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August 21, 2014

5

Lync 2013 VDI Plugin on Windows Embedded 8.1

When trying to setup some new thin clients using Windows Embedded 8.1 Industry Enterprise, we ran into a problem where the Lync 2013 VDI Plugin would not work.  The Lync 2013 VDI plug-in would successfully pair with the Lync 2013 Client (green check box in the lower right hand corner of the client) but the Lync client would error saying that there was no Audio Devices available.

I dug into Device Manager on the Thin Client and noticed that the Polycom Phone that I was using was loaded in device manager and healthy. Since I know that embedded shares a lot of the same with Windows 8.1 Enterprise, I attempted to install Windows 8.1 Enterprise on my Thin Client with the Lync VDI plug-in and test from there.  I quickly found that this worked perfectly fine.

At this point I started to think about what was different between the two and figured it must be related to Embedded Lockdown Features.  As you may know, Windows Embedded introduced a new USB Filter. Back on my Windows Embedded 8.1 device, I checked and confirmed that USB Filter was not enabled.  I tested with it enabled and disabled and explicitly allowing my USB phone, all still failed.  I then decided to try to fully disable/uninstall the USB Filter using Windows Features.  After USB Filter was removed, I tested again and it worked!  I updated all my images to make sure USB Filter is not enabled at a feature level and all is good.

It appears that the Lync VDI Plugin cannot be used with the USB Filter installed (there must be some conflict).  Unfortunately, this is not documented anyway by Microsoft and Microsoft support was fully unaware of this issue.  All documentation on the Lync VDI plugin is mostly 2 years old with no recent updates since Windows 8.1 family was released.  Hope someone finds this information useful.

Read more from Lync, Microsoft
5 Comments Post a comment
  1. Gary
    Jan 13 2015

    Excellent information, just saved a roll out that was almost cancelled because of this exact issue

    Reply
  2. Nick
    Feb 12 2015

    If the thin client is logged on with an admin account the Lync VDI plugin will pass the audio device to the Lync client in Citrix even with USB filter installed and configured
    If you logon as a standard user on the thin client then the audio device is not detected by Lync in the Citrix session.

    Reply
    • Brent
      Feb 12 2015

      Nick, thanks for the additional info! I had not tested with Admin users since our use case was with standard users; but it does makes sense that behavior could be different based on how the feature works.

      Reply
    • Chintan
      Jun 15 2015

      I am having the same problem with VMware view vdi. It works fine with the admin login but the pairing does not happen with user login. any help highly appreciated

      Reply
      • Brent
        Jun 19 2015

        Do you have the USB Filter featured installed? Having it installed but not configured won’t work, but the actual feature has to be uninstalled.

        Reply

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