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Archive for April, 2014

App-V 5: On Virtual Fonts


App-V has many virtualization subsystems that make up how App-V isolates itself from other applications. Often I, and others have discussed virtual COM, virtual kernel objects, virtual services, etc. when discussing App-V in depth. Until now, one virtual subsystem that has not been discussed much in the context of App-V 5 is the virtual fonts subsystem. That is usually because you don’t really have to deal with it unless something has gone wrong.

Fonts are installed on-demand at process runtime in App-V 5. This is pretty much similar to the method used in previous versions of App-V with some technical-specific details. (Font information pulled from the AppX Manifest inside APPV package file instead of from .CP file as in previous releases.)

This font information is stored as an extension point (AppV.Fonts) with the fonts designated with the direct path within the AppV package of where the fonts are stored.


By default, the fonts will be deployed during the publishing process. If the fonts are loaded on demand at runtime, then the path will also be specified with the DelayLoad="true” value:

        <appv:Font Path="[{ProgramFilesX86}]NetManageRUMBAAS400RUMBA400.FON" DelayLoad="true"></appv:Font>

Missing Fonts

If fonts have been designated inside the manifest but for some reason are missing in the package, this can be problematic and will cause a package launch to fail as the VFonts subsystem is unable to initialize the fonts properly. When would you see something like this? Well, as you may have figured out by now, any time an application has failed to launch, a generic error message is thrown to the user:

The application failed to launch

This may be due to a network failure

 

When this occurs, you have to go to the AppV-specific logs in the Event Viewer to get a more component-specific error code. Often, it is not a network failure. Let’s say you are missing font files inside the package.

You may receive a more specific error code: 0x83401D2A-80070490

(This happened to an MVP friend of mine with Office as a matter of fact – http://rorymon.com/blog/index.php/app-v-sequencing-visio-2010-and-visio-2013-with-app-v-5-0/ )

If you are noticing that certain applications may be causing increases to the publishing process (especially when using a publishing server) fonts could be a factor. If there are many fonts specified in a package that do *NOT* have the Delayload=true option, then they could be a contributing factor.

Excluding Fonts from a Virtual Package

If you are encountering a publishing delay issue with a specific package, or are encountering an issue similar to the above scenario (where missing fonts are causing packages to fail top launch) you can disable the virtual fonts subsystem by utilizing a deployment or user dynamic configuration file which best suits the user targeting.

To disable the virtual fonts subsystem using via XML configuration of the DeploymentConfig.XML or UserConfig.XML file, utilize the following syntax:

Fonts     

      –>

      <Fonts Enabled="false" />

      <!–    

Information Regarding the Latest Update for Windows 8.1

April 11, 2014 48 comments

Update 4/16/2014: Please refer to the following updates posted in the blog posts below released on April 16th, 2014:
 
http://blogs.windows.com/windows/b/springboard/archive/2014/04/16/windows-8-1-update-and-wsus-availability-and-adjusted-timeline.aspx

http://blogs.technet.com/b/windowsserver/archive/2014/04/16/windows-server-2012-r2-update-availability-of-wsus-fix-and-revised-servicing-timing.aspx

Also be advised there following KB articles have been updated:

Windows Update Client does not scan against WSUS 3.0 SP2 if HTTPS is configured and TLS 1.2 is not enabled

http://support.microsoft.com/kb/2959977/EN-US

Windows RT 8.1, Windows 8.1, and Windows Server 2012 R2 Update: April 2014

http://support.microsoft.com/kb/2919355/EN-US
 

———————————————————————————————————

Microsoft has been listening to customer feedback. Much of this feedback has been received and some of the results are being given back to our users of Windows 8.1 in the form of updates. Recently, a very big update for Windows 8.1 was released. Read all about it here:

http://windows.microsoft.com/en-us/windows-8/whats-new

Since Microsoft wants to ensure that customers benefit from the best support and servicing experience and to coordinate and simplify servicing across both Windows Server 2012 R2, Windows 8.1 RT and Windows 8.1, this update will be considered a new servicing/support baseline. What this means is those users who have elected to install updates manually will have 30 days to install Windows 8.1 Update  on Windows 8.1 devices; after this 30-day window – and beginning with the May Patch Tuesday, Windows 8.1 user's devices without the update installed will no longer receive security updates.

This means that Windows 8.1 users – starting patch Tuesday in May 2014 and beyond – will require this update to be installed.  If the Windows 8.1 Update is not installed, those newer updates will be considered “not applicable.”

More detailed information can be found in the following links:

KB2919355 (Windows RT 8.1, Windows 8.1, and Windows Server 2012 R2 Update April, 2014)
http://support.microsoft.com/kb/2919355

A servicing stack update is available for Windows RT 8.1, Windows 8.1, and Windows Server 2012 R2: March 2014
http://support.microsoft.com/kb/2919442

What's New in the Windows 8.1 Update
http://technet.microsoft.com/en-us/windows/dn646749

Windows 8.1 Update: The IT Pro Perspective
http://blogs.windows.com/windows/b/springboard/archive/2014/04/02/windows-8-1-update-the-it-pro-perspective.aspx
 
Windows Server 2012 R2 Update is now available to subscribers
http://blogs.technet.com/b/windowsserver/archive/2014/04/02/windows-server-2012-r2-update-is-now-available-to-subscribers.aspx.
 
For those users who are still using Windows 8 and Windows 2012 (and not Windows 8.1 and Windows 2012 R2) you are unaffected and will continue to receive updates as normal.

The new baseline only exists for Windows 8.1 and Windows Server 2012 R2.

Another important item for our enterprise users and IT pros out there: There is also an issue regarding Windows 8.1 Update preventing interaction with WSUS 3.2 over SSL connections. This has been outlined in the following blog post:

Windows 8.1 Update (KB 2919355) prevents interaction with WSUS 3.2 over SSL
http://blogs.technet.com/b/wsus/archive/2014/04/08/windows-8-1-update-prevents-interaction-with-wsus-3-2-over-ssl.aspx

Microsoft plans to issue an update as soon as possible that will correct the issue and restore the proper behavior for Windows 8.1 Update KB 2919355 scanning against all supported WSUS configurations. Until that time, we are delaying the distribution of the Windows 8.1 Update KB 2919355 to WSUS servers.

You may still obtain the Windows 8.1 Update (KB 2919355) from the Windows Update Catalog or MSDN. However, we recommend that you suspend deployment of this update in your organization until we release the update that resolves this issue.

You may also find the workarounds discussed in this article to be useful for testing this Windows 8.1 Update for your organization. Thank you for your patience during this time.

In addition, some training and readiness docs have been recently published along with updated toolkits:

Windows 8.1 Update User Readiness Toolkit
http://www.microsoft.com/en-us/download/details.aspx?id=42255

Windows 8.1 Update Power User Guide for Business
http://www.microsoft.com/en-us/download/details.aspx?id=41667

Windows 8.1 Update how-to videos for business users
http://www.microsoft.com/en-us/download/details.aspx?id=42314

Windows Driver Kit 8.1 Update 1
http://www.microsoft.com/en-us/download/details.aspx?id=42273

Windows Assessment and Deployment Kit (Windows ADK) for Windows 8.1 Update
http://www.microsoft.com/en-us/download/details.aspx?id=39982

Additional Blogs:

http://blogs.windows.com/windows/b/springboard/archive/2014/04/02/windows-8-1-update-the-it-pro-perspective.aspx
http://blogs.windows.com/windows/b/windowsexperience/archive/2014/04/02/windows-8-1-update-important-refinements-to-the-windows-experience.aspx
http://blogs.windows.com/windows/b/business/archive/2014/04/02/building-the-mobile-workplace-with-windows-and-windows-phone.aspx
http://blogs.msdn.com/b/ie/archive/2014/04/02/stay-up-to-date-with-enterprise-mode-for-internet-explorer-11.aspx
http://blogs.windows.com/windows/b/springboard/archive/2014/04/03/windows-8-1-sideloading-enhancements.aspx
http://blogs.technet.com/b/askpfeplat/archive/2014/04/07/exploring-windows-8-1-update-start-screen-desktop-and-other-enhancements.aspx

The Microsoft Virtual Machine Converter 2.0 is Now Live on the Microsoft Download Center

April 11, 2014 3 comments

UPDATE: 10/21/2014: The MVMC 3.0 is now released with P2V functionality restored.

http://www.microsoft.com/en-us/download/details.aspx?id=42497

The Microsoft Virtual Machine Converter 2.0 is available! The Microsoft Virtual Machine Converter provides a supported, freely available, stand-alone solution for converting VMware-based virtual machines and virtual disks to Hyper-V-based virtual machines and virtual hard disks (VHDs). 

There is also a release of an update to the Migration Automation Toolkit (MAT). This is a collection of PowerShell scripts that will automate conversions using MVMC.  You can use it to convert several machines at once, on a single server – or scale it out and execute conversions on many servers at the same time.

With the release, you will be able to access many new features including:

  • On-premises VM to Azure VM conversion
  • PowerShell interface for scripting and automation support
  • Added support for vCenter & ESX(i) 4.1, 5.0 and now 5.5
  • VMware virtual hardware version 4 – 10 support
  • Linux Guest OS support including CentOS, Debian, Oracle, Red Hat Enterprise, SuSE enterprise and Ubuntu.
  • Migration Automation Toolkit support for MVMC 2.0

Migration Automation Toolkit (MAT)
http://gallery.technet.microsoft.com/Automation-Toolkit-for-d0822a53

More Information
http://blogs.technet.com/b/server-cloud/archive/2014/04/08/available-now-the-microsoft-virtual-machine-converter-2-0.aspx

MVMC Converter Download
http://www.microsoft.com/en-us/download/details.aspx?id=42497

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