Win10 to Win10 with a Citrix VDA
Intro – my relationship with Windows 10
The company I’m working for, Die Mobiliar, started early with Windows 10, we rolled out in spring 2016 Windows 10 to all our physical devices and also to our virtual Desktops. We have two different kind of VDIs, pooled Win10 Desktops provided by Citrix PVS and also classical installed dedicated VDIs. Both with Citrix XenDesktop 7.x.
To be in the role as early-adopter with such a new operating systems is interesting but also nerve-racking on some days… Especially when you add Citrix XenDesktop on top to Windows 10 and then also special requirements like physical and virtual Smart Cards.
I talked about this adventure on E2EVC in Rome: The stony road of a VDI migration from Win7 to Win10
Now our story goes into the next round, we installed Windows 10 last year with the 1511 Release and we want to go now to the anniversary update (1607). For our pooled desktops it’s no question, fresh install on the new build. But an fresh install of the dedicated desktops where users have installed their own stuff will get me into big troubles … it’s really not an option!
I was curious who is in the same boat, so I created this poll:
36% are doing fresh install of dedicated desktops? Wow … BOFH? 🙂
I tell you now 2 secrets:
- It’s not possible to update Windows 10 from one version to the other when a Citrix Virtual Desktop Agent (VDA) is installed!
- Uninstall of Citrix VDA fails most of the times!
Good News: Citrix knows that uninstall of the VDA is a problem, for that reason there exists the
Bad News: VDACleanupUtility.exe (VCU) should run as a User, need a reboot and login with the same user, what means it’s not in a easy way to automate that.
With some hints of the CTP colleague Stephane Thirion and my collegues at “Die Mobiliar” I was able to create this guide to automate the Windows 10 Update with an automated removal of the VDA.
Task Sequence for SCCM
We are doing this with Microsoft System Center but with the following infos it’s also possible to fulfil this challenge with other ESDs.
I want to thank here to Stephane Thirion (https://www.archy.net) for the hints about automate the uninstall of the VDA. Also thanks to my colleagues Stefan Moser and Thomas Hahnel at Die Mobiliar with more Knowhow about SCCM Task Sequences and patience on testing.
Update Fall 2017:
The Version of the Cleanup tool in September 2017 is able to run in unattend mode, see https://support.citrix.com/article/CTX209255 .
Also I’ve found out that the Update from 1607 to 1703 or 1709 works even when a VDA is installed.
Update November 2017:
Now exists and article by Citrix: “How to Run the VDA Cleanup Utility with SCCM Task Sequences”: https://support.citrix.com/article/CTX229801