Q. What are the dummy printer and ODBC connections I should create on a Microsoft Application Virtualization (App-v) sequencer? Why do I need them?

A. When you sequence an application, the information that makes up the virtualized application includes the changes made during the application’s installation. If the application installs a printer driver or ODBC connection, it will become part of the virtualized application. However, if no printer or ODBC connection existed on the sequencer box, the entire configuration areas for printers and ODBC will be seen as new during the application installation and made part of the sequenced application. These would interfere with local printers and ODBC connections when the virtualized program is run on a normal machine. To avoid this possibility, a dummy printer and user/system ODBC connection are created on a sequence machine before sequencing an application to ensure only specific printer/ODBC entries are added to a virtualized application—not the entire ODBC/printer configuration.

To create the dummy ODBC connections:

  1. Start the Data Sources (ODBC) applet (Start, Administrative Tools, Data Sources (ODBC)).
  2. Select the User DSN tab and click Add….
  3. Select SQL Server and click Finish.
  4. Select a name of Dummy, add a description that lets people knows it’s for sequencing purposes, enter a server of Dummy, and click Next.
  5. Unselect the Connect to SQL Server to obtain default settings for the additional configuration options check box and click Next. Keep clicking Next until the end of the dialog and click Finish.
  6. Click OK, but don’t select Test Data Source….
  7. Repeat the same process as above, but under the System DSN tab

For the dummy printer:

  1. Start the Printers and Faxes Control Panel applet (Devices and Printers in Windows 7).
  2. Select Add a Printer and click Next.
  3. Select Local printer attached to this computer, deselect Automatically detect and install my Plug and Play printer, and click Next.
  4. Leave the default, LPT1, as the port and click Next.
  5. Select a basic printer manufacturer and printer (I usually use an HP LaserJet) then click Next.
  6. Type Dummy for the printer name and click Next.
  7. Don't print a test page—click Finish.

Once complete you should have something like the setup shown below. (You’ll also have a dummy entry under System DSN.) You’re now ready to sequence.

App-V Dummy Connections

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