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 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”

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
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
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.