Citrix XenApp

Citrix XenApp 7.x VDA Registration State stuck in Initializing and a self healing powershell script to fix it


On XenApp 7.5 servers (and possibly 7.1 and 7.0), you may notice the registration state of the machine is stuck on “Initializing” in Citrix Studio and no one will be able to launch any apps. I’m still investigating if the 7.6 VDA also has this behavior. This is how it looks in Studio:


You can also run the following powershell command:

Add-PSSnapin Citrix.*.Admin.V*

followed by:

Get-BrokerMachine | select MachineName, SummaryState, MachineInternalState, RegistrationState

which results in:


You will notice the impacted server in question has a MachineInternalState set to “Unavailable” and the RegistrationState is stuck on “Initializing”. We’ve noticed this happening on XenApp servers that have been up around the 24 or 25 day mark. They suddenly stop being registered.

The work around is to restart the “Citrix Desktop Service” on the impacted server. The service is not in a Stopped state so it’s hard to setup monitoring using a 3rd party monitoring tool. I just wrote this PowerShell script that queries the delivery controller for the actual state of registration on every XenApp server to see if it’s stuck Initializing, restart the Citrix Desktop Service on the impacted servers, log a .csv file with the names of the impacted servers for historical purposes, and send an email notification out to the Citrix admins and NOC. I have this running as a scheduled task (stacked a few min apart) every 5 minutes on all my delivery controllers:

If the code runs off the page above you can highlight all of it and paste to Notepad or download it here in text format (make sure you right click – save as). Just change the extension to .ps1 and set your path for the CSV files, SMTP server, and email addresses you want notifications to go to:


Anyhow, you will get a nice notification email like this when servers get stuck. In this example I had 2 servers that were stuck Initializing and by the time the email was received the VDA had already been restarted on both and were Registered again. 🙂

I’m hoping this is fixed in the the 7.6 VDA and am in the process of testing. I really don’t like to have to setup scripts to monitor service health like this but in a pinch, running a self-healing monitoring script is your best bet to prevent an application outage until the issue is resolved. I’m currently monitoring all servers with the 7.6 VDA and will update this post if I see them exhibit the same behavior as the 7.5 VDA.

Just updated the script above to include the agent version. Here’s how your notification email and .csv file will look:



About Jason Samuel

Jason Samuel lives in Houston, TX with a primary focus on strategic advisory and architecture of end-user computing, security, enterprise mobility, virtualization, and cloud technologies from Citrix, Microsoft, & VMware. He also has an extensive background in web architecture and networking over his 20+ year career in IT. He is an Author, Speaker, and Local User Group Community Leader. He is certified in several technologies and is 1 of 63 people globally that is a recipient of the prestigious Citrix Technology Professional (CTP) award. He is 1 of 42 people in the world that has been awarded as a VMware EUC Champion and VMware vExpert. He is a featured author on DABCC which provides the latest IT Community News on Cloud, Data Center, Desktop, Mobility, Security, Storage, & Virtualization. In his spare time Jason enjoys writing how-to articles and evangelizing the technologies he works with. Disclaimer: The content and opinions expressed in articles and posts are his own and are by no means associated with his employer.

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  1. Lal Mohan

    February 12, 2015 at 8:00 PM

    Wouldn’t restarting the Desktop service on the failing server kill all the existing user sessions?

  2. Gizmo

    September 13, 2016 at 9:39 AM

    Furthermore, restarting the service shows in the event log that it successfully connected to the DDC yet the DDC still does not show the targets registered 🙁

  3. Arun

    March 10, 2017 at 1:29 AM

    Hi Jason,

    Recently we migrated XenApp 6.5 to XD 7.9 and we get the same issue reported
    Opened a case with Citrix and will keep posted with the updates on it.

  4. Magnus

    July 6, 2017 at 8:40 AM

    Restarting the desktop service doesn’t kill existing sessions (at least from my testing).
    When seeing the agent in an “initializing” state on a Win7 VDA, typically its an issue with either the video driver, or general connectivity type issue with the DDC or DNS entries not being correct. Restarting the service, in my experience, fixes about 20% of the machines that this issue occurs to.

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