Car repairIn 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 name

Change

Win8

Win7

Application Layer Gateway

Disable start

X

X

Background Intelligent Transfer

Disable start

X

X

Bitlocker Drive Encryption

Disable start

X

X

Block Level Backup Engine

Disable start

X

X

Bluetooth Support

Disable start

X

X

BranchCache

Disable start

X

X

Computer Browser

Disable start

X

X

Device Association

Disable start

X

 

Device Setup Manager

Disable start

X

 

Diagnostic Policy

Disable start

X

X

Distributed Link Tracking Client

Disable start

X

X

Encrypting File System

Disable start

X

X

Family Safety

Disable start

X

 

Fax

Disable start

X

 

Function Discovery Resource Publication

Disable start

X

X

HomeGroup Listener

Disable start

X

X

HomeGroup Provider

Disable start

X

X

Microsoft iSCSI Initiator

Disable start

X

X

Microsoft Software Shadow Copy Provider

Disable start

X

X

Network List Service

Auto start

X

X

Optimize Drives

Disable start

X

 

Secure Socket Tunneling Protocol

Disable start

X

X

Sensor Monitoring

Disable start

X

 

Shell Hardware Detection

Disable start

X

X

SNMP Trap

Disable start

X

X

SSDP Discovery

Disable start

X

X

Telephony

Disable start

X

X

Themes

Disable start

X

X

UPnP Device Host

Disable start

X

X

Volume Shadow Copy

Disable start

X

X

Windows Backup

Disable start

X

X

Windows Color System

Disable start

X

X

Windows Connect Now – Config Registrar

Disable start

X

X

Windows Defender

Disable start

X

X

Windows Error Reporting

Disable start

X

X

Windows Media Player Network Sharing

Disable start

X

X

Windows Search

Disable start

X

X

WLAN AutoConfig

Disable start

X

X

WWAN AutoConfig

Disable start

X

X

 

Machine settings:

Setting

Change

Win8

Win7

Hard disk timeouts

Disable

X

X

TCP/IP / Large Send Offload

Disable

X

X

Hibernate

Disable

X

X

System Restore

Disable

X

X

NTFS Last Access Timestamps

Disable

X

X

Machine Account Password Changes

Disable

X

X

Memory dumps

Disable

X

X

Default system screensaver

Disable

X

X

Service startup

Increase timeouts

X

X

Disk I/O

Increase timeout

X

X

Event logs

Log size 1028KB

Retention to “overwrite”

X

X

PopUp Error Mode

Set to “Neither”

X

X

Bootlog

Disable

X

X

Boot animation

Disable

X

X

UAC secure desktop prompt

Disable

X

X

New Network dialog

Disable

X

X

AutoUpdate of drivers from Windows Update

Disable

X

X

Windows SideShow

Disable

X

 

NetFX3

Install

X

 

IE First Run Wizard

Disable

X

X

Ability to clear the paging file during shutdown

Disable

X

X

Disk cleanup

Run with adjusted settings

X

X

 

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:

Setting

Change

Win8

Win7

Menu show delay

Reduced

X

X

Cursor blink

Disable

X

X

Composition in IE

Force off-screen

X

X

Screensavers

Disable

X

X

Window contents when dragging

Don’t show

X

X

Window minimize/maximize animations

Don’t show

X

X

Font smoothing

Disable

X

X

Show translucent selection rectangle

Disable

X

X

Slide taskbar buttons

Disable

X

X

Use background image for each folder type

Disable

X

X

Use drop shadows for icon labels on the desktop

Disable

X

X

Active window tracking

Disable

X

X

Menu animation

Disable

X

X

Combo box animation

Disable

X

X

List box smooth scrolling

Disable

X

X

Gradient captions

Disable

X

X

Keyboard cues

Disable

X

X

Active windows tracking Z order

Enable

X

X

Menu fade

Disable

X

X

Selection fade

Disable

X

X

Tool tip animation

Disable

X

X

Tool tip fade

Disable

X

X

Cursor shadow

Disable

X

X

Action Center

Disable

X

X

IE Persistent Cache

Disable

X

X

 

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.