Sunday, February 26, 2012

How to stop Outlook 2010 from setting up a new profile for users using Citrix XenDesktop virtual desktops when the pool gets refreshed with an updated image

As fellow administrations who have deployed Citrix XenDesktops in their environment may know, Outlook profiles do not get retained by redirected profiles and when ever they refresh a desktop catalog’s pool with an updated image, users who log onto their virtual desktops will get the following prompt:

Microsoft Outlook 2010 Startup

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As with many of the small annoyance challenges that a virtual desktop environment can bring, this is yet another one that can annoy users enough to complain and generate calls to the IT help desk.

The solution to address this is to simply customize your Office 2010 installation with a custom.msp file created in the OCT (Office Customization Tool) so that if an Outlook profile does not exist, Office will automatically create one.  Prior to installing your office, execute the command setup.exe /admin to bring up the OCT wizard and create a new customization file:

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Navigate to Outlook –> Outlook profile then sSelect the Modify Profile radio button and in the Define changes to profile named: txt field, type in Outlook:

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Select the Add accounts node and select the Customize additional Outlook profile and account information radio button then click on the Add button to create a new Outlook profile:

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In the Exchange Settings window, enter the following:

Account Name: %UserName%@yourDomain.com

User Name: %UserName%

Exchange Server: yourExchangeServerCASFQDN

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Click on the More Settings… button to launch the additional settings window:

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There’s been many blog posts discussing Exchange Cached Mode and unless you’re using VMware View that allows you to assign a persistent disk to desktop pools, I always recommend disabling cached mode since there’s no way to roam OST files (Microsoft does not support it and more information can be found here: http://office.microsoft.com/en-us/office-2003-resource-kit/configuring-outlook-for-roaming-users-HA001140269.aspx) and the OST file gets destroyed whenever you refresh your master image:

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Click the OK button to save the settings:

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Save the customization as custom.msp in the Updates folder of your Office installation folder and install Office 2010 via the following command:

setup /adminfile c:\Office_2k10_Pro\Updates\custom.msp

Now regardless of whether an Outlook profile exists on the virtual desktop, Office will automatically create one for the user with the settings set above which to the user will appear seamless.

8 comments:

Rob said...

Thank you for the great blog. I've used your stuff a few times. In this posting however, I've used Group Policy to solve my issue. Maybe it won't work in Citrix, but in View I use the following GPO settings:

User Config -> Policies -> Admin Templates -> Microsoft Office 2010 -> Miscellaneous -> Suppress Recommended settings dialog = ENABLED

User Config -> Policies -> Admin Templates -> Microsoft Office 2010 -> Account Settings -> Exchange -> Automatically Configure profile based on Active Directory Primary SMTP address = ENABLED

User Config -> Policies -> Admin Templates -> Microsoft Office 2010 -> Account Settings -> Exchange -> Cached Exchange Mode -> Use Cached Exchange Mode for new and existing Outlook profiles = DISABLED



Fish said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
Fish said...

I have configured group policy to "automatically create Outlook 2010 profiles based on the AD Primary SMTP address". The problem is, the profile gets populated with the wrong Exchange 2007 Server name. After much research I figured out it's populating this field with the legacyExchangeDN name instead of the NetBios or FQDN. I found where to change this value in ADSIEdit, but was reluctant to do so after reading some posts. How to I fix this?

Anonymous said...

Thanks for being so concise. We have just implemented Xendesktop and I couldn't get a straight answer on which registry keys needed to be edited. I completely forgot about admin.

Wendy Emanuelson said...

Hi Terence,
I am curious how to make this work and still save the users settings, such as signature etc. We are not using roaming profiles. our server deletes profiles nightly making the solution described here half of a solution. But still the profile on the citrix server is deleted nightly and the user's custome settings are lost. We are not using OST, PST and PABs.

Please let me know if you have any suggestions.

Wendy Emanuelson said...

Hi Terence,
I am curious how to make this work and still save the users settings, such as signature etc. We are not using roaming profiles. our server deletes profiles nightly making the solution described here half of a solution. But still the profile on the citrix server is deleted nightly and the user's custome settings are lost. We are not using OST, PST and PABs.

Please let me know if you have any suggestions.

Terence Luk said...

Hi Wendy,

Signatures are stored in the AppData\Roaming folder and signature assignments are stored in the registry. The best way to maintain the same user experience in a pooled desktop environment is to either use a mix of redirected folders + Citrix UPM or simply use Citrix UPM on its own. Redirected folders roams everything in the AppData\Roaming folder which means the signatures will be available to the user but the assignment will not. To roam signature assignments, use Citrix UPM and enable the roaming of the AppData\Local folder.

Anonymous said...

Wouldn't it be more prudent to findout why this isue is happening in the first place? We have this issue and find no detail as to why, XenApp 6.5 in this case, fails to find a users profile sometime but other times has no issue. have applied this fix and found it useful. Would still love to know why it happens int he first place, no clues in Event Viewer.