3 Replies Latest reply on Feb 21, 2019 11:51 PM by Ray_handels

    Fixing things by deleting the Writable.... ( a Lot ? )

    Douglas42Adams Novice

      Hi ,

       

      We are moving from a Unidesk environment to trying to get UEM / APP Stacks and Writables to all play nice together.

       

      We are also new to Instant Clones.. Unidesk was nice as the VM's were persistent. ( at least imo ).

       

      We had horrible issues with creating our Gold Image at the start ( Win 10 ).  After trying Every Flavor of Win 10.. and removing All agents one by one and then pushing them out to an Instant Clone Pool - we found out it was the App Vol Agent that was the culprit.

       

      As i was speaking w/ the VMware tech I told him this corruption issue didn't happen to everyone He quickly stated to delete my Writable.

       

      This fixed the corruption issue immediately.

       

       

       

      What's ODD was i had Nothing intentionally installed on my Writable. I simply had it attached to my machine.

       

      All Apps were in an APP STACK.

       

      Today I updated the GI for Cylance - disabled Defender and uninstalled OneDrive.  Pushed out the update ( Win 10 had been working ok prior ).

       

      It refused to allow me to log in - could not mount the app stacks. ( took four attempts to get an error msg )

       

      Went ahead out of Frustration and just Deleted my Writable ( with nothing installed on it ).. and after that i could get in fine.

       

      Apologies i don't have a lot of technical data to draw from.. i get it.. this could be Anything.

       

      ITs just kinda weird that Deleting my not currently ( actively ) used Writable is fixing things.

       

      When this rolls out to our users.. they probably are going to get upset if i keep deleting their C: Drive .

       

      Sorry for the WALL-O-TXT.

       

      thanks ,

        • 1. Re: Fixing things by deleting the Writable.... ( a Lot ? )
          Ray_handels Master
          Community WarriorsvExpert

          The writable is both very nice and very frustrating. The big issue is that it is a dumb bucket and it captures anything and everything you do or don't unless you exclude it.

          Just to get a few things clear about the writable. When using a machine the writable always wins so if you for example install chrome 70 and the GI or appstack has Chrome 72 you will still get Chrome 70.

           

          If you for example have Chrome installed in your GI or appstack and you decide to uninstall it from your machine with a writable attached your writable will create pointers in which it will delete Chrome. This means that CHrome is still in the GI or appsatcks but it is beaing masked as deleted by the writable. This can give you some very disturbing results if you don't know what is happening.

           

          You also have the option to only use UEM for profile settings and use a UIA only writable (User Installed Applications). If you use this it wont capture any information in your profile.

          Before using writable volumes for your users I would first fiddle around with it a bit to get an diea of how it works.

           

          We are also using W10 with over 2000 writables and normally only need to reset 1 or 2 a week. If you capture profile information with UEM this would mean that user would get a new Windows installation because all settings are still there.

          1 person found this helpful
          • 2. Re: Fixing things by deleting the Writable.... ( a Lot ? )
            Douglas42Adams Novice

            Thanks ( Again ! ) Ray ,

             

            Very Helpful info .

             

            We are in a P.O.C. phase atm.

             

            What i am finding very odd.. is we don't actually have Anything installed on our Writables yet.

             

            Our GI and Install Machines do NOT attach to the Domain.. so i shouldn't be pulling in any Ancillary App Stacks or even a writable..right ?

            ( just for giggles i logged into my install machine and went to Disk Mgmt - i see no App Stack or Writable attached )

             

            I have only 3 machines atm.

             

            Im the only test user atm.. it scares me a little that i have already had to Del my Writable to solve issues.. Twice. this is just w/ me testing things.

            Once this gets rolled out to all users i can only imagine the 'fun' .

            ( i Get it.. im probably taking a SledgeHammer to something that might require a little more finesse to resolve )

             

            Im presuming things get saved to the Writable Even if i don't explicitly install anything there ? or no ?

            ( i have Yet to actually install any apps on it.. i have just done App Stacks ).

             

            We are using Writables with UIA only.. not profiles.. UEM is being used for Profile stuff.

             

            our win 10 flavor is LTSB/C 2016.

             

            thx !

            • 3. Re: Fixing things by deleting the Writable.... ( a Lot ? )
              Ray_handels Master
              Community WarriorsvExpert

              Our GI and Install Machines do NOT attach to the Domain.. so i shouldn't be pulling in any Ancillary App Stacks or even a writable..right ?

              ( just for giggles i logged into my install machine and went to Disk Mgmt - i see no App Stack or Writable attached )

              True. Never attach any appstack or writable to both the golden image and the package machine (other than for packaging off course ) otherwise your GI will hold information regarding appstacks and writables which will eventually bite you in the back somewhere..

               

              Im presuming things get saved to the Writable Even if i don't explicitly install anything there ? or no ?

              Yes. It depends on the writable you use off course but I see that you are using UIA only. This means that every change made to the files or registry that is not related to user stuff (more precisely the entire c:\Users folder and the HKCU reg tree) is written into the writable. You do have the option to exclude stuff from there by editing the snapvol.cfg on the writable.

              I would suggest adding your writable to a machine that does not have an Appvolumes agent so you get a clear idea of what is actually written to the writable. You will see a root folder with some batch files, a snapvol.cfg with configuration of what is excluded and a snapvol.dat which is a reg Hyve that stores changes to the registry you (or the machine) made during use of the VDI machine.

               

              Bu let's say you have an application installed in an appstack and didn't disable the auto update feature. The application would then install it's update into the writable making it impossible to manage it using appstacks because the update of the app is written into the writable. It does work quite well for us but you need to be very careful with what you enable in the VDI machine for your users..