Upgrading your Citrix Hypervisor Windows I/O drivers to the latest major version (9.x)

You can update your Windows VMs to the latest major version of the Windows I/O drivers quickly and easily by using Windows Updates, Management Agent updates, or, if you are using Citrix Hypervisor 8.1, by installing from the guest-tools.iso provided with Citrix Hypervisor 8.1.

These latest version of the drivers, whose version numbers start with 9 (9.0.x.x) are available for VMs with the following Windows operating systems: Windows 8.1, Windows 10, Windows Server 2012, Windows Server 2012 R2, Windows Server 2016, Windows Server Core 2016, Windows Server 2019, Windows Server Core 2019.

Note: For other versions of Windows, the Management Agent automatic updates or the guest tools ISO can be used to update your I/O drivers to a newer version of the 8.2.x.x drivers. The update process described in this article does not apply to updates to the latest 8.2.x.x drivers.

To successfully complete the upgrade,you must ensure that the following is true:

  • All requested reboots have been performed as part of the upgrade process. To complete this upgrade, there can be up to three reboots required.
  • All I/O drivers (xenbus, xenvif, xeniface, xennet, xenvbd) have been updated to the latest versions (9.0.x.x)

Important: The verson 9.0.0.x drivers remove the quiesced snapshot capability. This capability is also removed from support in Citrix Hypervisor 8.1 and later. For more information, see Citrix Hypervisor 8.1 Deprecations and removals.

To continue to use the quiesced snapshot feature with Windows VMs hosted on Citrix Hypervisor 8.0 and earlier, do not update to the 9.0.0.x drivers and retain your current 8.2.x.x version of the Windows I/O drivers.

Process

There are a number of different methods that you can use to install the 9.0.x.x Windows I/O drivers. Each process is slightly different and can require a different number of reboots.

Driver update through Windows Update

If you are a Citrix Hypervisor Premium Edition customer, you can receive the latest drivers through Windows Update. If you have configured your VM to use Windows Update, the installation has the following steps:

  • Windows Update detects a new version of xenbus
  • Windows Update downloads and installs xenbus 9.0.0.41
  • Depending on your Windows Update settings, you might be prompted for a reboot. If this prompt is not visible, you can check the driver in the Windows Device Manager to see the prompt.
  • User action: Reboot the VM.
  • The VM loads the 9.0.0.41 xenbus driver
  • The emulated disk and network are used
  • The other 8.2.x.x drivers rebind
  • Depending on your Windows Update settings, you might be prompted for a reboot. If this prompt is not visible, you can check the driver in the Windows Device Manager to see the prompt.
  • User action: (Optional) Reboot the VM.
    • The VM loads the 9.0.0.41 xenbus driver
    • The VM loads the other 8.2.x.x drivers
  • Windows Update downloads and installs the other 9.0.0.x drivers
  • Depending on your Windows Update settings, you might be prompted for a reboot. If this prompt is not visible, you can check the driver in the Windows Device Manager to see the prompt.
  • User action: Reboot the VM.
  • The VM loads all 9.0.0.x drivers.

Driver update through Management Agent automatic updates

If you are a Citrix Hypervisor Premium Edition customer, you can use the Management Agent automatic update feature to get the latest drivers. If you have configured your Management Agent to automatically update the drivers, the installation has the following steps:

  • The Management Agent automatic updates detects and downloads the new version of the Management Agent
  • Management agent installer runs silently
  • The drivers are copied into the Program FilesCitrixXenTools path
  • The drivers are not installed or updated automatically
  • User action:Update the drivers by usingDevice Manager.Select source location as C:Program FilesCitrixXenToolsDriversv9

For more information about the latest version of the Management agent, see https://support.citrix.com/article/CTX235403.

Driver update from the guest-tools.iso

The Citrix Hypervisor 8.1 installation media contains an ISO file that you can use to install the drivers in one of the following ways:

  • Autorunning the guest-tools.iso file on your Windows VM
  • Running the setup.exe file included in the ISO file on your Windows VM
  • Running one of the managementagentxXX.msi files (depending on your Windows VM architecture) on your Windows VM

For each of these methods, the installation has the following steps:

  • The XenTools installer dialogs launches and guides the user through the process.
  • User action: When the installer completes, the installer will prompt for a reboot.
  • The VM loads the 9.0.0.41 xenbus driver.
  • The emulated disk and network are used.
  • The other 9.0.0.x drivers are installed.
  • User action: When prompted, reboot the VM.
  • The VM loads all 9.0.0.x drivers.
  • The InstallAgent popup notifies that the installation is complete


Note: When installing from the guest-tools.iso, it might fail with the error message “Service ‘Citrix XenServer Windows Management Agent’ (XenSvc) could not be installed. Verify that you have sufficient privileges to install system services.” Work around this issue by uninstalling the Citrix VM Tools, rebooting the VM, and then installing the new tools. For more information about uninstalling the Citrix VM Tools, see theCitrix Hypervisor product documentation.

Verify your driver versions

To verify that all of your Windows I/O drivers have been updated to the latest version (9.0.0.x), you can do one of the following things:

  • In the VM, go to the WindowsDevice Manager. Right-click the driver. Go toProperties >Driver.
  • In the Citrix Hypervisor console, runxenstore-ls -f | grep driver.

If your drivers are successfully updated, they show the following versions (or later):

Recovery

If you experience an error when upgrading to the latest version of the Windows I/O drivers, get your VM back to a good state by completing the following actions:

  • Uninstall the Citrix VM Tools from your VM.
  • Reboot the VM
  • Reinstall the latest version of the Citrix VM Tools

The action of uninstalling the Citrix VM Tools does not uninstall the drivers from Device Manager. Uninstalling the drivers from Device Manager is not supported. However, uninstalling the Citrix VM Tools does refresh the install agent state, which allows the drivers to be reinstalled correctly.

For more information about uninstalling the Citrix VM Tools, see the product documentation.

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