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KB21428 - [ Pulse ] PCS files are missing when roaming profiles are used

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Last Modified Date12/29/2015 12:15 PM
Synopsis
This issue occurs when the Roaming Profile stored on the central server overwrites the profile stored on the local computer.
Problem or Goal

Windows utilizes the user profile, for the data that roams with it. Roaming user profiles are stored on a central server location. At log on, Windows copies the user profile from the server to the local machine. Any changes made to the user profile data will be updated on the server when the user logs off. This ensures that the client data follows users as they roam within the environment. The default profile locations are:


Windows XP User Profile Location:
C:\Documents and Settings\<USERNAME>\

Windows Vista And Windows 7 User Profile Location:
C:\Users\<USERNAME>\

Note: The AppData folder contains three subfolders: Roaming, Local, and LocalLow. Windows uses the Local and LocalLow folders for application data that does not roam with the user. Windows uses the Roaming folder for application specific data which roams with the user profile.

 

The Pulse Connect Secure Appliance currently installs Host Checker (HC), Secure Virtual Workspace (SVW), Cache Cleaner (CC), Secure Meeting (SM), Windows Terminal Service (WTS), and Citrix Terminal Service (CTS) in the user profile for XP and Vista/7 as well.

Windows XP User Profile Location:
C:\Documents and Settings\<USERNAME>\Application Data\Juniper Networks\

Windows Vista And Windows 7 User Profile Location:
C:\Users\<USERNAME>\AppData\Roaming\Juniper Networks\

When logged on to a domain machine from a remote location, the domain controller and the server hosting the roaming profile are not reachable. Users are then logged on to their machines with cached domain credentials, and a locally cached user profile. If a user installs or upgrades and juniper component stored in their profile, the changes are not updated on the server upon logoff as the central server is not reachable. Subsequently, when a user tries to log on to domain and reach the central server, the client and server profile settings conflict with each other. This leads to the server copying the previously saved user profile to the local computer, which in turn makes the server to remove any new files on the local user profile, which is added by the Juniper component install or upgrade.

Example:

  1. While on the corporate network, Logon to the Windows machine. The user profile stored on the central server location is copied to the local machine.
  2. Install Host Checker version 6.5R2, which does not install hcutils.dll in the C:\Users\<USERNAME>\AppData\Roaming\Juniper Networks\Host Checker directory.
  3. Upon logoff, Windows copies the Host Checker directory contained in the user profile from the local machine to the server.
Note: Changes made to your roaming profile will only be updated to the central server location on logoff.
  1. From a remote location, log into the windows machine with cached domain credentials and upgrade Host Checker to 7.0R2. This version of HC installs the hcutils.dll file in the Host Checker directory.
  2. Logoff from the Windows machine. The profile is not be updated on the server as it is currently unreachable, so the profile stored on the server continues to contain version 6.5R2.
  3. Once back on the corporate network, logon to the Windows machine. Since the previously saved user profile still contains version 6.5R2 of Host Checker, which does not have the hcutils.dll in it's directory, windows removes the hcutils.dll file from the local user profile, when it copies the server profile to the client machine.
  4. The next time when Logged on to SA version 7.0R2, the error-  The program can't start because hcutils.dll is missing from your computer, is generated when Host Checker runs.
Cause
Solution

By design, Juniper installs HC, SVW, CC, SM, WTS, and CTS in the user profile directory, and it is impossible to change the install directory. Customers can file a Request for Feature Enhancement (RFC) with their respective sales team, to change the install directory location for future releases.

Alternatively, group policy settings can be used to exclude the Juniper Directory from the roaming profiles. For more information, see the Microsoft TechNet article - Group Policy Recommendations for Roaming User Profiles. As per the article, this setting is in the User Configuration\Administrative Templates\System\User Profiles node of the Group Policy Object Editor.
This also holds true for Folder Redirection feature on the latest Windows platforms. 

Related Links
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Created ByData Deployment

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