How to Access Windows 8 CP via PCoIP with VMware View

An article by Andre Leibovici from

I have recently posted a video showing Windows 8 Customer Preview being streamed via PCoIP to an iPad, and I received comments and emails asking for a step-by-step guide to reproduce the solution. If you didn’t have the chance to watch the video go to Windows 8 CP + View 5.0 with PCoIP + iPad [video].

Before I go ahead I must say that the procedures mentioned below are unsupported by VMware and should not be executed in Production environment. I urge you to use a non-production environment to test the solution below.

ok, with supportability disclaimer out of the way we can move ahead…

I will highlight here the steps required to prepare the ESXi host and Master VM. I will also point to some of the articles already available on the web that explain how to accomplish each task.

1. Install VMware ESXi 5.0 patch release ESXi500-201112001 patch.

Install Windows 8 Consumer Preview as VM in VMware vSphere 5
How to Run Windows 8 Consumer Preview & Windows 8 Server on vSphere 5

2. Create a new VM and Install Windows 8 CP.

Install Windows 8 Consumer Preview as VM in VMware vSphere 5

Important: When creating the VM make sure you select Windows 7 64-bit as Guest OS. This is important to allow you to select the 3D option. Without 3D the display quality will be deprecated.

Important: Assign 128MM RAM for the video card. This is important to give maximum display performance to the desktop with Metro UI.


At this stage you should have a working Windows 8 CP VM. Next

3. Install VMtools
4. Install VMware View Agent 5.0 64-bit.

During the installation of the Agent you will be asked for the IP address/hostname and authentication credentials for one of the connection servers. This happens because VMware View Agent install set doesn’t understand the Windows 8 kernel level. I’ll later post a way to avoid that. For now, enter the requested information.

Important: De-select Persona Management during the installation process.

5. (Optional) Power the VM down and take a snapshot for easy roll-back should something happen to the VM.

By now you would be expecting to see the VM under “Registered Desktops”; but you will not. VMware View 5.0 doesn’t recognize the Windows 8 OS version, therefore not populating a critical information in the ADAM database.


VMware View Connection Server

VMware View classifies the Guest OS version and only allows certain operations based on the version property. Without hacking into the internal database VMware View will not allow you to add Windows 8 to a desktop pool. You want to use manual pool because they allow PCoIP and also allow you to add ad-hoc computers.

The Guest OS version information is kept in the internal ADAM database (Active Directory Application Mode). The steps below will explain how to change the Guest OS version.

6. Connect to one of your connection servers via RDP and execute the EDSI Edit tool or adsiedit.msc. If your connection server is Windows 2K3 you will need to install the EDSI Edit tool. Download it from here.

7. Use the connection settings below to connect to the internal ADAM LDAP (DC=vdi,DC=vmware,DC=int). Click OK.



8. Navigate to Servers OU and select and open the latest CN added to the list. At this point you should be able to see a property ‘Display Name’ containing the name of the server. If this is not the server you are adding you will need to find the correct CN.

If you have problems finding your VM because your ADAM has to many enties, read VMware View Pool Membership Management using PowerCLI. The PowerShell object View-Get-Objects will help you to retrieve elements from the ADAM database.

9. Because VMware View is not ready to understand Windows 8 kernel version the pae-OSVersion property is not populated during the View Agent registration process.Navigate to the ‘pae-OSVersion’ property and change it from 0 to 5. Click OK.



At this point the Windows 8 VM is available under ‘Registered Desktop Sources’ in the VMware View dashboard. Now you will need to create a View Manual Desktop Pool (non vCenter Managed) and add the desktop into the pool. Grant user entitlements and than you should have your Windows 8 CP VM accessible via PCoIP.

In a later post I will explain how to configure automated pools with Windows 8 CP.


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