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App Layering - Windows 10 update question

Matthew Weiner


I have Windows 10 1709 running on XenServer 7.1CU, creating MCS images for XenDesktop.  As we all know, a Windows 10 version has a somewhat limited lifecycle and an update is pretty much a reinstall.  What is the procedure to update to a later build, I did some searching but couldn't find a documented method.  Just for fun I tried creating a new layer version and letting it update to 1803, but it fails out with an inaccessible boot device BSOD.  If I read the documentation properly, I would have to re-make my application layers if I created a new OS layer from scratch (and I am hoping not to have to create another OS layer because taming Windows 10 into something cooperative for VDI is a nightmare).  I also have several dozen application layers representing months of work, and remaking them each Windows build replacement would render this product more trouble than it's worth.


Does anyone have any methodology on best ways to do this?  I still have some life left in 1709, but I want to ensure I have everything in order and have ample time to test before I have no choice.

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Assuming you do not want to recreate all your app layers, you would add a version to your OS layer and run the upgrade from an ISO.  When you add the version make sure you have at least 30 GB of free space in your disk size.  After running the upgrade to not delete the Windows.old directory app layering will handle that after it copies any files it needs from the older version.  Run ngen update for both 32 and 64 bit ngen after the upgrade.

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Do it through Windows Updates.  Leave the Windows.old folder laying around.  That should be it.  Don't do an update from an ISO, let Windows itself handle the upgrade.  We should be able to pull our bits back together afetr the upgrade, as long as you leave us Windows.old to look through.


Yes, you really don't want to re-make your app layers.  You might have to recreate the platform layer, since the things that go in it tend to be really sensitive to Windows changes.  But all your app layers should be fine unless they are independently unsupported on the new version of Windows 10.

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I found the problem.  It's XenServer.  I created a connector and pointed it to a newer non-LTSR version of XenServer and successfully updated from 1709 to 1803 without a problem.  Something in XenServer LTSR is causing a BSOD at about 75% in a Windows 10 build update.  I tried it with 1809 just to see if it'd BSOD at the same spot, and it does.

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I also had the exact same issue. After the following fix I could update to a new Windows 10 build (21H2). This is what resolved it:




When attempting to update a Windows 10 VM from 1909 to 20H2 or later, the update might fail with a blue screen showing the error: INACCESSIBLE BOOT DEVICE.

FIX = @ step 3 before installing the new hypervisortools and before installing the new Windows 10 build. In the VM registry, delete the following values from the HKEY_LOCAL_MACHINE\SYSTEM\CurrentControlSet\Services\XENFILT\Parameters key: ActiveDeviceID, ActiveInstanceID, and ActiveLocationInformation

then update Xenserver Tools (remove any (realtek) ghost nics after that)

then update to the new Windows 10 Build


It should work now but the issue is still under investigation @ Citrix. (XSI-1075)


So, updating to a new Windows 10 build works. But when I publish the image to PVS I get the following error when I start a VDI:



I found the following Citrix fix:



I created a new Platform Layer and attached a cache disk (step 1 at CTX232126). Disabled IPV6 on the platform layer. Remove cache disk after finalizing VM. Do this before finalizing on the ELM server. After finalizing on the ELM server, I created a new PVS image that booted successfully when attached to a VDI.

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