Blank QuickLaunch Icons on View Desktop

I've been doing a several VMware View installs for customers this month.  During one of the engagements I ran into a strange issue where the Quick Launch icons on the Windows Taskbar of provisioned Linked Clones were blank.  Here's what it looked like: Clicking on the icons resulted in a warning: "Can't open this item.  It might have been moved, renamed, or deleted.  Do you want to remove this item?"  No, Windows; I don't want you to remove it, I just want you to fix it, thank you very much. I did a bit of digging and found another user on the VMware Communities forum had the … [Read more...]

Conflicting Guidance on No GUI Boot and Base Video settings for VMware View Desktops

I've been working on writing up a complete guide for optimizing VMware View desktops.  In my research I've come across some conflicting information on using the 'No GUI Boot' and 'Base Video' boot optimizations found in the Microsoft System Configuration Utility (msconfig.exe). Why You Might Use 'No GUI Boot' and 'Base Video' Tweaks No GUI Boot The 'No GUI Boot' option disables visual elements in the Windows boot sequence (the Starting Windows screen with the swirling colored dots that turn into the Windows logo).  The idea with this optimization is that CPU cycles are needed to render, … [Read more...]

Using KMS for VMware View Windows Activation

When deploying or recomposing a pool of Windows 7 (or Windows Vista) virtual desktops on VMware View, you may receive an error message stating: “composer agent initialization error (16): Failed to activate software license (waited 0 seconds).”  This error occurs when you use a Multiple Activation Key (MAK) to activate the parent VM.  View Composer QuickPrep, by default, uses Microsoft Key Management Services (KMS).  VMware KB Article 1026556 provides workarounds for activating MAK clients, or bypassing activation by QuickPrep so you can use a trial key.  The workarounds are appropriate for … [Read more...]

Windows Server 2008 R2 & Windows 7 Freeze When Using SVGA Drivers

I recently ran into an issue when installing my first Windows Server 2008 R2 virtual machine.  The VM would hang/freeze randomly when used through the VMware vCenter Client's console.  It turns out this is a known issue (see this VMware KB Article) with the SVGA driver that is installed as part of the default installation of VMware Tools.  While the article does not explain why you should disable the SVGA driver, it's advice is correct if you want to avoid problems in your guest VM.  To correct my problem, I removed the SVGA driver from the Windows Device Manager and rebooted.  If you are … [Read more...]

Virtual Infrastructure Client Opens Off Screen

A user reported an issue with one of the VM's in my environment this morning.  It seems that an automated process had spun up the CPU to 100% in the Windows guest and the system was deadlocked.  I was still at home when I received the message on my BlackBerry, so I fired up the VPN on my Windows 7 laptop, opened the VI3 client and....., um, where is it?  The VI3 client icon was in the taskbar, but the app was nowhere to be found - it had opened off-screen where my secondary monitor usually lives.  This is nothing new for the VI client - I have experienced it numerous times in the past.  But … [Read more...]