Tag Archives: UPM

Sync the Windows 10 (1703) Start Menu in VDI


Even though it is still Windows 10, each release introduces changes that impacts our VDI deployment. We saw this with optimizing the operating system as we have different default apps, scheduled tasks and services.

But what about the Start Menu?

Synchronizing the Windows 10 Start Menu in VDI was the bane of many admin’s existence. And then we saw that we can use Citrix User Profile Management to capture the file at logoff.

I’ve now upgraded to Windows 10 (Creators Update 1703).

Guess what. Syncing the Start Menu just works with UPM. No special configuration except to turn UPM on.

Just make sure you upgrade UPM to version 5.8, which was included with the XenApp and XenDesktop 7.14 release. If you use an older version of UPM, your start menu throws out an error.

It looks like the Start Menu is captured in the registry at HKCU\Software\Microsoft\Windows\CurrentVersion\CloudStore.

Simply enabling UPM captures these registry value.

Now that is simple.

Daniel (Follow on Twitter @djfeller)
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Microsoft Windows 10, Citrix XenDesktop and Logon Time


How long does your Windows 10 logon take?

Logging into my lab, my logons felt long. True I’m not using server-level hardware that you would see in production, but my logon times felt too long because I don’t have logon scripts, complex group policy preferences, or even massive profiles. After reading the Rule of 30 blog by Nick Rintalan, I decided to investigate. I was interested in knowing if all of the Windows 10 optimizations I previously blogged about would have an impact

  1. Default apps
  2. Services
  3. Scheduled tasks
  4. User Interface
  5. Runtime
  6. Release
  7. ICA

My first test was looking at the default Windows 10 install with Provisioning Services. It took 73.5 seconds to log in. So much for the Rule of 30.

I went ahead and permanently removed many of the default Windows 10 apps. I got a login time of 67 seconds. Not bad, 8% improvement.

Time to optimize and disable many Windows 10 services. Another drop of 6% reducing my login time to 62.5 seconds.

Scheduled tasks, user interface and runtime had no effect. This isn’t surprising. Runtime optimizations would only impact the user’s interactive portion of the session. Scheduled tasks don’t run constantly. They only run from a trigger resulting from an action or a time of day.

Next, I enabled Citrix User Profile Management (UPM) and saw a 29% improvement in logon time! Wow. Before I enabled UPM, the system used local profiles, which were deleted on each session logoff. Each time the user logged in, the system had to create a new profile for the user. This is time consuming. Enabling UPM gives the user a roaming profile, which is faster than a local profile.

And finally, because I love talking about Provisioning Services, I thought I would enable the RAM Cache with Disk Overflow. I didn’t really think it would have an impact, but that couldn’t be further from the truth. Provisioning Services RAM Cache dropped logon times by another 18%!

By optimizing my OS, profiles and using Provisioning Service RAM Cache, my logon times went from 73 seconds down to 36. Not bad.