Virtual PC Guest OS Performance Tips Part 1 of 3

Good Afternoon Everyone, I have quite a few things I want to share with all of you to help make your guest OS’s in Virtual PC run faster.  Again thanks to Kevin Remde and Keith Combs who helped me put together this list.  This is part 1, in Part 2 I will talk about some advanced topics (defraging, compact…etc.) and in Part 3 I will share a tip to boot VPC’s quickly (usually less than a minute).  As with my last VPC post, some of this tips are quite effective with Virtual Server Guest also.  Enjoy!

As always I look forward to your comments/suggestions, so please comment!

  1. Update/Upgrade your Virtual Machine Additions to the most recent one available.  I believe currently that’s the one that came with Virtual Server 2005, use the newer ones included with Virtual PC 2004 SP1.
  2. Select the "Adjust for best performance" in System Properties / Advanced / Performance Settings / Visual Effects.
  3. Disable write caching in Device Manager / Disk Drives / Virtual HD properties
  4. Enable hardware video acceleration (move the slider all the way to the right)
  5. Verify that Registry value HKCU/Control Panel/Desktop/MenuShowDelay is set to the default value data of 400
  6. Maximize memory reserved for each VPC.  Give more memory to DCs or high-profile machines, depending on your demo needs.  We have a lot more memory in these new HPs, so take advantage of it!
  7. Unless you need it in the demo, disable Remote Desktop in your Virtual PC.  Otherwise it runs in the background watching for RA calls.
    Go back to Control Panel/System/Advanced/“Remote” tab
             Make sure both “Allow Remote Assistance…” and “Allow users to           connect…” are unchecked
  8. Turn Off System Restore  You don't need it for demo, especially if you're using Undo Disks in Virtual PC.  Go Control Panel/System/Advanced/“System Restore” tab
    Check the “Turn off System Restore on all drives” box
  9. Turn off Automatic Updates
  10. Use "Fixed Size" virtual hard disks; dynamically expanding VHDs fragment quickly (and badly), and require additional overhead to "grow" the disk
  11. The way that items in folders are displayed can have an impact on the perceived speed of the operating system. Follow these steps to optimize folder views in Windows XP.

1.      Open My Computer.

2.      Open the C: Drive (Local Disk).

3.      Choose “Folder Options” from the “Tools” menu.

4.      Make sure “Use Windows classic folders” is selected.

5.      Select the “View” tab.

6.      Uncheck the “Automatically search for network folders and printers” option.

7.      Click “Apply”.

8.      Click the “Apply to All Folders” button.

9.      Click OK to close the Folder Options dialog.

Comments (5)

  1. Anonymous says:

    Good afternoon everyone!  Thank you for attending the web cast on Virtual Server.  You kept…

  2. Anonymous says:

    I have some fantastic news, we have just announced, we are giving away Virtual PC for free!  Just…

  3. Anonymous says:

    Thank you for attending the webcast! I hope you enjoyed and getting a look at Microsoft virtualization

  4. Anonymous says:

    Matt Hester has a nice set of tips for optimising your Virtual PC’s to get the best performance out

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