Installing and Configuring Citrix Provisioning Service 7.7 and creating a vDisk

In the last week of 2015 Citrix released Provisioning Services 7.7. One of the best new features is that it is now official supporting Windows 10 (Enterprise and Professional Edition) as target device. Another cool new feature is that you can do an in-place upgrade (from version 7.6.1 or higher) and thus reverse-imaging belongs to the past!

In this blog I will show you step-by-step how to install the Console, the Provisioning Services Server itself, the Target device installation, and how to make a new vDisk. Of course I will use a Windows 10 target device.

My Environment

For this blog I setup a new lab with the following servers and clients;

  • SRV001 : IP 192.168.1.20 – DC, SQL 2014 and Citrix License server
  • SRV002 : IP 192.168.1.21 – Will be used for PVS
  • A Windows 10 Target Device (Master, clean install)

This all runs on a Citrix XenServer 6.5 SP1 hypervisor and internal domain name is “robinhobo.com”. I know it is not recommended to install SQL on a Domain controller, but at this moment I’m limited in my resources and it is for test purposes and blogging only.

Before you begin

Before you begin, make sure you have the following in place;

  • An up-and-running Microsoft SQL Database server (2008, 2012 or 2014)
  • A Citrix License server with the proper (demo) licenses
  • Windows Server 2012 / R2 with latest Windows updates
  • A Target System like a Windows 10 desktop for making the vDisk

Windows Server 2012 Prerequisites

  • Microsoft .NET 3.5 SP1 (when using it with XenDesktop)
  • Microsoft .NET 4.0
  • Windows PowerShell 2.0

Target device Prerequisites

  • Microsoft .NET 4.0

Service account

Create a Service Account with the following permissions.

On the Microsoft SQL Server;

  • db_datareader
  • db_datawriter
  • Execute permissions on stored procedures

System permissions on the Provisioning Services server(s);

  • Run as service
  • Registry read access
  • Full control on folder : Program Files\Citrix\Provisioning Services
  • Read/Write access to the vDisk Store location(s)

Install account

Make sure the user that will be uses for the Provisioning Services installation has the following Microsoft SQL permissions;

  • dbcreator
  • securityadmin

Citrix Best Practice

Citrix wrote a Best Practice for Configuring Citrix Provisioning Services (CTX204107) and Provisioning Services Antivirus Best Practices (CTX124185). It is recommended to apply the steps in these articles.

DHCP Scope options, PXE or Boot ISO

There are several ways to let a target device connect to the Provisioning Services during boot process.  If PXE is not an option in your environment, you can configure the DHCP services to delivers the bootstrap file location. You can do this with the following DHCP scoop options;

  • 66: Boot Server Host Name
  • 67: Bootfile Name (ARDBP32.BIN)

However, you can only configure one boot server in the DHCP options. Therefore, it is recommended to fill in a load balance address. If you don’t have a good load balance solution in your environment (like a Citrix NetScaler) you always can use the “Boot Device Management” tool to create a bootable ISO file for your target devices.

Installing the Citrix Provisioning Services Console

Installing and Configuring Citrix Provisioning Services 7.7 - 001

Mount the PVS_7.7 ISO, browse to the Console folder and start the PVS_Console / PVS_Console_x64 program. Click on Install

Installing and Configuring Citrix Provisioning Services 7.7 - 002

Click Next

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Select I accept the terms in the license agreement and click Next

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Fill in the User Name and Organization and click Next

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Click Next

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Click Install

Installing and Configuring Citrix Provisioning Services 7.7 - 007

Click Finish

Installing the Citrix Provisioning Services Server

Installing and Configuring Citrix Provisioning Services 7.7 - 008

Browse to the Server folder and start the PVS_Server / PVS_Server_x64 program. Click Install

Installing and Configuring Citrix Provisioning Services 7.7 - 009

Click Yes

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Click Next

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Select I accept the terms in the license agreement and click Next

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Fill in the User Name and Organization and click Next

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Click Next

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Click Install

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Click Finish

Configuring the Citrix Provisioning Services

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This Welcome to the Configuration Wizard start automatically after the PVS Server Installation. Click Next

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My DHCP services runs on another machine so I select The service that runs on another computer but select what is applicable for you. Click Next

Installing and Configuring Citrix Provisioning Services 7.7 - 018

Select what is applicable for you and click Next

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Because this is the first server of a new farm I select Create farm and click Next

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Select your SQL Server and click Next

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Fill in the requested information and click Next

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Select the folder that you want to use for the vDisk(s) and click Next

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Fill in the Citrix License server information and click Next

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Select Specified user account and fill in the service account information. Click Next

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Click Next

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Click Next

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Select Use the Provisioning Services TFTP service and click Next

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Click Next

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Select Automatically Start Services and click Finish

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Click Done

Installing the Citrix Provisioning Services Target Device (on a Windows 10)

Installing and Configuring Citrix Provisioning Services 7.7 - 031

On the Windows 10 (Master) device, start the PVS_Device / PVS_Device_x64 and click Install

Installing and Configuring Citrix Provisioning Services 7.7 - 032-b

Click Next

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Select I accept the terms in the license agreement and click Next

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Fill in the User Name and Organization and click Next

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Click Next

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Select Custom and click Next

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If you want, you can install the Session Record Support feature. Click Next

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Click Install

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Select Launch Imaging Wizard and click Finish

Running the Imaging Wizard and create a new vDisk

Before starting the Imaging Wizard, make sure the Windows 10 Master device is set to boot from Hard Disk (not vDisk) within the Provisioning Services console.

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Click Next

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Fill in the Provisioning Server information and click Next

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Select Create a vDisk and click Next

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Fill in a name for a Target Device and click Next

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Give the vDisk a name, select the vDisk Store and select a vDisk type. Click Next

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Select what is applicable and click Next

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Select to Optimize the hard disk for Provisioning Services before imaging and click on Edit Optimization Settings

Installing and Configuring Citrix Provisioning Services 7.7 - 049Select / De-select the options you want to apply and click OK

Click Next

Click Create

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Click Continue

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Click Yes or shutdown this target device

Final Steps

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As you can see in the Provisioning Services console, the vDisk is created. Make sure that no devices are currently using this vDisk and open the properties of it.

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Put the vDisk in Standard Image mode (read only) with the proper configuration (Cache type).

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Also the Target Device is created during the Image Wizard. Open the properties.

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Configure the Target Device to boot from the new vDisk.

12 comments

  • Excellent Article Robin. I am trying to do this in my lab. I have installed PVS server and console is working and connected to farm.
    When I install target client and start imaging wizard on 2012R2 and connecting to PVS server I am getting Error ” An active server needs to be used”. I have done below so for
    Firewall is off on server and client
    • Telnet to PVS server with that port is working
    • Re ran PVS config wizard and connected to console ok
    • Vdisk status on the the target device stays red.
    • Tried restarting few times and tried adding the target device manually in PVS

    The error keeps coming and Virtual disk status stays red on Target device. Would you be able to assist? Looks something similar to the error mentioned below in the forum
    http://discussions.citrix.com/topic/376615-pvs-77-target-device-imaging-issues/

    • Hi Matheen, have you disabled the Firewall on the target device as well? What happend when you connect to the PVS server using an IP address when using the Image Wizard? When creating a new vDisk during the Image wizard, is the (empty) vDisk created?

  • Hi Robin

    Followed your post in trying to install PVS, though I am using 7.11.
    Could you please shed more light into the Phrase below as copied from the post.

    “Running the Imaging Wizard and create a new vDisk –
    Before starting the Imaging Wizard, make sure the Windows 10 Master device is set to boot from Hard Disk (not vDisk) within the Provisioning Services console.”

    Since PVS Server is freshly installed and nothing has been created, which master device is this Phrase referring to and where in PVS-Console is it located.

    Since device would be created once “Imaging Wizard” is ran, so does the master device has to be created manually?

    I am having “Invalid boot sector” challenge and do not know if not previously creating the master device manually is the cause.

    Thanks

    • Hi Topokin, In this case the master Windows 10 device is created manually within the PVS Console and configured to boot from hard disk. In the Windows 10 master device make sure the machine is booting form network (if PXE is enabled) of from a mounted PVS ISO image.

  • Thanks Robin, very informative. However i’m running into an issue that i just can’t seem to figure out. After creating my vDisk once i reboot off the network, my base image blue screens with “SYSTEM THREAD EXCEPTION NOT HANDLED”. This happens right after the login server address and write cache screen. I can verify it pulls an IP, and the vDisk name is correct. Here’s a bit more detail on my lab environment.

    XenServer: v7.2
    XenDesktop: v7.16
    PVS: v7.14
    Target Device: Windows 10 build 1709

    Also want to add that the target device in PVS is set to boot off of the vDisk and not Hard Drive. The Access Mode is also set to Standard. I even made sure there were no ghost nic adapters present.

    Any help would be much appreciated.

    Best,
    Walt

About Robin Hobo

Robin Hobo

I work as a Senior Solution Architect with focus on the Modern Workspace. I am specialized in Azure Virtual Desktop (AVD), Windows 365 and Microsoft EM+S (including Microsoft Endpoint Manager - Microsoft Intune).

For my full bio, check the About Me page. You can also join me on the following social networks:

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