The Case of EXCEL/WORD 2010 docs not opening on Network shares on XA7 Farm

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Issue
I had an interesting case where no office applications would open on network shares and if you went to Save As within the office applications the apps would crash (Excel/Word)

So, the steps to reproduce issue were:

Launch Citrix published Excel





and click Save As 

EXCEL CRASH



Launch published Excel and click open and browse to network share location. Click an Excel document on the network share -

Now this message

First Diagnosis
First, I believed the fix was to go into the Trust Center as shown below and the issue was to do with trusted network share locations. I set some settings manually.










Once I entered out of the Trust Center and ticked the boxes highlighted above, I repeated steps and no longer had an issue.
Then I thought this is a GPO setting. So I set the following in a GPO -



However, what I soon found out was no matter what GPO settings you made, if you disable UPM, Roaming Profiles, unlink the GPO, the problem would continue on a fresh relaunch of Excel or Word as a seamless application.

Then I figured out all I had to do was simply go in to the Trust Center without changing a thing and everything would work. At this point I started to scratch my head.
Thinking about this I decided to use a tool called PROCMON (good to see what is writing to files or registry when an action is performed) to capture any registry write values that applied when I entered the Trust Center.

Interestingly I applied the filters below and the following keys were captured.

Process name is Excel.exe

Operation is RegSetValue



I saw some IE Cache keys being written when I captured the trace and performed the user action of clicking on the Trust Center within published Excel.

That got me thinking.

All these registry keys were IE Cache.

I extracted these keys from registry by going to the Jump To setting.



I exported the keys on to my  desktop on the Xenapp server.



Now when I opened published Excel as my test user and imported the registry keys in to the users HKEY USER hive whilst they were logged on to my Xenapp server, I witnessed no issues with Excel.

I then traced it down to one exported registry key.



No crash on Save As within Excel and I could open office documents on network shares.
Next step I launched Published IE as the test user and deleted the IE cache as shown below.



I launched a new published Excel whilst IE was open and there was no issue. This confirmed my belief it was to do with the IE cache.

Further to this I also checked the following registry key where cache data is stored.

HKEY_CURRENT_USER\Software\Microsoft\Windows\CurrentVersion\Explorer\User Shell Folders

Reason For The Issue
Looking at UPM and Folder redirection I could see no obvious issues.

Looking deeper to see what was happening with the user when logged in to a session I could see that the user did not have any INetCache in their folder location.

%USERPROFILE%\AppData\Local\Microsoft\Windows\INetCache

Solution
The solution is quite simple.

I added the following GPO preference to be created when users log in.

%USERPROFILE%\AppData\Local\Microsoft\Windows\INetCache







I set some specific Item Level Targeting to the newly created policy so the new GPO would apply only to my test users for verification.



Once I repeated tests I no longer had the issue.

This can be seen by checking the folder location whilst logged in as the user via published cmd prompt.Now you can see the INetCache folder!



Interestingly when I went to show this to my colleague he new the issue as they had come across this before but was not sure of the reason.

I could have saved hours! Always ask your co-workers to save time ;-)

Although that was time I definitely was not getting back I am hoping my troubleshooting analysis will help some of you who may have similar issues.

Happy troubleshooting!

 

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