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Corrupt applications when deploying Windows 8.1 with App-V 5.0 to Lenovo Yoga S1

shaun molnar on October 24th, 2014 with 0 Comments »

So we came across a real doozie of a problem that took a few weeks to solve. We thought we could save some grey hairs out there and share our solution.

The Scenario:
SCCM 2012 R2 CU1 deploying a WIM which contained Windows 8.1 with App-V 5.0 SP2 CU5. We cached approx. 50 AppV packages in the image. This process has been working great for the last 12 months on all hardware models (8) in the environment. In walks the Lenovo Yoga S1. Now don’t get me wrong, I think the Yoga S1 is an amazing device. One of the best on the market for the last 12 months. We added the drivers and utilities to SCCM and started deploying them. Over 300 in total. It wasn’t until weeks later we started getting minor complaints that applications were coming up as unregistered, or files were missing. This was only happening on the Lenovo Yoga S1.

We did a test deploy and found that straight after a deployment the AppV apps were indeed broken. Not all of them, just some. Seeminlgy random apps, but nonetheless they didn’t work, yet on a Dell XT3 sitting right next to it, everything worked perfectly.

The troubleshooting began, and we found that permissions on the App-V VFS folder differed between the Lenovo Yoga and the Dell XT3. Weird right? this is the same image just deployed to different models, and permissions were different.

We ran out of ideas and troubleshooting tests eventually and decided to log a call with Microsoft. Five support teams later and it wasn’t looking good. Was it AppV? Was it Windows 8.1? Was it a security patch? Was it a driver? Nobody knows.

Finally we had a good hard think about what is so different between the two devices. The ONLY thing that remained was that the Lenovo Yoga S1 was running UEFI, not Legacy BIOS. We switched the BIOS settings back to Legacy and that is all she wrote.

On top of that, moving back to the legacy BIOS has also resolved one of the biggest problems with the Yoga S1, which was the unstable and extremely dodgy external USB Ethernet dongle. The device as a whole is now solid as a rock. Deploying perfectly every time. All we can think of is that at some point early on in the Yoga lifetime, a BIOS update has broken UEFI which in turn is affecting App-V of all things. Now I say that because it was the most obvious problem, however the Yoga has had all sorts of random issues. But not anymore!