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Troubleshooting Persona Management (2008457)

Purpose

This article provides information about how to configure View Persona Management correctly.

Resolution

 

Licensing

To enable and use View Persona Management, you must have a View Premier license. For more information, see the VMware End User Licensing Agreement (EULA).

For more information about View Licensing, see:

Repository

Verify the repository location is accessible from the View desktop. The View desktop syncs its profile periodically and therefore, needs to be able to reach the repository and read its content (at least for the parent folders \\server\VPRepository\profiles). The repository is created in a network share, such as \\server\VPRepository\. For more information, see the Creating a Network Share for View Persona Management section of the VMware View Administration Guide.
 
The profiles folder is created under the network share. For example: \\server\VPRepository\profiles.
 
You must create the full profile path under which the user profile folders will be created. If part of the path does not exist, Windows creates the missing folders when the first user logs in and assigns the user's security restrictions to those folders. Windows assigns the same security restrictions to every folder it creates under that path. If another user logs in with a profile path in \\server\VPRepository\profiles, the second user cannot access the repository and the user's profile fails to be replicated.
 
Note: Environment variables are not supported in the repository location path. For example, %APPDATA%\Mozilla\Firefox\Profiles cannot be used.

Repository Permissions

The permissions on the repository are the ones recommended in the Configure a User Profile Repository section in the VMware View Administration Guide.
 
For example, set the relevant permissions on the VPRepository and profiles folders for a path, such as \\server\VPRepository\profiles.
 

View Agent

Verify that the Persona Management component of the View Agent was installed on the parent virtual machine. When this component is installed, a Persona Management folder is created in Windows XP: %allusersprofile%\Application Data\VMware\VDM\.
 
Verify that this folder exists in the virtual desktop. If it does not exist, the Pool may not have been Recomposed or the View Agent 5.0 with Persona Management component may not have been installed on the parent virtual machine.

Persona Management Policies

Be cautious of how the ADM template file added into the View environment. For more information, see the Active Directory Group Policy Example section in the VMware View Administration Guide.
 
You can add the ADM template file directly to:
  • The Parent virtual machine, but this requires a Recompose of the Pool(s).
  • Active Directory, but need to do a proper linking of GPO and OU to properly restrict/assign the policy to the intended desktops and also need to enable loopback. For more information, see the Active Directory Group Policy Example section in the VMware View Administration Guide.
If the policy was added through Active Directory, verify the Virtual Desktop has loaded the new policy:
  1. Run rsop.msc. Fore more information, see the Microsoft Knowledge Base article 312321.

    Note: The preceding link was correct as of  February 27, 2015. If you find the link is broken, provide a feedback and a VMware employee will update the link.

  2. Navigate to:
    • Windows Vista/2008 – username/Computer Configuration/Administrative Templates/Classic Administrative Templates (ADM)/VMware View Agent Configuration/Persona Management
    • Windows XP/2003 – username/Computer Configuration/Administrative Templates/VMware View Agent Configuration/Persona Management

  3. Verify that the expected settings appear in and under that location.
  4. If they do not, run the gpupdate /force command then log out and in to the desktop to force a policies reload.
Be cautious of the profile upload interval (N minutes). By default, it is 10 minutes. If the virtual desktop changes any preference, this is not replicated to the repository until the next sync interval, which could be in N minutes since you did the change in the worst case scenario.

This interval is visible from Active Directory and from the Virtual Desktop if it has already loaded the Persona Management Active Directory policies.

Persona Management Logging

Persona Management Logging is by default disabled in View Manager 5.0, but it is enabled (errors and information only) in later releases. If Persona Management works, but not as expected, you may want to enable it View Manager 5.0. For more information, see the View Persona Management Group Policy Settings section of the VMware View Administration Guide.
 
Note: There may be a delay after you enable logging because the desktops need to reload policies as logging is enabled through policies.

Other tips

  • From the View desktop, open the UNC of the repository (for example, \\server\VPRepository\profiles). If at least one profile sync has been performed, then you should find a folder similar to \\server\VPRepository\profiles\username.DomainName\.
  • If Persona Management works for some desktops on the pool but not for others, verify they all belong to the same OU and that it is linked to the correct GPO in Active Directory.
  • Until the policies are visible from within the Virtual Desktop, Persona Management is not going to work. How do you apply them depends on your environment and requirements.
  • Verify that the repository has enough space for all the users (at least N times the space required for one user, in a Pool of N desktops).

FAQs

How does the View Persona Management interact with Windows local profiles?
 
When using Persona Management, there are two profiles:
  • The local profile and
  • The remote (or central) profile
The local profile that Persona Management uses is just a standard Windows profile. When a user logs on, the local profile is created from the contents of the remote profile, and throughout the session, any changes that are made in the local profile are uploaded (or replicated) to the remote profile. The only real difference between the local profile used by Persona Management and a Windows local profile is that technically our local profile is classified as a roaming profile by Windows, rather than a local profile. Because our View Persona profile is really just a copy of the Windows profile, the features should be the same.

If folder redirection is configured, any applications that use the shell folder APIs automatically write their data to the network location instead of the local profile. Any applications that do not use the shell folder APIs continue to write their data to the local profile. For example, if My Documents is redirected, any applications that use the shell folder API to get the location of My Documents write to the redirected location. Any applications that write directly to %USERPROFILE%\My Documents continue to write to the local profile.
 
If the application can be modified to write that file to a UNC path where that shell folder is being redirected, then there is some benefit in doing that, but since it will not be managed by policy, any changes to location have to be managed manually, which leaves room for error.

For additional information on folder redirection and Persona Management, see the Folder Redirection Group Policy Settings section in the Persona Management Deployment Guide.

What happens if the same user account logs on to more than one virtual machine at a time? How are streamed accesses to the CIFS share mediated between them, if at all?
 
Persona Management does not currently support multiple concurrent sessions to the same profile. If more than one session is detected, Persona Management goes into a read-only mode, during which no changes are uploaded to the network. When only a single session is connected, Persona Management returns to normal mode.

Is there is a way to customize the targets of Persona Management's attention (for example, save and restore parts of the Windows registry outside of HKLM if necessary to accommodate a Windows application that stores user-related persistent data in that part of the registry)?

Currently, Persona Management can only capture changes that are made to the user's profile. Any changes made outside the user's profile (such as HKLM) are not managed.
 
Is there a separate standalone version of the Persona Management bits that I can install anywhere so that I can use it without View? I want to access my profile from anywhere without having to use roaming profiles.

In View 5.1 and later releases, View Persona Management can manage user profiles across physical computers and View desktops. Simultaneous sessions are not supported.

Is Persona Management available for Windows Server 2003/2008?

No. Persona Management only appears on desktop platforms. It does not appear on server platforms.

When using the Manage User Persona option in View, Persona are maintained for only domain admin users and not for regular users and the logs report the error Cannot create directory (0x80070005). What could be causing this problem?

As this issue occurs only for regular users, it may be due to permissions on the central profile store. 0x80070005 indicates an access denied error and occurs if the user does not have sufficient rights on the profile.

Additional Information

To support this feature, new scripts have been included in the VMware Horizon with View Optimization Guide for Windows 7 and Windows 8 for:
  • Optimizing desktops for an implementation that includes Persona Management.
  • Converting previously optimized desktops to allow for setting up Persona Management.
For more information, see:

See Also

Update History

01/04/2012 - Added additional FAQ 08/01/2012 - Added environment variables are not supported in repository location path 04/29/2013 - New product version were added. 05/28/2013 - Added the information about Persona logging in the section entitles "Persona Management Logging"

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