Anyone who has worked with Citrix XenApp (formerly Presentation Server) will know that printers and drivers are a very big part of your farm design and its stability. A print driver that causes instability is a nightmare for Citrix Administrators, now there is a handy tool to help you troubleshoot print driver issues.
The Citrix Print Detective application can be downloaded by clicking the link and is described on the web site as follows.
Print Detective is an information-gathering utility that can be used for troubleshooting problems related to print drivers. It enumerates all drivers from the specified 32-bit Windows computer, including driver-specific information. It can also be used to delete specified print drivers. It also offers logging capabilities and provides a Command Line Interface (CLI).
I can see this being most use for identifying exactly what drivers are installed on your XenApp server. If you’ve not configured your farm(s) to use driver compatibility lists or policies to prevent driver auto install from print servers you can end up with all sorts of drivers installed on your XenApp server. Any of these can cause you stability issues with the print spooler service or even cause a dreaded blue screen of death, nothing like a print driver crashing a server and dumping 50+ Citrix users out of their sessions.
A couple of screenshot of the application can be found below with some details on use, the full instructions on use can be found on the Citrix Print Detective page.
To run the Print Detective software against a remote host , enter the name and click the enumerate button.
Once the drivers are displayed for your local or remote host you can delete a selected driver, (requires administrator privileges)
Now I haven’t used this application in anger myself, as always I’ll keep this in reserve for the next print driver issue in my employers Citrix farm. If anyone has any experience of using this in a real world scenario please feel free to share your experience by leaving a comment or two.
Its been a while since I had a read over the new content on Shannon Ma’s blog. He’s been busy writing articles and in amongst them all, I noticed a little announcement back in late October that I missed completely.
XenAppPrep 2.0 has finally been released! you can download it from the XenApp Developer network site, this page contains all the details on pre-requisites, installing and how to use the XenAppPrep tool. I also found a nice article that Shannon had written about using XenAppPrep when you have Edgesight agents installed on your XenApp servers.
This is very handy and I will be passing this on to a number of people I work with. We had an issue recently when a clone of a production citrix server was taken by a 3rd party for our DR site. All the data that was registered for the production server in the Edgesight database appeared to switch allegiance and re-registered itself in the database against the new server name. Think these articles and this tool will come in handy if we ever look to do any more cloning.
Citrix, New Products, XenApp
I recently blogged about XenAppPrep which was being worked on and blogged about by Shannon Ma over at Citrix. No update on it’s release date yet and I’m sure there are people out there who have a requirement to clone XenApp servers. So in the meantime please find a link to the XenApp Cloning Tool which is available for download on www.citrixtools.net. The latest release now adds support for the cloning of servers with the edgesight agent on it.
This is something that came up at my work recently, our third party data centre partner cloned a production server for DR Purposes and when it came back up the edgesight agents re-registered all the data and statistics gathered in the database against the DR server instead of the original production one. I’ll be passing on this link to them for future reference.
Been having a little look at Shannon Ma’s Citrix web log today and have been reading with interest about XenAppPrep which is a tool that allows you to clone XenApp servers in a nice clean manner. You basically setup your XenServer with all the apps and customisation /fine tuning required, install the XenAppPrep application and run it to remove all machine specific information. Run any other tools such as sysprep and then capture your image using whatever imaging software you usually use.
When the clone comes online the XenAppPrep service starts, reset all the machine specific information and start services such as IMA. You’ve now got a nice clean new XenApp Server without any of the normal hassle associated with cloning a Citrix server.
You can read more about XenAppPrep at the link below and read about Automated Deployment on Shannon’s blog which is linked in the blogroll to the right of this article.