Quick tip: VMware VCSA installer page is blank when selecting a datastore

While upgrading a vCenter Server 6.7 to version 7 Update 3 using the vCenter Server 7 UI installer, I was not able to select a datastore for installing the new vCenter Server Appliance (VCSA).

The datastore selection was blank as shown in the following image.

 

 

After googling I found the solution on a blog from another vExpert (link) who experience this issue with VCSA 6.5/6.7 installers. So the issue still exists in the vCenter Server 7 UI installer.

Here are the steps to solve this:

  • Go to the %appdata% folder (it opens the C:\Users\<username>\AppData\Roaming folder)
  • Delete the installer folder.
  • Run the VCSA installer again and you see the datastores again

List all the active VMware Horizon client versions that are used

Before upgrading a VMware Horizon environment I want to known what VMware Horizon Client versions are in use.  Just to be sure that the VMware Horizon clients are supported when upgrading to a new VMware Horizon version.

Another use-case is to identify the VMware Horizon Client versions that are in use for security releated issues.  In the VMware Horizon Administrator you can allow what VMware Horizon client versions are able to connect.

The following script displays all the VMware Horizon sessions and the VMware Horizon client version that is used to connect to the VMware Horizon environment.

Make sure that the VMware.HV.Helper module is installed (Link).

&lt;#
.SYNOPSIS
    HorizonClient.ps1.ps1
.VERSION
    1.0
.DESCRIPTION
    List all the Connection and displays the VMware Horizon client version. 
.NOTES
    Author(s): Ivo Beerens
    Requirements:  
        Make sure the VMware.HV.Helper module is installed, see: https://github.com/vmware/PowerCLI-Example-Scripts
        Copy the VMware.Hv.Helper to the module location.
.EXAMPLE
    PS&gt; ./HorizonClient.ps1
#&gt;

# Variables
$connectionserver = 'srv-con-01'
$domain = 'lab.local'
$date = Get-date -UFormat "%d-%m-%Y"
$output = "C:\Temp\horclients-$date.csv"

# Import module
Import-Module VMware.Hv.Helper

Write-Output "", "Connecting to the Horizon Connection Server"
Connect-HVServer -Server $connectionserver -domain $domain

# List all Users and clients with the Horion client the are running
$localsessioninfo = (get-HVlocalsession).Namesdata | Select-Object UserName, MachineOrRDSServerName, AgentVersion, DesktopPoolCN, ClientType, ClientAddress, ClientName, ClientVersion, SecurityGatewayDNS, SecurityGatewayAddress | Sort-Object ClientVersion

# Export the output to a grid and CSV file
$localsessioninfo | Out-GridView -Title 'VMware Horizon Client versions'
$localsessioninfo | export-csv $output -Force -NoTypeInformation

Disconnect-HVServer * -Confirm:$false

This script (HorizonClients.ps1) can be found on my GitHub repo (Link)

Disable the little drawing (known as search highlights) in the Windows 10/11 search bar

After deploying new Windows 10/11 images with the latest updates, Microsoft has included Search highlights. You can see if you have search highlights enabled when having a little drawing in the search bar. When clicking on the search bar it extends with graphics and more crap.

So what are search highlights?

Designed to help Windows users discover more information and related content, search highlights present noteworthy, informative, and interesting information of what’s special about each day—like holidays, anniversaries, and other moments in time both globally and in your region

This new feature can be nice for home users but not for most enterprise environments. So I disable this feature for all the Windows 10/11 deployments.

Disable search highlights by using a Group Policy Object (GPO) 

  • Make sure you have at least the Administrative Templates (admx) for Windows 10 November 2021 Update (21H2) – v2.0 (link).
  • Copy the ADMX files to the Group Policy Central Store in the sysvol folder (example: \\<fqd domain name>\SYSVOL\<fqd domain name>\policies\PolicyDefinitions)
  • Create or edit a Group Policy Object (GPO) to the OU where the computer objects are placed
  • Browse to Computer Configuration – Policies – Administrative Templates – Windows Components – Search
  • Open the “Allow search highlights” setting and select Disable
  • Perform a “gpupdate /force”  on the Windows client

 

Disable search highlights by registry setting

Another method is by creating a registry key on the Windows 10/11 machine.

  • Execute the following command as administrator:
REG ADD "HKEY_LOCAL_MACHINE\SOFTWARE\Policies\Microsoft\Windows\Windows Search" /v "EnableDynamicContentInWSB" /t REG_DWORD /d "0" /f

Disabling this setting turns off search highlights in the taskbar search box and in search home.