How to Reverse Image a vDisk?

Reverse imaging can be a tedious procedure for some of us but is necessary to keep our vDisks up-to-date with hypervisor tools and cumulative hotfixes for PVS. Here are my 14 steps:

01. Boot your target device to the vDisk you want to reverse image with additional disk attached (same size or larger than the vDisk).
02. Make sure the new disk is visible in Windows Disk Management and mounted as a drive (i.e. D:\).
03. Use BNImage or XenConvert to copy the vDisk to the added drive (both tools are located under C:\Program Files\Citrix\Provisioning Services).
04. Make sure the new volue is set to Active in Disk Management.
05. Set the device to boot from Hard Disk in the PVS console.
06. Boot the device to Hard Drive by manually changing the boot order in BIOS.
07. Remove any antivirus software (Reboot).
08. Remove PVS target device software (Reboot).
09. Update hypervisor tools if necessary (Reboot).
10. Install latest PVS target device software (Reboot).
11. Run the PVS Imaging Wizard (System will reboot automatically and will continue to finish the conversion process). Before reboot change the boot order in BIOS to Network boot.
12. Switch the device to boot from vDisk in the PVS console (in Private or Maintenance Mode).
13. Install Antivirus software.
14. You are done.

What are yours? 🙂

5 thoughts on “How to Reverse Image a vDisk?

  1. I create a VM, locate the VHD file associated with it and note the uuid, delete it, copy the VHD file from the vdisk store with the same name (uuid), turn on the machine, make my changes, shut it down, then copy the VHD file back to PVS. NFS makes this easy. 🙂

  2. 1. Copy VHD
    2. Convert copied VHD to VMDK using StarWind (Free)
    3. Copy VMDK to datastore in VMware
    4. Boot VM with disk (if you don’t already have a spare created, do so) *important, vm configuration settings must match id’s/slot numbers as pvs devices
    5. Do all software maintenance that might interrupt network stack (vmtools, a/v, etc)
    6. Necessary reboots
    7. Shutdown
    8. Copy vmdk back
    9. Convert vmdk to vhd using StarWind
    10. Import as new vDisk into pvs
    11. TEST (shared and private)
    ** if step number 4 wasn’t followed — same slot numbers — you’ll likely get a 0x7b BSOD

    • Cody,

      This is an interesting approach for ESXi – I haven’t tested StarWind yet but I do believe that as long as it does the conversion from VHD to VMDK and vice versa well, then PVS shouldn’t care. Now whether Citrix supports that method – that’s another conversation 😉

      Thanks,
      -Konstantin
      (The PVS Guy)

    • John,

      It doesn’t really matter since you will be attaching an extra drive and copying all the files to it. The machine will be set to booth from HDD after that. Remember that when you are using versioning, you shouldn’t be changing the mode on the base at all – it’s all done on the Maintenance/Test/Production level in the version properties.

      Thanks,
      -Konstantin (The PVS Guy)

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