I am playing with App-V in my testlab, and wondered if its possible to backup the cache and restore it again after reinstalling the computer.

We have a lot of machines in our company that are on a slow network and when we reinstall these computers it takes a while for the applications to be redeployed, so what I want to do is copy the cache (C:\ProgramData\Microsoft\Application Virtualization Client\SoftGrid Client) to a USB pen, reinstall the machine and then restore the cache. Then the users will be able to use their machines again without having to wait for packages to install from SCCM (we use download and run method to deploy).

After restoring the cache I (of course) have no packages registered in the App-V client. I have tried playing with the SFTMIME ADD PACKAGE and SFT PUBLISH PACKAGE commands, but it seems like I need to specify the path to the .SFT to make it work.
Is it possible to backup some parts of the registry to save the details about applications that are installed?

Anyone got any ideas about how to make this work, or even if its possible?

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I think you need to look at your SCCM configuration and put in some protected branch DP's to serve these machines on the slow links. Updating the DPs can be done out of office hours using BITS, so your client machines are pulling the packaging down from a local DP and not impacting the network link traffic.

A desktop OS machine can be used as a branch DP for small remote locations, or something beefier if you prefer with a server OS - remember your limited on the number of network connections to a client OS box.

If you're using SCCM OSD to reinstall the machines, then that must be putting a lot of strain on the link too (unless you're lifting them and removing to another site to rebuild) - if you had the branch DP it would rebuild faster and without the impact actually on site. Your core App-V packages can then be put in a task sequence for the build, meaning even less delay in redeploying these apps as you're not waiting for polling intervals.

I think the approach your suggesting could work - in theory, but you are then taking the control away from SCCM and you have no way of accurately reporting on deployments and what is out there.

Hope that helps,

Answered 10/08/2010 by: dunnpy
Red Belt

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Thanks Dunnpy,

I agree with your points about SCCM config. We are looking into either Branch DP or Branch Cache at the moment to see if these can help us out.

I am fully aware that what I am trying to do here is not a best practice/supported way of doing it, but it is fun none the less. I find that I learn a lot from exercises like this.

So far I have found that the system process locks the sftfs.fsd file even if I stop the App-V services, so I need to disable services and reboot machine to take a copy of the cache.

I am struggling now with how to get the shortcuts and file extensions back without having the .sft file in the SCCM cache. I seem to need the path to the .sft file for the overrideurl switch.

SFTMIME ADD PACKAGE:READER /MANIFEST "manifest.xml" /overrideurl "C:\Windows\SysWOW64\CCM\Cache\CO1000B8.1.xxx\CO1000B8.sft"

If I copy the .xml file and run these commands then I can get the file associations and the shortcut (with wrong icon)
SFTMIME ADD PACKAGE:READER /MANIFEST "c:\data\AR_934_R1_manifest.xml"

but get "checking for updates" when I start the application followed by error ""0A-10000002"

Does anyone know how the SFTMIME work? Where do they write reg keys and what files are updated?
Answered 10/08/2010 by: JimmyG
Senior Yellow Belt

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