How to Access Windows 8 CP via PCoIP with VMware View

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 .

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 ADSI Edit tool or adsiedit.msc. If your connection server is Windows 2K3 you will need to install the ADSI 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.

This article was first published by Andre Leibovici (@andreleibovici) at


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    • daniel on 03/08/2012 at 12:57 am

    You made my day!!!!

    Works perfect for me!

    Thx a lot!!!

    • Kaller on 03/08/2012 at 1:52 am

    Thx! It’s working! 🙂

  1. Thanks Andre. RDP works now, PCoIP doesn’t work. I think it has something to do with the video driver. If I look at device manager it says: Windows has stopped this device because it reported problems. Which driver do you use?

  2. I tried three times, I get everything done but the desktop Status never leaves the “Waiting for Agent”.

    Any ideas what might be wrong?

    I have disabled the Windows Firewall on the Windows 8 VM but that it did not help.

  3. Bump – anyone has found a resolution to the “Wating for Agent” issue with View 5 and Windows 8CP?

    • Brent on 03/26/2012 at 2:10 pm

    I had the same “Waiting for Agent” issue, but realized my problem was that I had been setting up the pool with a connection to vCenter when the last paragraph of the directions clearly state not to do this. Once I created a pool which wasn’t connected to vCenter I no longer had the agent issue.

  4. @Brent , when I try that and get to the point of selecting the “Physical PC”, I cannot find the Windows 8 VMs from the list, no matter what Filter I use. Any advise on how to get past that?

    Here’s what I try… Add Pool, Select Manual Pool type, Select Dedicated assignment, disable automatic assignment, select Other sources for desktop source, enter pool name, keep pool settings to default, then no matter what I try, the W8 VM never comes up to be selected.

    • Brent on 03/27/2012 at 4:51 pm

    @Stephane: Have you tried reinstalling the agent or restarting the view agent service on your Win8 VM? Did you double check that you did indeed edit the correct entry on your View connection server for the Win8 VM? I noticed mine View connection server had some ghost entries from previous VM’s. Also might be worth mentioning that I’m using View 5 (build 481677) along with the latest ESXi 5.0.0 (build 623860)

    • Datto on 03/28/2012 at 2:06 am

    Are you seeing your Windows 8 VM under “View Configuration\Registered Desktop Sources”? If not that may mean the View agent inside your VM isn’t talking to the Connection Broker correctly. Most likely that would be that the ADSIEDIT editing of the VM properties on the Connection Broker console isn’t working or isn’t correct. You should make sure the VM you’re selecting under the Connection Broker’s Servers OU when in ADSIEDIT is the correct VM (it’s easy to select the wrong VM in that list) — you’ll have to weed through each of the VMs in your Servers OU under ADSIEDIT on the Connection Broker to make sure you’ve selected the correct VM for the pae-OSVersion change from 0 to 5.


  5. Success! I uninstalled / re-installed the View Agent on the W8 VM, ensured that I edited the correct entry in the Connection Server and I was able to add it to the manual pool.

    It appears that the Metro apps don’t run on the iPad 2 screen resolution… oh well.

  6. @Stephane Quevillon

    You can change the screen resolution for the View iPad client using the menu.
    See how to change the resolution at Windows 8 CP + View 5.0 with PCoIP + iPad [video]


  7. Thanks – I picked that up from the video shorlty after my comment – works really well!

  8. I’ve been working on the Issue of why this works some times and not others and finally figured it out. I did a write up on it that ended up being very in-depth.

  9. @Stephane Quevillon
    You are welcome!

    @Chris Towles
    Thanks fro sharing your post.


    • David D on 05/29/2012 at 9:30 am

    Got it working fine with RDP but a black screen also when using PCoIP. I have other servers running PCoIP fine through the same security servers etc ( using 5.0 )

    Any ideas????

    Many thanks

  10. @David D
    Most common black screen cases are:

    – Higher resolution than signed Video RAM
    – Required network ports not open

    If you have PCoIP working for other desktops I would double check the 1st item.


    • David D on 05/31/2012 at 3:54 am

    Hi Andre

    The video ram is set to 128mb and the screen resolution is only 1024*768.

    Which video driver did you use? In windows 7 we had to revert to the SVGA II driver to get PCoIP working but I can’t seem to be able to use that one in Win 8.

    thanks again – its so close



  11. @David D
    During my tests with Window 8 I did not have to change video display drivers. PCoIP bits worked with Windows 8 CP natively and no changes to drivers or PCoIP server were necessary.
    Are you using VMware View 5.1 perhaps, or a different Windows 8 release?


    • Brent on 05/31/2012 at 12:11 pm

    You might want to hold off on the Win8 Consumer Preview. Microsoft just released the Win8 Release Preview you can grab at

    • David D on 06/06/2012 at 3:11 am

    Hi guys, upgraded to the new version of Win8 but still the same thing…… My PCoIP implementation seems really flaky – anyone else had the same?

  12. @David D
    Can you get connected via PCoIP at all?

    • David D on 06/14/2012 at 6:39 am

    The PCoIP works on win 7 and win XP desktops. When I look through the logs on the Win 8 box it says it is unsupported. Which version of view agent did you use to get it working???

  13. @David D
    For this blog post I used VMware View 5.0 GA.


    • David D on 06/15/2012 at 1:49 am

    Really weird, it works if I drop the guest memory to 3GB or less. Any more than that and its the black screen…….

    • jeb on 05/16/2014 at 7:43 pm

    Doesn’t work. VCP To resolve this I got view 5.2.

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