Tag Archives: services

Optimize VDI: Windows 10 Services (Original, Anniversary and Creator Updates)


This is a multi-part blog series focused on optimizing Windows 10 VDI

As we saw in a previous blog, Microsoft added new default apps into the base operating system of the Windows 10 Build 1703 (Creator Update). These updates will have an impact on the user experience, especially in a VDI implementation.

Windows Services

Many of the new capabilities with the latest builds of Windows 10 also implements new Windows services. With each release, the number of services has steadily increased.

  • Build 1507: 196 Services
  • Build 1607: 212 Services
  • Build 1703: 223 Services

History has shown that optimizing Windows services can improve logon time and server density. It is recommended to review the list of services and disable those that are not necessary for the users.

To see a list of Windows services, run the following PowerShell command:
Get-Services

The table below shows the state of each service (Stoppped or Running).  Only services with a green, orange and red shading should be considered for disabling.

Color Code:

  • Green: A currently running service; consider disabling
  • Orange: A stopped service that will run when requested; consider disabling
  • Red: Disable IF an alternative approach is used

Continue reading Optimize VDI: Windows 10 Services (Original, Anniversary and Creator Updates)

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Windows 10 Optimization – Part 2 – Services


Note: New article on Services Optimization for VDI posted that includes the Anniversary (Build 1607) and Creator (Build 1703) updates. This post is only for the original (Build 1511) release.

In the Windows 10 Optimization – Part 1, I mostly focused on those applications which come pre-installed. Removing the apps shouldn’t help us get better server density, unless the users are spending all day watching videos or interacting with Xbox. Mostly, removing unneeded applications will create a cleaner image from which we can build our master image.

In this part, I want to take a closer look at Windows 10 services. Are there any that we can shut down to make the operating system consume less resources? Will it impact the experience? And while we are looking at services, let’s keep in mind our XenApp Best Practice

For the best combination of user experience and resource consumption, optimize appropriately

And maybe we should add “optimize responsibly” when it comes to services. The more you monkey with the services, the more likely you will experience application or user issues.

First, these services are running, by default, and can be stopped and disabled (Caution: Disabling these services can result in applications not working appropriately and will increase troubleshooting time).

Service Name Default State Default Status Notes
Background Intelligent Transfer Service Automatic (Delayed Start) Running Set default state to “Manual” as 3rd party software might require the service.
Diagnostic Policy Services Automatic Running
Diagnostic Service Host Manual Running
Diagnostic System Host Manual Running
Diagnostics Tracking Service Automatic Running
Function Discovery Provider Host Manual Running
Function Discovery Resource Publication Manual Running
Home Group Provider Manual (Trigger Start) Running Not used in VDI environment
Security Center Automatic (Delayed Start) Running
Shell Hardware Detection Service Automatic Running Supports AutoPlay, which is not typically used in VDI.
SSDP Discovery Manual Running Not typically used in corporate environments.
SuperFetch Automatic Running Can enable for dedicated desktops
Themes Automatic Running This will impact the user experience
Windows Connect Now – Config Registrar Service Manual Running Not required in VDI
Windows Search Automatic (Delayed Start) Running Consider disabling. Will have a high impact on server density.

Second, these services are not running, but they are set to Manual or Manual (Trigger Start). Although they are not running, disabling them will prevent their accidental execution in a VDI environment. (Caution: Disabling these services can result in applications not working appropriately and will increase troubleshooting time).

Service Name Default State Default Status Notes
AllJoyn Router Manual (Trigger Start) Stopped
Application Layer Gateway Service Manual Stopped Not needed for VDI environments.
BitLocker Drive Encryption Service Manual (Trigger Start) Stopped Drive encryption not typically used in VDI environments.
Block Level Backup Engine Service Manual Stopped Windows backup not typically used in VDI.
Bluetooth Hands free Service Manual (Trigger Start) Stopped Not typically used in VDI.
Bluetooth Support Service Manual (Trigger Start) Stopped
BranchCache Service Manual Stopped Used for network savings to a WAN and not typically needed in VDI
Computer Browser Service Manual (Trigger Start) Stopped
Encrypting File System Service Manual (Trigger Start) Stopped
Fax Service Manual Stopped
Home Group Listener Manual Stopped Not used within corporate environments.
Internet Connection Sharing (ICS) Manual Stopped Not used within VDI environments.
Offline Files Manual (Trigger Start) Stopped
Optimize Drives Manual Stopped Should only optimize in the master image
Retail Demo Manual Stopped
Sensor Monitoring Service Manual (Trigger Start) Stopped
UPnP Device Host Service Manual Stopped
Windows Error Reporting Service Manual (Trigger Start) Stopped Disable if logs are not being gathered and analyzed
Windows Media Player Network Sharing Manual Stopped Not typically used in VDI environments.
Windows Update Manual (Trigger Start) Stopped Only update the master image.
WLAN AutoConfig Manual Stopped Not typically used in VDI environments.
WWAN AutoConfig Manual Stopped Not typically used in VDI environments.
Xbox Live Auth Manager Manual Stopped Not typically used in VDI environments.
Xbox Live Game Save Manual Stopped Not typically used in VDI environments.
Xbox Live Networking Service Manual Stopped Not typically used in VDI environments.

IMPORTANT

If these services are disabled in the master image, it will be more difficult to effectively manage the master image. For example, if Windows Update is disabled in the master image, an administrator will be required to re-enable the Windows Update Service BEFORE trying to run Windows Update. The administrator will then have to remember to disable Windows Update when the update process is complete.

It is advisable to use a Group Policy to disable the services and apply the policy onto to the VDI-based desktop objects.

And remember our XenApp Best Practice:

For the best combination of user experience and resource consumption, optimize appropriately

If you are unsure about a service, LEAVE IT ALONE!

Note: The complete Windows 10 optimization blog series

Daniel ()
XenApp Best Practices
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Windows 7 Migration at BriForum


What would you say if I were to tell you that migrating to a virtual desktop was no different than if you were going to migrate to Windows 7?  I’m being serious.  Migrating a user to a virtual desktop has many similarities to migrating a user to Windows 7 on a traditional desktop.  With a Windows 7 migration, we are concerned with hardware, operating system, applications, personalization, and more.  With a virtual desktop migration, we are focused on hardware, operating system, applications, personalization and more. Same focus areas. Interesting

Of course there are some differences. For example, regardless of the path you are taking, most organizations will create their “Corporate Desktop Image”. At its core, the standard desktop image would have similar configurations like removing games, disabling Media Center, adding anti-virus software, etc. This would be done if Windows 7 were on a traditional desktop or on a virtual desktop.  But on the virtual desktop we will likely do more. Continue reading Windows 7 Migration at BriForum