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Methods to Prevent the Loss of Application Data

Created: 28 Sep 2011 • Updated: 28 Sep 2011 | 1 comment
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Dwight Tanner's picture
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When an application layer creates or modifies files they are stored in the writeable sublayer. If the layer is then reset, the files in the writeable sublayer are deleted. This behavior lets you reset an application to the default state if settings become corrupted. However, many applications create data files that you do not want to lose when a layer is reset. These files need to be stored on the base file system and not in the layer to prevent potential loss.

For example, you create and activate a Microsoft Word layer. You do not create any layer exclude entries, global exclude entries, or data layers to redirect .doc files from the layer’s writeable sublayer. You then activate the Microsoft Word layer and use it to create .doc files that you save on the computer’s hard drive. If you then reset the Word layer, all of the .doc files you created are lost.

To prevent the loss of application data when a layer is reset, you must ensure that the data is not stored in the application layer.

The Workspace Virtualization Agent provides the following methods that you can use to prevent the loss of application data:

Table 1-1 Methods to prevent the loss of application data

Method Description
Data layer You can create a data layer that captures the application data files that have specified extensions or that are in a specified directory. A data layer captures the application data so that it is not redirected to the writeable sublayer of the application layer.

See “Creating data layers”

Layer exclude entry You can create layer exclude entries for an application layer. A layer exclude entry can be a file extension or a directory. Application data that matches the layer exclude entry is saved in the base file system.

See “Adding a layer exclude entry”

Global exclude entry You can create global exclude entries for a computer. A global exclude entry can be a file extension or a directory. A global exclude entry applies to all layers on a computer. Application data that matches the global exclude entry is saved in the base file system.

See “Adding a global exclude entry”

New Reset Point You can copy the data from the writeable sublayer to the read-only sublayer using a new reset point.

See “Creating a new reset point”

Non-local storage You can also save the application data of a virtualized application to a non-local storage device, such as a network share. The data is then not redirected to the application layer.

Creating a data layer

You create data layers to capture data files into a dedicated layer. Data layers can store the data that would otherwise be written to an application layer or the base file system.

You can create a data layer that captures all files with specified extensions (for example, all files with a .doc extension). Files with specified extensions are captured even if they are generated outside of the layer.

You can also create a data layer for a specific directory (for example, the My Documents folder). When you specify a directory, you can include its subdirectories. Any files that are saved into this directory are saved in the data layer.

When a data layer is activated on a computer, files that already exist on the computer are not automatically captured into the layer. However, any files that match the specifications of the data layer are redirected to the layer when they are modified.

To create a data layer

  1. Start the SWV Admin tool.
  2. Click Start > All Programs > Symantec > Workspace > Virtualization > Symantec Workspace Virtualization Admin.
  3. In the SWV Admin tool, on the File menu, click New Layer.
  4. On the Create new layer dialog box, click Data layer, and then click Next.
  5. On the second dialog box, type a name for the layer. In the Data layer details section, click either the File extension(s) separated by semi-colon or Directory option, and then specify the extensions or directory. Layer names are limited to 50 characters. To create a data layer that uses both file extensions and a directory, you must edit the layer after it is created.
  6. Click Next, and then click Finish. The layer appears in the SWV Admin tool.

Adding a layer exclude entry

You add a layer exclude entry to exclude files from a specific layer. A layer can have any number of exclude entries.

To add a layer exclude entry

  1. Start the SWV Admin tool.
  2. Click Start > All Programs > Symantec > Workspace > Virtualization > Symantec Workspace Virtualization Admin.
  3. In the SWV Admin tool, deactivate and then double-click the layer.
  4. In the Layer Properties dialog box, click the Exclude Entries tab.
  5. In the top list box, on the right-click menu, click New Exclude Entry.
  6. On the Layer exclude entry dialog box, click either the File extension or the Directory option, and then specify the extension or directory. It doesn’t matter if you include the period before the extension. Enter only one extension per entry. To exclude subdirectories, check Exclude Subdirectories.
  7. Click OK. The exclude entry appears in the list box.
  8. To edit or delete an exclude entry, on the entries right-click menu, click Modify Exclude Entry or Delete Exclude Entry.

Adding a global exclude entry

You add a global exclude entry to exclude files from all layers on the computer. A computer can have any number of global exclude entries.

To add a global exclude entry

  1. 1. Start the SWV Admin tool.
  2. 2. Click Start > All Programs > Symantec > Workspace > Virtualization > Symantec Workspace Virtualization Admin.
  3. 3. In the SWV Admin tool, on the File menu, click Global Excludes.
  4. 4. In the global excludes pane, on the right-click menu, click New Exclude Entry.
  5. 5. In the Global Excludes dialog box, on the right-click menu, click New Exclude Entry. On the Global exclude entry dialog box, click either the File extension or Directory option, and then specify the extension or directory. It doesn’t matter if you include the period before the extension. Enter only one extension per entry. To exclude subdirectories, check Exclude Subdirectories.
  6. 6. Click OK. The exclude entry appears in the list box.
  7. 7. To edit or delete a global exclude entry, right-click entries, and then click Modify Exclude Entry or Delete Exclude Entry.

Creating a new reset point

When an application layer is created, the application’s data is stored in a read-only sublayer. When a user runs the application, all of the data that the application creates is saved in a writeable sublayer. When you reset the application layer, the data in the writeable sublayer is deleted and the read-only sublayer is maintained.

Creating a new reset point merges the existing contents from the writable sublayer with the read-only sublayer. This option can help preserve customizations and prevent data loss when a reset occurs.

To create a new reset point

  1. In the SWV Admin tool, right-click the deactivated layer for which you want to create a new reset point. Click New Reset Point.
  2. The Export layer before creating new reset point option creates a backup version of the layer with its original reset point. The Copy current user's settings to default user's settings area option merges the contents of the writeable sublayer. This option restores these settings when the layer is reset.

To reset an application layer

  1. Start the SWV Admin tool.
  2. Click Start > All Programs > Symantec > Workspace > Virtualization > Symantec Workspace Virtualization Admin.
  3. In the SWV Admin tool, on a layer’s right-click menu, click Reset.
  4. Click Yes.

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Subbaiah's picture

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