Wednesday, February 18, 2015

Tips and Trick for Citrix PVD


  • Is PvD compatible with XenApp?
  • No only XenDesktop


  • Is a PvD the same as a differential disk?
  • No, PvD operates at the object level (files, folders, and registry). This enables all the changes that have been captured to persist across a base image updates whereas a differential disk would become invalidated in the case of a base image update.


  • Can multiple PvDs be associated to a device/user?
  • There can only be one PvD per Virtual Machine. The PvD is assigned to a Virtual Machine when building the catalogue of desktops. The pool type for a PvD catalogue is a pooled static, which the desktop is assigned to the user on first use.


  • Is the PvD a 1-1 mapping per user?
  • It is a 1:1 mapping to a Virtual Machine in a catalogue (assigned to the user on first use). The administrator can move a PvD to a new virtual machine in a recovery situation.


  • If you create a catalogue for pooled with PvD, it does not mean that the user is always required to be assigned to that Virtual Machine defeating one of the benefits of a pooled?
  • The base image is still shared and updated across the pool. However, once the user makes an initial connection to a Virtual Machine, the Virtual Machine is kept assigned to the user.
    Note: You must connect early in the starting stage long before you know who the user is in order to maximise the application compatibility for services, devices etc.


  • Should the paging file be captured on the PvD?
  • No. If you try to configure it this way, then the PvD will ignore this and will use the base Virtual Machine image (or Diff disk).


  • Do I still require Profile Management?
  • Personal vDisk does not roam. So if you have users that require profile roaming, you must use a roaming profile solution with PvD. It has been tested and supported with Citrix Profile Management.


  • Does a PVD roam or is it assigned to single desktop?
  • A PvD is attached to a Virtual Machine or machine, which is then assigned to the user. The administrator might move a PvD to a new machine in recovery situations.


  • How do you configure Personal vDisk later if you choose not to enable it during the Virtual Desktop Agent (VDA) meta-installer?
  • Run the inventory updater in the base image through the start menu shortcut (or “Ctxpvd –s inventory”), which results in the service being started or inventory taken. At this point, the service is enabled and ready to run inventory and manage the PvDs.


  • Is the drive letter used by PvD able to be hidden?
  • PvD currently uses two drive letters. The v: drive is hidden and is a blended view of the c: drive.
    The P: drive is not hidden.


  • I cannot see v: drive; is there a way to see it?
  • v: is only visible at a command prompt window. However, it is a blended view of the c: drive and appears to be identical. There is no way within the OS to see what is really on the base c: drive and what is on the PvD (P: drive).


  • Is the UserData.vhd file inside the P: drive mounted as v:?
  • The disk that is attached at the hypervisor is mounted as P:. The P: drive is where the user profile is redirected and captured. Also located on that P: drive is a UserData.vhd that is mounted as v:.
  • The V: drive is where all the non-profile data attempting to write to the base Virtual Machine is redirected and stored. v: is visible from command prompt windows but not from Windows Explorer.


  • How do I change PvD to use different drive letters?
  • The P: drive might be changed in Desktop Studio when creating the catalogue. This should only be changed before usage since changing afterwards might lead to various errors (same as changing the c: drive to another letter after installation). 
    The v: drive must be changed in base image before being used in a catalogue:

KEY: HKLM\SOFTWARE\Citrix\personal vDisk\Config

VALUE: VHDMountPoint
Example: V:\

Note: Drive conflicts leads to failures.

  • What is captured on the v: drive and what is capture on the P: drive?
  • The P: drive is the vDisk that is attached to the hypervisor to the Virtual Machine. It contains the user’s profile is redirected (c:\users … ). It also contains the UserData.vhd file that is in turn mounted as the v: drive.


  • The v: drive is where the applications and machines state is captured.
  • When resetting the PvD, you are resetting the v: drive (which is really restoring the UserData.vhd file on the P: drive to its original empty or template state.

To reset, the machine with the Personal vDisk must be running; however, the user does not have to be logged on to it.

When you reset the disk, the settings revert back to their factory default values and all data on it is deleted, including applications. The profile data is retained unless you modified the Personal vDisk default (of redirecting profiles from the C: drive).

From the Help Desk view, choose the targeted Desktop OS machine.
From this view or in the Personalisation panel of the User Details view, click Reset Personal vDisk.
Click Reset. After the user is logged off (if the user was logged on), the machine restarts.

If the reset is successful, the Personal vDisk status field value in the Personalization panel of the User Details view is Running. If the reset is unsuccessful, a red X to the right of the Running value appears. When you point to this X, information about the failure appears.

To reset the PvD from the Desktop Director console or run the following command from elevated command prompt on the VM:

“C:\Program Files\citrix\personal vdisk\bin\ctxpvd –s reset”

This would reset all User Data excluding Profile information, so in effect, a user would lose any applications installed.


If antivirus products are installed on your desktops, ensure the VHD is big enough to store antivirus definition files, which are typically large.

The presence of antivirus products can affect how long it takes to run the inventory or perform an update.

Target (w7):

  • \Program Files\Citrix\Provisioning Services\BNDevice.exe
  • \Program Files\Citrix\Provisioning Services\TargetOSOptimizer.exe
  • \Windows\System32\drivers\bnistack6.sys
  • \Windows\System32\drivers\CfsDep2.sys
  • \Windows\System32\drivers\CVhdBusP6.sys
  • Exclude scanning of Write Cache

Target – Personal vDisk:

  • \Program Files\Citrix\personal vdisk\bin\CTXPVD.exe
  • \Program Files\Citrix\personal vdisk\bin\CTXPVDSVC.exe
  • \Program Files\Citrix\Personal vDisk\BIN\WIN7\

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