Upgrade Citrix (XenServer) Tools for Windows cloud servers

Supported Operating Systems

  • Windows Server 2008
  • Windows Server 2008 R2
  • Windows Server 2012
  • Windows Server 2012 R2

Citrix® tools are fundamental to the proper operation of virtualized Cloud Servers
in the Rackspace Cloud infrastructure. They are the underlying drivers for the
virtual machine, giving it access to virtual hardware, specifically networking
and block devices.

This article explains how to upgrade the Citrix Tools for Virtual Machines on
Windows® Cloud Servers. These tools should only be touched if the Windows
server has issues such as Blue Screen of Death (BSoD) or if support has
recommended upgrading the tools.

Warning: Performing the steps in this article incurs network downtime.
Therefore, do not perform these steps on a production server because the process
causes network disruption and multiple server reboots. Instead,
create an image of the production server on which to perform the upgrade.


Before you begin, perform the following actions:

  • Create a backup of your data from the server by using the Cloud Backup.
  • Create a Cloud Image of the server to retain its configuration.
  • Install the latest version of the Windows Agent on the production server.

Create a backup by using Cloud Backup

Use the Cloud Backup product to back up all user data. This
Cloud Backup instruction
covers the installation of the Cloud Backup agent and the configuration of the

Create an image of the production server

  1. Create an image
    of the production server that needs the upgrades. This can take less than an
    hour or multiple hours, depending on the size of your server's virtual hard
    drive. You can find more information about images on the
    Cloud Images FAQ.

  2. Create a new server by using the image that you created.

  3. Verify that the new server boots properly and that all data and services are intact.

The new server that you created from the image is considered your non-production
server. Perform the actions in all of the following sections on this server.

Upgrade the Rackspace Cloud Servers agent and download the Xenserver Tools 6.5

The upgrade requires an active connection to the Internet. Follow these steps
to install the Rackspace Cloud Servers agent.

  1. Start a command prompt as an administrator.

  2. In the command prompt, run the following code:

       powershell.exe -NoProfile -NoLogo -InputFormat None -ExecutionPolicy Bypass -Command "iex(New-Object Net.WebClient).DownloadString('https://87df11eb517b9ca6b2dd-2feac036ecfab0eba46621f3ae4943bc.ssl.cf1.rackcdn.com/latest/Update-Xentools.ps1')"

    Your output should be similar to the following:

       Info  :: STEP 1 => Update the Nova Agent
       Info  :: Starting the Agent Upgrade to version
       Warn  :: RackspaceCloudServersAgent RackspaceCloudServersAgentUpdater is stopped
       Info  :: Downloading the AgentService_1.3.1.1.zip
       Info  :: Downloaded Successfully AgentService_1.3.1.1.zip in  C:\Windows\Temp
       Info  :: Downloading the UpdateService_1.3.1.1.zip
       Info  :: Downloaded Successfully UpdateService_1.3.1.1.zip in  C:\Windows\Temp
       Info  :: Renaming Agent to
       Info  :: Renaming AgentUpdater to
       Info  :: Unzipping AgentService.zip to Agent)
       Info  :: Creating the Directory C:\Program Files\Rackspace\Cloud Servers\Agent
       Info  :: Unzipping UpdateService.zip to AgentUpdater
       Info  :: Creating the Directory C:\Program Files\Rackspace\Cloud Servers\AgentUpdater
       Info  :: Cloning the AgentLog from Agent1.3.0.1 to Agent
       Info  :: Removing AgentService_1.3.1.1.zip and UpdateService_1.3.1.1.zip
       Info  :: Restarting the Agent and AgentUpdater services
       Info  :: STEP 1 => DONE!!!
       Info  :: STEP 2 => Download the latest XenServer Tools on the Server
       Info  :: Downloaded Successfully xs-tools-6.5.0-20200.zip in  C:\rs-pkgs
       Info  :: Creating the Directory C:\rs-pkgs\xs-tools-6.5.0-20200
       Info  :: STEP 2 => DONE!!!
       Info  :: ***************************************************************************************
       Info  :: STEP 3 => Before executing the installation of the Xenserver Tools,
                          YOU MUST CREATE A SNAPSHOT OF YOUR SERVER using the Control Panel
                          The Snapshot will allow you to recover your server if the installation fails.
                          Once you are done with This Step 3, Start the installation at STEP 4
       Warn  :: STEP 4 => Execute the Xenserver tools Installer.
                          Before you execute the installer, connect to the Console of the server
                          in the Control Panel, because the server will reboot few times on its own.
                          You will loose network access and Remote Desktop will fail
                          until the installation is completed.
                          Execute:  C:\rs-pkgs\xs-tools-6.5.0-20200\install.bat

Upgrade to XenServer Tools 6.5 on the new non-production server

Note: You must perform the following steps by using the console and not RDP,
because network connectivity will be interrupted. As an alternative to Java, there
are several ways to generate NoVNC (HTML5) console URLs.

Access the non-production server's Java console through the Cloud Control Panel.

  1. Log in to the Cloud Control Panel.

  2. In the top navigation bar, click Select a Product > Rackspace Cloud.

  3. Select Servers > Cloud Servers.

  4. On the Servers page, click the gear icon next to the server’s name and select Emergency Console.

To send API requests, use cURL from the command line, use the browser plugin of
your choice, or log in to Pitchfork
with your Rackspace username and API key. Before sending the API call, be sure
to change the console_type to novnc. The response contains the URL to the
console. Copy and paste the link into a new browser tab. Note that these URLs
expire after about 10 minutes, and if the console is not in use, the session is

Now, from the emergency console, run the following commands:

  1. Start a command prompt as an administrator.

  2. In the command prompt, run the following code:

  3. The server automatically restarts several times but might need to be manually
    rebooted if requested by Windows. Log back in using the console after each reboot
    and follow any Windows prompts. Allow Windows to automatically detect and
    install the needed drivers if requested by the driver software installation
    dialogue box.

  4. After the installation is complete, there might be a final device for which drivers
    can not be detected or installed in Windows Server 2008. This device is
    known as a vm_gen_counter, and Windows did not support it until Windows Server 2012.
    Find more information in VM-Generation ID.

  5. Ping the server's IP address from a remote location to confirm that the network is working.

  6. If the server's network is not working or the network configuration does not
    seem correct, you might need to reset the network manually. To do this,
    send the resetnetwork action to the servers API.

Warning to RackConnect v2 Customers: Manually resetting a server's network
by using the API re-enables the server's public interface, and possibly
removes the default route to your RackConnect Gateway. We advise customers with
a RackConnect configuration to reach out to Rackspace support for help if you have
network connectivity problems after upgrading Citrix Tools.

Perform a network reset

To reset the server's network via the API, log in to
Pitchfork with
your Rackspace username and API key. Issue the, Reset Network call using the
server UUID.

Alternately, to reset the server's network by hand, navigate to C:\rs-pkgs\ to find
separate text files that contain the IP configuration and routing information
that was present before you upgraded the Citrix Tools.

Decide which server to keep

After performing the preceding steps on the new, non-production server, decide
whether to use the new server as your production server or continue using the
original production server from which you made the new image. This section
explains your options.

Option 1: Use the new server as the production server

Now that the new server contains the updated Citrix Tools for Virtual Machines
and Rackspace Cloud Servers agent, it might be almost ready for production use.

You can delete the original server and continue using the new server as your
production server. Usually, this is the quickest and easiest option.

One notable caveat to this option is that the IP address on the new sever is
different from the IP address of your original production server. You cannot transfer
the original server's IP address to the new server. You can mitigate this issue
if you used Cloud Load Balancers with your original server. If
you were using load balancers, simply remove the original server (node) from the
load balancer and add the new one.

Before deleting the original server, ensure that you restore all important data
to the new server. This includes any data that might reside on
an ephemeral disk drive that is not included in the image of the original server.
If you are not sure what an ephemeral drive is, see the
Rackspace Core Infrastructure User Guide.
If you are still uncertain, contact Rackspace support for further guidance.

If the original server does have ephemeral storage, you can migrate the data to
the new server in a number of ways. If both servers have a service network IP
address, you can use the file sharing built into Windows. Alternatively, you
could use FTP, FTPS, or our Cloud Backup agent for cloud servers, which you can
install on both Windows and Linux® instances.

You can also transfer data between servers by adding Cloud Block Storage to the
original server. You create a volume and attach it to the original server, copy
the data that you need to the volume, detach the volume from the original server,
and then attach the volume to the new server where the ephemeral drive had been
mounted before, for example, D:. The following articles can help you get

If you decide to use this option one, we recommend taking a final image of the
server that you can use as a base image to create new servers or rebuild
your current server.

Option 2: Perform installation steps on the original production server

You can perform all of the installation steps on the production server during a
planned maintenance window. The server retains its original IP address.

After installing the Citrix Tools on the non-production server, you
better understand how long your maintenance window should be.

Before you start this process on the production server, we
recommend that you have proper backups, preferably both an image of the server
and backups of all important content on the server. Although the previously-built
new server should still be accessible and contain a nearly identical root file
system of the original server, multiple backups enable you to use the Cloud Backup
agent, which you can install on both Windows and Linux cloud servers.

You can delete the non-production server where you tested the upgrade after the
maintenance window closes.

Option 3: Rebuild the original production from an image of the new server

You can rebuild the original production server from an image of the new server.
The server retains its original IP address.

Of all three options, this option takes the most time. The length
of time depends on how large your new non-production server's virtual hard drive is.

Warning: If you choose this option, we recommend that you create the proper
backups as outlined in Option 2. Rebuilding a server destroys all of the
original server's data and installs the image that you select.

  1. In the Cloud Control Panel, create an image of your new non-production server
    and wait for the image to build.

  2. In the Cloud Control Panel, navigate to the original server's Server Detail page.
    Underneath the server's UUID, click Rebuild.

  3. In the pop-up dialog box that appears, click the Saved tab to view your
    saved images and then select the image you created in step 1.

  4. Click Rebuild Server.