Ridiculously Overkill Windows Server 2008 Template Preparation

Following are the steps I took to attempt to optimize a Windows Server 2008 Template, recorded largely for my own benefit.  Optionally, replace SCSI device with PVSCSI device to be outlined elsewhere on this blog.

Please feel free to comment for logic errors, corrections or additions.  Keep in mind that this is Server 2008 specific.  Many of the actions apply to Server 2003 as well, locations might be different and file system block alignment would need to be addressed.

  1. Edit Settings -> Options -> Boot Options -> Power-on Boot Delay = 5000
  2. Select Force BIOS Setup
    1. Disable Serial and Parallel ports, BIOS -> Advanced I/O -> Disable
    2. Set Boot options, BIOS -> Boot -> CDROM 1st, Hard Disk 2nd
  3. Reboot
  4. Install VMware tools, Custom option
    1. Disable “Shared Folder” driver
    2. Disable “Audio Driver”
    3. Disable pvSCSi driver is not needed
    4. Disable SVGA drivers installed with VMware Tools on Windows 7 and Windows 2008 R2. See this KB article for Windows 2008 R2 or Windows 7
  5. Control Panel settings
    1. Enable hardware acceleration, Personalize -> Display Settings -> Advanced Settings -> Troubleshoot -> Change Settings -> Full Hardware Acceleration
    2. Disable Screen Saver, Personalize -> Screen Saver -> None
    3. Sound, Do not start Audio Service -> Sound
    4. No Sounds
    5. Disable “Play Windows Startup Sound”
    6. Display Performance, System -> Advanced System Settings -> Performance Settings -> Adjust for best performance
    7. Power Settings
      1. Power Options -> High Performance
      2. Power Options -> Change when the computer sleeps -> Turn off display = Never
    8. Pagefile, System -> Advanced -> Performance -> Set no pagefile
  6. Disable System Screen Saver (screen saver that starts when no user is logged into the system) -> Regedit -> “HKEY_USERS.DEFAULTControl PanelDesktop” -> Delete SCRNSAVE.EXE
  7. Insure Audio Service is stopped in Service MMC, set to Manual
  8. For ultimate performance on C:, when absolutely necessarily, move pagefile to separate drive.  PVSCSI device maybe
  9. Remove IPv6 Support (optional)
  10. Start Menu -> Remove Quick Launch
  11. Drive Indexing, My Computer -> C: Properties -> Unselect “Index this drive…” -> Apply recursively -> Ignore all permissions errors
  12. Run as Administrator ‘cmd.exe’ -> ‘powercfg.exe –h OFF’ to disable hibernation and delete hiberfile.sys from C:
  13. Reboot
  14. Delete pagefile.sys on C:
  15. Defrag C:
  16. Reset pagefile
  17. Clear C:UsersAdministratorAppDataLocalTemp folder
  18. Disable Windows Firewall (optional)
  19. Enable Remote Desktop
  20. Activate EA licensed Windows

edit: Of course, VMware Tools and hardware version upgrade to 7 is assumed!

4 thoughts on “Ridiculously Overkill Windows Server 2008 Template Preparation

    1. This was applied to all 2008 and 2003 templates in the environment, just for you. Actually, just for your Windows counterparts. 🙂

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