Citrix Provisioning with VMXNET3 : Blue Screen of Death on Clones

imageIf you have been streaming Windows 7 or Windows 2008 R2 vDisks using Citrix Provisioning Services to VMware’s ESX, you’ve probably run into a Blue Screen of Death once or twice.  Frequently, this is related to the networking drivers and it has become a pretty standard practice to change the Virtual Machine’s NIC adapter from the default VMXNET3 to the more compatible E1000 driver to get around the issue.

Citrix acknowledged that this was an issue with the way new virtual machines registered the NICs using a portion of their unique MAC address.  This would cause Provisioning Services to fail with a BSOD during boot.  This did not affect the golden image but did break every subsequent clone from that image.  More about this issue is detailed in CTX125361.

In the last few months though, Citrix has released a Provisioning Services hotfix to deal with this specific issue.  You can find the specific hotfix in CTX128160.

Unfortunately, to apply this particular hotfix, you will need to reverse image the vDisk to the VM’s local drive and boot from it.  Once you have applied the hotfix and reinstalled the PVS Agent software (or run BindCFG), you can recreate your vDisk using XenConvert or the image wizard.  Be sure to switch the VM’s NIC driver to VMXNET3 as well.