Client Drive Mapping irritations

So I have a customer using XD5.6 with Win7 VMs, and XA6.5.  Everything was patched current on both the Microsoft and Citrix side.  The Receiver client in the VDAs was Receiver 3.4 Enterprise, the physical client-side receiver version didn’t matter, everything was tried (even Macs!).

The issue?  The customer needed to be able to map in USB thumb drives from the physical client.  Then, within the XD session, there were network drives mapped in (home drive, etc).  The customer needed to pass in BOTH the physical USB thumb drive as well as the mapped network drives so that content redirection would work properly and seamlessly from all sources within the XD VM.

Citrix doesn’t seem to support this.  I read CTX after CTX, and forum post after forum post.  I could only find one other person trying to do this, and their question was asked in an active thread with several Citrix employees commenting on it, and as soon as they asked how to map in BOTH, there was nothing but crickets.  Since June.

Well shitty!  What now?  The lack of information out there on the topic certainly doesn’t help my customer, and I’ll be damned if I’m going to give them some half-assed answer.  That’s just not my style.  After hours of messing with the registry, and confirming that the registry key referenced in CTX127872 was an either/or proposition (meaning one way you get the drives from the physical client passed into the XA session, the other way you get the drives from the XD VM passed into the XA session), I realized something had to give.  More investigation eventually brought me to the revelation that “one way, it maps everything WITH a drive letter, and the other way, it maps everything WITHOUT a drive letter”.

Ok, super.  So how to get the physical drives assigned a letter?  AH!  Legacy drive mapping!  It says it’s a XenApp solution, but I figured what the hell, why not give it a shot on XD anyway?  Yeah, no love.  For once, the CTX was actually correct in the scope of products it pertained to.  Go figure.

So I manually mapped one of the devices with net use at the command-line.  Then I opened that mapped drive and double-clicked a Word doc.  Success!  It opened in Word!  Now…  How to get all the drives to automatically map every time a user logs in?

Disclaimer:  I’m NORMALLY a VBScript guy.  Like, HARDCORE.  But, I didn’t have the time to properly write and debug some code, and this worked.  Yeah, yeah, go ahead and give me crap about not being a PowerShell guy.   Call me old, I just haven’t yet FULLY gotten on that bandwagon.  Feel free to re-write this in PS and post it in the comments.  🙂

In any event, what I wrote was this:

@echo off
if exist \\client\c$ net use * \\client\c$
if exist \\client\d$ net use * \\client\d$
if exist \\client\e$ net use * \\client\e$
if exist \\client\f$ net use * \\client\f$
if exist \\client\g$ net use * \\client\g$
if exist \\client\h$ net use * \\client\h$

I deployed it using a login script via GPO.  Again, no love.  The login script processed before CDM had a chance to finish bringing in the drives, so only the fixed disk mapped, not the USB removable drive.  The solution?  Put it in the startup folder in the default profile.

Viola!  Client drives are now mapped from both the end point AND the VDI VM.  Sure, it might be a touch ugly, but if you can get your users to match up something as simple as E: and E$, they should be able to figure it out.

Happy mapping,

Removable Drive passthru with XD and XA

So Citrix allows you to passthru local devices into XD and XA sessions.  Floppy drives (really?!), optical drives, fixed disks, and removable storage, what fun!  With the Presentation Server 10.x client on the physical device, and Receiver 3.4 Enterprise in the Win7 XD VM, the removable devices passthru as floppy drives.  So, plug in your $300 Kingston HyperX USB-3 drive, and Citrix thinks it’s a floppy.  Brilliant!  But, it works.  Now, you upgrade the client on your physical Win7 machine to Receiver 3.4, and connect to your virtual Win7 desktop that has Receiver 3.4 Enterprise on it.  The USB passthru into XD works, and content redirection tries real hard, but you get an error after the app launches saying it can’t find the file.  You do file -> open, and sure enough, none of the drives from the physical machine have been passed into the XA session.  I previously blogged about this, but this issue is different.  In that scenario, the client devices were a major-name-brand thin client, and that registry key seemed to address the issues.  Apparently I spoke too soon, for that solution does not work in all scenarios.

The solution in this case?  Receiver 4.  Upgraded the Receiver on the physical Win7 client, and bam!  Everything passed through exactly as you would expect it should.

Maddening?  iMacs running v11.7 and v11.8 of the receiver client didn’t have this issue, they just worked.  Really, Citrix?  Your software runs on Windows.  The servers, the virtual desktops, all of it.  Yet the clients you publish only work flawlessly out of the box on Macs?  For shame.



Using Receiver Enterprise 3.4 inside a XenDesktop VM

The install string:



Easy, right?  Everyone has done something similar before.  But then, you can’t get the drives (like mapped network drives) to pass-thru into your XenApp server apps.  Why bother?  If there are mapped network drives inside the XD VM, users could simply double-click on a file in their home directory, and using redirection, it will auto-launch the associated application and then pass that file through.  Sweet, right?  Sure.  But, if you use the Enterprise client, it doesn’t work by default.  Fix it like this:

HKLM\SOFTWARE\Citrix\ICA Client\Engine\Configuration\Advanced\Modules\ClientDrive
Value name:  NativeDriveMapping
Type: REG_SZ
Value:  True  (It is FALSE by default)

Problem solved, enjoy!



Mobile Device Receiver Limitations

So yesterday I was at a customer site, and they still use Netware.  Couldn’t get the Receiver client to connect on an iPad.  Hrmmm…  Some quick research found this article on Citrix’s site.  Now, I know what you’re all thinking, the limitation isn’t a limitation of Receiver, its a limitation of Netware, right?  Personally, I agree with you, but…  There ARE those companies out there that continue to use Netware, or, at least, haven’t migrated off of it yet.  If you’re one of them, Windows 2012 is here now, and it’s great!  🙂



Citrix Receiver Automagic URL Configurator

How many times have you had people fat-finger the Receiver URL on their mobile devices, then come screaming to IT about “The site doesn’t work, blah blah blah, fix it”.

Easy fix.  Go here and enter your information.  Then, click generate.  It will provide you with two links you can embed in an email to your end users; one for iOS devices and one for Android devices.  The click the link, and Voila!  Their devices are configured.  The lives of your end users (and by extension, your help desk) just got a LOT easier.



ICA clients

So..  You have a need for legacy ICA clients, do you?  From time to time, I have various customers who require specific legacy versions of the client for one reason or another.  Finding them on the Citrix downloads site has gotten progressively more and more difficult.  Then, I discovered this site:

They have taken the time to collect and list download links for all the various versions from 6.3 forward.  No excuse anymore!