How to Fix Applications Not Working with Citrix MCS or PVS

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[fa icon="pencil'] Posted by Johnny Ma [fa icon="calendar"] December 6, 2016

I always encourage clients to use the single image management solutions provided by Citrix. When done correctly, Machine Creation Services (MCS) and Provisioning Services (PVS) deployments can significantly decrease administrative overhead of managing images.

Updating the gold/master image and deploying read-only copies ensures not only consistency and ease of use in the environment, but makes the environment user-proof. Unfortunately, sometimes when clients implement MCS or PVS, it doesn’t play well with their current applications. These hurdles can make a client want to abandon single image management, but we can utilize tools that are already built into the Active Directory environment to resolve these issues. Here's how.

The Solution? Group Policy Preferences

Rather than using outdated ways to optimize settings for the session or the machine, Group Policy Objects (GPO’s) should be used to keep the environment clean. GPO Preferences can add, remove or update registry, files etc. We can also use it to configure settings that optimize the servers/desktop and sessions.

Applications that use specific registry keys or configuration files to identify themselves to the application server can be reghacked or file(s) copied in dynamically. In order to accommodate this, if your application starts a service you may need to change the service start setting from Automatic to Automatic (Delayed) in order to allow for the registry or file(s) copy to process before the service starts.

In the example below, a Registry Binary was used to mark the GUID for the application when it checks into the application server to consume licenses.

Once we have determined the key that is being read, we can randomize the string and set it to be used in our GPO, utilizing item-level targeting at the NetBIOS name of the specified machine so that this key is the same each time the server reboots.

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The next time you encounter applications do not play well with single image management give this a try. It can keep the momentum going on your project.

For more information, do not hesitate to Contact Us . We can manage this for you with our Managed Citrix Virtual Environments services.


Lewan Technology is a Citrix Gold Solutions Advisor and has the largest resident Citrix consulting bench in Denver, CO and the Rocky Mountain region, comprised of certified architects, engineers and administrators. We also hold the Citrix Specialist in Virtualization distinction.

Lewan is also a Microsoft Silver Partner, and a Microsoft Certified Solutions Expert (MCSE) and Microsoft Certified Professional (MCP).

Topics: Virtualization, Citrix, Microsoft, Managed Infrastructure & Helpdesk

Johnny Ma
Written by Johnny Ma

Johnny is a Senior Consulting Engineer/Architect at Lewan, specializing in the deployment of desktop virtualization, application delivery and mobile device management solutions.

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