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August 26, 2013

Office 2013 on Server 2012 (Windows Installer Loop)

Kürzlich bekam ich den Auftrag, einen neuen XenDesktop 7.0 RDS Host zu installieren. Auf der neuen Plattform sollte dann auch Office 2013 laufen. Kein Problem dachte ich mir und ging ans Werk. Nach Abschluss der Installation und dem Einspielen aller Windows Updates (mehr als 3GB, unfassbar), gab es aber eine unliebsame Überraschung. Bei jedem Start von Outlook kam zuerst eine Windows Installer Meldung, die Outlook konfigurieren wollte. Anschliessend lief Outlook zwar problemlos, aber der Windows Installer meldete sich bei jedem weiteren Start erneut 🙁

Dem Eventlog konnte man leider keinen direkten Hinweis auf die Fehlerursache entnehmen, es wurden nur eine Reihe Informationen, aber keinerlei Fehler geloggt, s. Screenshot:


Eine Office 2013 Reparatur blieb genauso erfolglos, wie weitere “Rettungsversuche” mit Registry Keys von Office 2010, wie in diesem Thread beschrieben: Office-2010-Professional-Plus-configures-each-time-i-launch-fixed. Auch ein komplett neu installiertes System zeigte die gleiche Symptomatik.

Nach langem Suchen im Internet stiess ich dann auf folgenden Thread, der mir die Lösung brachte: Outlook-2013-starts-configuration-every-time

Outlook 2013 benötigt auf einem Server 2012 den Windows Search Service um das Setup abzuschliessen. Ist dieser Service nicht installiert (was auf einem RDS Host der Standard ist), kommt bei jedem Start von Outlook der Windows Installer und versucht das „Problem“ zu reparieren. Nachdem ich den Search Service als Feature installiert hatte und den Service auf „disabled“ gesetzt hatte, war die Windows Installer Meldung verschwunden 🙂


Not long ago I was asked to install a new XenDesktop 7.0 RDS host. Office 2013 should run on this system also. An easy one was my first thought and I went to work. After installing Server 2012, Office 2013 and all the needed Windows Updates (more than 3GB, incredible) I discovered an unpleasant surprise. With every start of Outlook, a Windows Installer window popped up, telling me that Office would now be configured. After that, Outlook worked fine without errors but the Windows Installer popped up again and again with every start of Outlook 🙁

The Windows Event Log didn’t really help much because it only showed some informational messages of the Windows Installer but no error messages, see the following screen-shot:


An Office repair didn’t help as was the case with several other “rescue attempts” with registry keys mentioned in an article about Office 2010 problems: Office-2010-Professional-Plus-configures-each-time-i-launch-fixed. Even a brand new installed system showed the same symptoms.

After a long search on the Internet I stumbled upon the following thread that helped me to solve the problem: Outlook-2013-starts-configuration-every-time

Outlook 2013 on Server 2012 needs the Windows Search service to finalize its setup. If this service is not installed, which is the default for RDS, then Outlook tries at every start to “fix” the problem. After installing the Windows Search service feature and setting it to “disabled” in the Services manager, the Windows Installer pop-ups disappeared 🙂


July 11, 2010

32bit icon option missing from the XenApp farm properties

I recently stumbled uppon a really weired problem with 32bit icon support in XenApp. Under certain circumstances the AMC won’t show the option for 32bit icon support in the farm properties even if all prerequisites are perfectly met. We found out the reason for that behaviour only by accident.

The problem can be seen with all versions of Presentation Server 4.5 and XenApp 5.0 for w2k3 as well as for w2k8.

If the problem hits you, the farm properties won’t show the option for 32bit icon support, but there will only be a blank space 🙁

No 32bit icon support in the AMC

The reason for this odd behaviour can be found in the configuration of the farm-discovery. I sometimes use LOCALHOST as the hostname for discovery. This is helpful in situations where you have roaming profiles and IIS is not installed on the XenApp servers.

But if you configure discovery that way there will be no 32bit icon option in the AMC.

Configured with LOCALHOST

If you change the discovery option back to the local server

Konfiguriert mit "Local Server"

the missing option reappeares again.

32bit icon support available

You can toggle that behaviour as you like. Admittedly this is not a common problem but it is odd and if you happen to see it, you will be warned…


July 5, 2007

Restricting access to RDP sessions on a Citrix server

I recently stumbled across this realy good article about restricting access to the RDP/ICA protocol on a Citrix or terminal server through WMI. You don’t have to be a programmer to understand the code, since it is realy easy to use and implement. With just one line of code it is possible to add/remove a user or group from the ICA/RDP protocol, thus allowing for better security for your servers.

If you have to setup or manage several terminal servers, this article can ease your life.

The article can be found here.


March 28, 2007

Remove Outlook Express from the start menu

If you have ever published a terminal server desktop, you have seen this happening almost for sure. Even if there is no Outlook Express icon in the All Users or Default Users folder, the icon appears in the start menu after a user logs on for the first time.

Why is this happening? And much more interesting, how can you avoid this?

To delete the icon from every users profile is not a viable option. So it’s best to look for the root cause of this problem. As often, the solution can be found in the registry.

Below the key:

HKEY_LOCAL_MACHINE\Software\Microsoft\Active Setup\Installed Components\{44BBA840-CC51-11CF-AAFA-00AA00B6015C}\

you can find a REG_SZ entry with the name “StubPath“. If you delete this entry, the terminal server will never again create this icon at user logon. Existing icons however will not be deleted.

A post in the DCUG describes a similar procedure but simply renames the entry to “HideStubPath“. The effect is the same, but it is much easier to revert back.