Adobe Flash Player 15 Plugin 15.0.0.189
Adobe Reader XI (11.0.09) 11.0.09
Burn.Now 4.5 4.5.0
Corel Burn.Now Lenovo Edition 4.5.0
Corel DVD MovieFactory 7 7.0.0
Corel DVD MovieFactory Lenovo Edition 7.0.0
Corel WinDVD 10.0.5.890
Create Recovery Media 1.20.0.00
D3DX10 15.4.2368.0902
Direct DiscRecorder 1.00.0000
Direct DiscRecorder 1.00.0000
Evernote v. 4.2.3 4.2.3.15
Google Chrome 39.0.2171.95
Google Toolbar for Internet Explorer 7.5.5111.1712
Google Toolbar for Internet Explorer 1.0.0
Google Update Helper 1.3.25.11
Infor Query & Analysis 1.10.0199
Integrated Camera Driver Installer Package Ver.1.1.0.1147 1.1.0.1147
Integrated Camera TWAIN 1.0.11.1223
Intel PROSet Wireless
Intel(R) Control Center 1.2.1.1007
Intel(R) Identity Protection Technology 1.1.2.0 1.1.2.0
Intel(R) Management Engine Components 7.0.0.1144
Intel(R) Processor Graphics 8.15.10.2321
Junk Mail filter update 15.4.3502.0922
Lenovo Patch Utility 1.0.1.1
MSVCRT 15.4.2862.0708
MSVCRT_amd64 15.4.2862.0708
MSXML 4.0 SP2 (KB954430) 4.20.9870.0
MSXML 4.0 SP2 (KB973688) 4.20.9876.0
Mesh Runtime 15.4.5722.2
Microsoft Office Access MUI (English) 2010 14.0.4763.1000
Microsoft Office Access Setup Metadata MUI (English) 2010 14.0.4763.1000
Microsoft Office Excel MUI (English) 2010 14.0.4763.1000
Microsoft Office Groove MUI (English) 2010 14.0.4763.1000
Microsoft Office InfoPath MUI (English) 2010 14.0.4763.1000
Microsoft Office OneNote MUI (English) 2010 14.0.4763.1000
Microsoft Office Outlook MUI (English) 2010 14.0.4763.1000
Microsoft Office PowerPoint MUI (English) 2010 14.0.4763.1000
Microsoft Office Professional Plus 2010 14.0.4763.1000
Microsoft Office Professional Plus 2010 14.0.4763.1000
Microsoft Office Proof (English) 2010 14.0.4763.1000
Microsoft Office Proof (French) 2010 14.0.4763.1000
Microsoft Office Proof (Spanish) 2010 14.0.4763.1000
Microsoft Office Proofing (English) 2010 14.0.4763.1000
Microsoft Office Publisher MUI (English) 2010 14.0.4763.1000
Microsoft Office Shared MUI (English) 2010 14.0.4763.1000
Microsoft Office Shared Setup Metadata MUI (English) 2010 14.0.4763.1000
Microsoft Office Word MUI (English) 2010 14.0.4763.1000
Microsoft SQL Server 2005 Compact Edition [ENU] 3.1.0000
Microsoft Silverlight 4.0.50401.0
Microsoft Visual C++ 2005 Redistributable 8.0.56336
Microsoft Visual C++ 2008 Redistributable - x86 9.0.30729.17 9.0.30729
Microsoft Visual C++ 2008 Redistributable - x86 9.0.30729.4148 9.0.30729.4148
Microsoft Visual J# 2.0 Redistributable Package 2.0.50727
Microsoft Visual J# 2.0 Redistributable Package
Microsoft Visual Studio 2005 Tools for Office Runtime 8.0.60816.0
NVIDIA Stereoscopic 3D Driver 7.17.12.6871
RICOH_Media_Driver_v2.14.18.01 2.14.18.01
Renesas Electronics USB 3.0 Host Controller Driver 2.0.32.0
Renesas Electronics USB 3.0 Host Controller Driver 2.0.32.0
Security Update for Microsoft .NET Framework 4 Client Profile (KB2604121) 1
Security Update for Microsoft .NET Framework 4 Client Profile (KB2729449) 1
Security Update for Microsoft .NET Framework 4 Client Profile (KB2736428) 1
Security Update for Microsoft .NET Framework 4 Client Profile (KB2737019) 1
Security Update for Microsoft .NET Framework 4 Client Profile (KB2742595) 1
Security Update for Microsoft .NET Framework 4 Client Profile (KB2789642) 1
Security Update for Microsoft .NET Framework 4 Client Profile (KB2840628v2) 2
Security Update for Microsoft .NET Framework 4 Client Profile (KB2858302v2) 2
Security Update for Microsoft .NET Framework 4 Client Profile (KB2894842v2) 2
Security Update for Microsoft .NET Framework 4 Client Profile (KB2901110v2) 2
Security Update for Microsoft .NET Framework 4 Client Profile (KB2931365) 1
Security Update for Microsoft .NET Framework 4 Client Profile (KB2972106) 1
Security Update for Microsoft .NET Framework 4 Client Profile (KB2972215) 1
Security Update for Microsoft .NET Framework 4 Client Profile (KB2978125) 1
Security Update for Microsoft .NET Framework 4 Client Profile (KB2979575v2) 2
Security Update for Microsoft .NET Framework 4 Extended (KB2487367) 1
Security Update for Microsoft .NET Framework 4 Extended (KB2736428) 1
Security Update for Microsoft .NET Framework 4 Extended (KB2742595) 1
Security Update for Microsoft .NET Framework 4 Extended (KB2858302v2) 2
Security Update for Microsoft .NET Framework 4 Extended (KB2894842v2) 2
Security Update for Microsoft .NET Framework 4 Extended (KB2901110v2) 2
Sophos Anti-Virus 10.3.11
Sophos AutoUpdate 3.1.4.81
Sophos Remote Management System 3.4.1
SunSystems 6 61.01.0160
System Update 4.01.0015
ThinkPad Power Manager 3.67
ThinkPad UltraNav Utility 2.13.0
Update for Microsoft .NET Framework 4 Client Profile (KB2836939v3) 3
Update for Microsoft .NET Framework 4 Extended (KB2836939v3) 3
VIP Access 2.0.2.140
Visual Studio 2005 Tools for Office Second Edition Runtime
Windows Live Communications Platform 15.4.3502.0922
Windows Live Essentials 15.4.3502.0922
Windows Live Essentials 15.4.3508.1109
Windows Live Installer 15.4.3502.0922
Windows Live Mail 15.4.3502.0922
Windows Live Mail 15.4.3502.0922
Windows Live Mesh 15.4.3502.0922
Windows Live Mesh 15.4.3502.0922
Windows Live Mesh ActiveX Control for Remote Connections 15.4.5722.2
Windows Live Messenger 15.4.3502.0922
Windows Live Messenger 15.4.3502.0922
Windows Live Movie Maker 15.4.3502.0922
Windows Live Movie Maker 15.4.3502.0922
Windows Live PIMT Platform 15.4.3508.1109
Windows Live Photo Common 15.4.3502.0922
Windows Live Photo Common 15.4.3502.0922
Windows Live Photo Gallery 15.4.3502.0922
Windows Live Photo Gallery 15.4.3502.0922
Windows Live SOXE 15.4.3502.0922
Windows Live SOXE Definitions 15.4.3502.0922
Windows Live UX Platform 15.4.3502.0922
Windows Live UX Platform Language Pack 15.4.3508.1109
Windows Live Writer 15.4.3502.0922
Windows Live Writer 15.4.3502.0922
Windows Live Writer 15.4.3502.0922
Windows Live Writer Resources 15.4.3502.0922