Tag: Windows (Page 1 of 2)

How to…Stop install wizard running every time the AppSense Management Console is opened

If you’re using a mandatory or local profile (that’s deleted at logoff) you’ve probably noticed that the AppSense Management Console always runs through the install wizard when you open it whereas if you leave your local profile on the server or use a roaming profile this wouldn’t happen.

AMC wizard

This happens when a couple of related keys don’t exist in the users registry:

HKCU\Software\AppSense Ltd\AppSense Management Console (64 Bit) n.n.n.n
HCKU\Software\AppSense Technologies\Deployment

AMC registry 8.3  AMC registry 8.4

To stop the install wizard running every time you open the Management Console add these keys to your Default profile or mandatory profile. (check your registry to ensure you use the appropriate version number).


Remote Assistance not working on Windows 2008 R2 / XenApp 6.5

Recently when testing a new XenApp 6.5 farm we discovered Remote Assistance (msara.exe /offerra) didn’t work. Where on the existing XenApp 5.0 / Windows Server 2008 farm it could be used by desktop support staff no problem, now the app failed to launch with the error:

“There was a problem starting Remote Assistance. Remote Assistance is unavailable for the current user account. If you are using a Windows Guest account try logging in with another account. If you are not using a Guest account, try restarting your machine.”

A quick bit of online investigation uncovered that Microsoft have adjusted the security behind Remote Assistance and from Windows Server 2008 R2 it won’t work if you’re using Mandatory Profiles.

To fix

You can get round this with a GPO setting as outlined below.

Key path: SOFTWARE\Microsoft\Windows NT\CurrentVersion\ProfileList\%LogonUserSid%
Value name: State
Value type: REG_DWORD
Value data: 0x10 (16)

16 = Roaming Profile

5 = Mandatory Profile

Have spoken with Microsoft and though 0 or 2 are referenced as required on other blogs and discussion forums, (and do work), they are not the values as per Microsoft internal knowledge base.

Now if you check the users local profile folder you’ll see that it’s still created based on the mandatory profile and HKLM\SOFTWARE\Microsoft\Windows NT\CurrentSession\ProfileList\UserSID\CentralProfile  REG_SZ will also match the mandatory profile path.

However Advanced System Settings-User ProfilesSettings shows that the Profile Type is set to Roaming

The down side of this fix

Be aware that while this will make the user profile behave as a Roaming Profile thereby allowing Remote Assistance to work, you’ll also start to have the usual problems with Roaming Profiles on your RDS/XenApp server that you’re trying to avoid in the first place.

And worse, you’ll create a new issue because Windows will refuse to delete the profile when the user logs off – irrespective of whether you have the GPO ‘Delete cached copies of roaming profiles‘ set. Needless to say, this is something you’re trying to avoid by using clean mandatory profiles in your XenApp environment and leads to all sorts of problems and inconsistencies across the farm.

As I mentioned above, this will fix Remote Assistance, but it will then break Mandatory Profiles. You’ll need to decide which is more important.

In my option, maintaining a consistent user environment is far more important than a single application, so the best approach is to look into an alternative Remote Assistance support tool – GoToAssist, LogMeIn Rescue, WebEx, etc.


How cool is WinZip these days!

I recently had an update to WinZip deployed to my work laptop so it’s now at version 16.5. This is a lot newer than versions I’ve used before and it feels much fresher.

It now includes the Microsoft Office ribbon with the menus changes dynamically depending on which menu is selected from the tab across the top. (Introduced in October 2010 with version 14.5 as it turns out).

The WinZip web site boasts a number of new features:

  • Zip and unzip files instantly with a NEW ultra-fast zip engine
  • Protect files by encrypting them as you zip
  • Zip and email files in one easy step
  • Back up and archive your data automatically
  • Send large files fast using our NEW ZipSend file delivery web service
  • Share files on Facebook with our new NEW ZipShare Facebook service
  • Tap into your PC’s full zipping power with NEW enhanced support for AMD processors

(Interesting to see that Corel bought the software – was may 2006 apparently).

Aside from these features and the nice Ribbon which we’ve all got used to now with Office 2007/2010, one of the nicest things I’ve noticed is the integration with Windows 7 Explorer Preview Pane

I have no idea whether this is a new feature of WinZip, has been there for a while or was something that Windows 7 (or Vista) introduced but it’s pretty snazzy.

If the .zip file contains a compressed folder structure, selecting it when using the Windows Explorer Preview Pane allows you to browse the .zip files folder structure:

I use the Preview Pane a lot when referencing other documents so any application that embraces this Windows feature is a welcome additional in my book.


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