In the summer of 2010 Erik wrote an article about “How to: Optimize guests for VMware View” in which he describes all sorts of changes he makes for a Windows XP or Windows 7 virtual desktop in a VDI environment. The changes that are suggested in the article are still valid, but after reading them I was wondering if there are new additions, specifically with Windows 8 now on the market. During my search I quickly came across a Visual Basic script that was released by Microsoft on their Technet site for optimization of a Windows 8 virtual desktop.

At the beginning of the script there is a disclaimer that you should have knowledge of the vb scripting language and that you should proceed with caution. Since the script is fairly long and a lot of changes are being made I decided to break the script down and put this in a table to give an overview of the services and settings being changed. As the title of the article indicates this is part 1 of the article, in part 2 I will try to explain the different pieces of the script in such a way that more people might understand what is happening inside the script.

While putting everything into a table I also looked if these changes could be made for a Windows 7 desktop too. The table is divided in several parts (and one bullet list) to provide some more overview to the whole.

Services:

Services nameChangeWin8Win7
Application Layer GatewayDisable startXX
Background Intelligent TransferDisable startXX
Bitlocker Drive EncryptionDisable startXX
Block Level Backup EngineDisable startXX
Bluetooth SupportDisable startXX
BranchCacheDisable startXX
Computer BrowserDisable startXX
Device AssociationDisable startX
Device Setup ManagerDisable startX
Diagnostic PolicyDisable startXX
Distributed Link Tracking ClientDisable startXX
Encrypting File SystemDisable startXX
Family SafetyDisable startX
FaxDisable startX
Function Discovery Resource PublicationDisable startXX
HomeGroup ListenerDisable startXX
HomeGroup ProviderDisable startXX
Microsoft iSCSI InitiatorDisable startXX
Microsoft Software Shadow Copy ProviderDisable startXX
Network List ServiceAuto startXX
Optimize DrivesDisable startX
Secure Socket Tunneling ProtocolDisable startXX
Sensor MonitoringDisable startX
Shell Hardware DetectionDisable startXX
SNMP TrapDisable startXX
SSDP DiscoveryDisable startXX
TelephonyDisable startXX
ThemesDisable startXX
UPnP Device HostDisable startXX
Volume Shadow CopyDisable startXX
Windows BackupDisable startXX
Windows Color SystemDisable startXX
Windows Connect Now – Config RegistrarDisable startXX
Windows DefenderDisable startXX
Windows Error ReportingDisable startXX
Windows Media Player Network SharingDisable startXX
Windows SearchDisable startXX
WLAN AutoConfigDisable startXX
WWAN AutoConfigDisable startXX

 

Machine settings:

SettingChangeWin8Win7
Hard disk timeoutsDisableXX
TCP/IP / Large Send OffloadDisableXX
HibernateDisableXX
System RestoreDisableXX
NTFS Last Access TimestampsDisableXX
Machine Account Password ChangesDisableXX
Memory dumpsDisableXX
Default system screensaverDisableXX
Service startupIncrease timeoutsXX
Disk I/OIncrease timeoutXX
Event logsLog size 1028KB

Retention to “overwrite”

XX
PopUp Error ModeSet to “Neither”XX
BootlogDisableXX
Boot animationDisableXX
UAC secure desktop promptDisableXX
New Network dialogDisableXX
AutoUpdate of drivers from Windows UpdateDisableXX
Windows SideShowDisableX
NetFX3InstallX
IE First Run WizardDisableXX
Ability to clear the paging file during
shutdown
DisableXX
Disk cleanupRun with adjusted settingsXX

 

Scheduled tasks to disable:

–    Application Experience\AitAgent

–    Application Experience\ProgramDataUpdater

–    Application Experience\StartupAppTask

–    Autochk\Proxy

–    Bluetooth\UninstallDeviceTask

–    Customer Experience Improvement Program\BthSQM

–    Customer Experience Improvement Program\Consolidator

–    Customer Experience Improvement Program\KernelCeipTask

–    Customer Experience Improvement Program\Uploader

–    Customer Experience Improvement Program\UsbCeip

–    Diagnosis\Scheduled

–    DiskDiagnostic\Microsoft-Windows-DiskDiagnosticDataCollector

–    DiskDiagnostic\Microsoft-Windows-DiskDiagnosticResolver

–    Maintenance\WinSAT

–    MobilePC\HotStart

–    Power Efficiency Diagnostic\AnalyzeSystem

–    RAC\RacTask

–    Ras\MobilityManager

–    Registry\RegIdleBackup

–    Shell\FamilySafetyMonitor

–    Shell\FamilySafetyRefresh

–    SideShow\AutoWake

–    SideShow\GadgetManager

–    SideShow\SessionAgent

–    SideShow\SystemDataProviders

–    UPnP\UPnPHostConfig

–    WDI\ResolutionHost

–    Windows Filtering Platform\BfeOnServiceStartTypeChange

–    Windows Media Sharing\UpdateLibrary

–    WindowsBackup\ConfigNotification

 

User settings:

SettingChangeWin8Win7
Menu show delayReducedXX
Cursor blinkDisableXX
Composition in IEForce off-screenXX
ScreensaversDisableXX
Window contents when draggingDon’t showXX
Window minimize/maximize animationsDon’t showXX
Font smoothingDisableXX
Show translucent selection rectangleDisableXX
Slide taskbar buttonsDisableXX
Use background image for each folder typeDisableXX
Use drop shadows for icon labels on the
desktop
DisableXX
Active window trackingDisableXX
Menu animationDisableXX
Combo box animationDisableXX
List box smooth scrollingDisableXX
Gradient captionsDisableXX
Keyboard cuesDisableXX
Active windows tracking Z orderEnableXX
Menu fadeDisableXX
Selection fadeDisableXX
Tool tip animationDisableXX
Tool tip fadeDisableXX
Cursor shadowDisableXX
Action CenterDisableXX
IE Persistent CacheDisableXX

 

Hopefully the tables provide you with an overview that can help determine which settings might be useful for your VDI environment. In the next part I can hopefully explain the script in some more detail so that you can use it yourself.