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Applying App-V GPOs may prevent App-V Client 4.5/4.6 upgrade installation | June 1, 2010


When you try to upgrade a Client from SoftGrid (4.1/4.2) to App-V 4.5 or 4.6 on a machine that is pre-configured for the new version, you recieve an error:

“unable to set security descriptor on global package file(s), error=0”

The installer rolls back.

This happens if you apply GPOs or a configuration .Reg File to the client before the upgrade. Therefor: Do not apply any App-V 4.5/4.6 settings to a client befor the upgrade.

The issue

As often said, my preferred method to control the App-V Client seetings is by using Microsoft’s and Login Consultant’s ADM Templates for App-V. Alternativly, you could use a .Reg-File or App-V Client installer command line parameters to configure the App-V Client.

If you are upgrading from an older (SoftGrid) version to App-V, you may want to make sure that the App-V client is configured right after the installation. And because you do like a centralized management, you may apply a GPO onto the Client machine for the 4.5 settings. Or, you may think about adding the required Registry Values into the Client by importing a .Reg file.

If you do so, your App-V client installer will lead you through the upgrade process, ask you what to do because some SoftGrid Components are still in use. If you opt for not rebooting the system (but “Automatically close applications…”), the installer processes for a while and then… hit you with the following Error Message(s)

Unable to set security descriptor on global package file(s), error=0

Unable to set security descriptor on global package file(s), error=0

immediately followed by

Microsoft Application Virtualization Desktop Client Setup failed

App-V Client Setup failed

The Reason

I did not dig into this to deep. My assumption is, that the installer wants to relocate the App-V Cache File from its old SoftGrid location to the new one defined by the GPO/.Reg file. Because the SoftGrid Client driver still accesses the file, this can’t be done. It might be that this even happens for other resources as well, so I won’t stick on that Cache file only. This also happens of the old and the new location, so my explaination can’t be 100% right.

Some Side Effects

Although stated, the Client Installer does not gracefully roll back. Essentially, after this “roll back” has been finished, I would consider the machine as busted, at least reagrding App-V.

Some of the components have been upgraded to the new version and still are on the new level after rolling back. Other components obviously come from the original SoftGrid installation – so a new OS Deplyoment (or reverting from a Snapshot) would be my recommendation for those machines.

The Solution

The Solution is quite simple: Do not preconfigure the Client machine for App-V settings before you actually run the upgrade. Instead, make sure to apply the required settings (by GPO or .Reg File) afterwards.

Also I recommend to only adjust the settings that can be modified safely. Put your hands off the AppFS locations, because they can’t be changed easily.

For App-V 4.5, an option to configure the client during installation might be the installer’s command line parameters.

Unfortunately, this is not possible for upgrading to 4.6. Therefor, post-installing a .Reg-File might be an option.

Or you choose to perform a clean Uninstall of the old client (that would erase the Gloval Cache file, but will retain User Settings) and install the App-V Client afterwards.

Additional Information

Also be aware that as a result of an upgrade, some file locations (Program Files, Log File namely) will reside on the “SoftGrid style” locations. Prepare your helpdesk to determine if a client has been upgraded from SoftGrid or if ith is a fresh install.

Posted in App-V, Client
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