Roaming of AppData\Local breaks Windows 10 Start Menu

One of my customers has started a project to create a Windows 10 Enterprise (LTSB 2016) master for their VMware Horizon View environment. Beside the fact (okay, it is more a personal feeling), that Windows 10 is a real PITA for VDI, I noticed an interesting issue during tests.

The issue

For convenience, I adopted some settings of the current Persona Management GPO for Windows 7 for the new Windows 10 environment. During the tests, the customer and I noticed a strange behaviour: After login, the start menu won’t open. The only solution was to logoff and delete the persona folder (most folders are redirected using native Folder Redirections, not the redirection feature of the View Persona Management). While debugging this issue, I found this error in the eventlog.

If you google this, you will find many, many threads about this. Most solutions describe, that you have to delete the profile due to wrong permissions on profile folders and/ or registry hives. I used Microsofts Procmon to verify this, but I was unable to confirm that. After further investigations, I found hints, that the TileDataLayer database could be the problem. The database is located in AppData\Local\TileDataLayer\Database and stores the installed apps, programs, and tiles for the Start Menu. AFAIK it also includes the Start Menu layout.

The database is part of the local part of the profile. A quick check proved, that it’s sufficient to delete the TileDataLayer folder. It will be recreated during the next logon.

The solution

It’s simple: Don’t roam AppData\Local. It should not be necessary to roam the local part of a users profile. The View Persona Management offers an option to roam the local part the profile. You can configure this behaviour with a GPO setting.

You can find this setting under Computer Configuration > Administrative Templates > VMware View Agent Configuration > Persona Management > Roaming & Synchronization

I was able to reproduce the observed behavior in my lab with Windows 10 Enterprise (LTSB 2016) and Horizon View 7.0.3. Because of this, I tend to recommend not to roam AppData\Local.

Roaming of AppData\Local breaks Windows 10 Start Menu
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Patrick Terlisten
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Patrick Terlisten

vcloudnine.de is the personal blog of Patrick Terlisten. Patrick has nearly 2 decades of experience in IT, especially in the areas infrastructure, cloud, automation and industrialization. Patrick was selected as VMware vExpert (2014 - 2017), as well as PernixData PernixPro.

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3 thoughts on “Roaming of AppData\Local breaks Windows 10 Start Menu

  1. Markus Hartmann

    Hallo Patrick,

    wir haben leider ähnliche Erfahrungen gesammelt.

    Wenn Du allerdings AppData\Local nicht “roamst” werden unter anderem keine Kennwörter und/oder Cookies im IE, keine Ansichten etc. gespeichert – für einige User OK – für uns leider ein Showstopper.

    Wir versuchen grade den Umweg über Microsoft Redirection/Roaming – mit all seinen Vor- und Nachteilen… :( Das ist mehr WOrkaround als Lösung. Anbei ein Ansatz: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=R4R4QlExLsU&t=3s – bitte die Kommentare von “fbifido fbifido” vor 2 Monaten beachten – ab hier gab es einen Austausch zwischen James Rankin und mir – mit Build 1703 hatte Microsoft erneut eine Änderung eingebaut, die nicht wirklich dokumentiert war, was wieder Probleme mit dem Startmenü brachte, die Lösung derzeit funktioniert ganz gut.

    LG Markus

    Reply
  2. Willi

    Hallo Patrick, kamen in dem von dir geschilderten Fall persistent disks zum Einsatz? Ich schlage mich derzeit auch mit dem Startmenü-Problem rum und seitens VMware gibt es die Aussage, dass Windows 10 linked clones mit persistent disks nicht unterstützt werden. https://communities.vmware.com/thread/561751
    Wir verwenden persistent disks ohne persona. Passt also ins Schema.
    Daraus würde ich folgern, dass es ohne persistent disk und nur persona (möglicherweise sogar mit roam local settings folder) funktioniert (hab’s aber noch nicht getestet).

    Danke für den Beitrag und VG!

    Reply

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