VMware Horizon Community

Windows Apps and App Volumes... HOW!?

I am setting up our new Horizon Enterprise environment.  Instant Clones, App Volumes, and DEM are the main attractions.

I have a golden image that I am happy with and Windows Apps like Calculator, Camera, and Photos work great on our Instant Clones.

That is until I attach an App Volume.  Once an app volume is attached all of the Windows Apps break and give an error stating the following: '[APPLICATION] can’t open because it cannot be found. The storage device might be missing or disconnected.

Please for the love of god can someone point me in the right direction on this? Do we need to create an allowance somewhere so when the C: is virtualized it captures those as well? I'm at a loss and so far I love app volumes.. but this is a PITA and we need it resolved.

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3 Replies
VMware Employee
VMware Employee

There shouldn't be anything special you need to do for this. If the apps (Windows apps or anything else you install in the base image) are on the IC base image, they should work when AppStacks/Packages are attached, unless the Package specifically includes programs that overwrite what's on the base image.

Which version of App Volumes are you running?

How are you creating your App Volumes packaging machine?

  • A common practice is to use a clone of your IC base image with the Horizon agent removed as your packaging machine. This helps to ensure there is no configuration drift between the packaging machine and the VMs that will attach the Packages.
  • Be sure to take a snapshot of the VM before you ever use the VM for packaging, and be sure to revert to snapshot between each use.
Josh Spencer Staff Architect – Technical Marketing End User Computing, VMware, Inc.
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I am having the same issue,  We are not able to use the Windows Apps such as the calculator or anything else.  We can get them installed but once they log and back on the app is not longer there and they have to reinstall them.  We are using FSlogix for our users profiles.  Do you know if that affects the windows applications?  Even when we do not have any app volumes attached it does not work.  Is there a way to use the application packaging machines to capture an app volume with the windows apps installed?

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I had a similar issue in the past it where Windows Apps wouldn't launch at all once a writable volume was attached.  They were installed on the golden image and worked fine without any writable volume attached.

After spending who knows how many hours on this, I was finally able to figure out how to get the Windows Apps to reinstall themselves in a way to get them to open.

Here's the steps I performed on the golden image.

  • Find the AppxPackage Family Name
    • Run PowerShell as an admin
    • Run the following command to find all packages and their family name


Get-AppxPackage -AllUsers | Select Name, PackageFamilyName


  • Navigate to the following registry location




  • Create a new key that contains the value for PackageFamilyName
  • Create a new sub-key under the previously created key
    • Name: SetupPhase
    • Type: DWORD
    • Value: 4
  • Perform steps 2-4 for each application that should be initialized at login
    •  Examples
      • Calculator
      • Paint
      • Screen Sketch
      • Sticky Notes

I should mention I don't know what the SetupPhase values actually should be.  I cannot find anywhere on what that value actually does.  I only choose the value 4 as I saw a few other keys using the same value and 4 ended up working.

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