Citrix: Images in Citrix PVS or MCS and some tips and tricks

In this blogpost I will gather some tips and tricks on creating images in Citrix PVS and/or MCS but they will be applicable on VMware View implementations to because most of them are OS related. The first couple of tips I got from this document which is written for View but like I already said you can use this for XenDesktop.


Windows OS Optimizations

• Install Windows Patches, then turn OFF Automatic Update

• Disable Serial and Parallel ports in Device Manager (if they exist)

• Set Screensaver to “None” or “Blank”

• Disable System Sounds (Set Sound scheme to “None”)

• (Windows 7) Uninstall Tablet PC Component

• Disable Windows Error Reporting

• Remove unnecessary boot applications (Quicktime, Real, Adobe Acrobat Updater, etc.

• Remove unneeded Windows components (Outlook Express,Messenger, Games, etc.)

• Disable unnecessary services

Wireless Zero Configuration Security Center Help and support
Telephony Shell hardware detection Indexing Service
SSDP Discovery Service Task scheduler Machine Debug Manager
Remote Registry Themes Network Location Awareness

File System

• Disable NTFS “Last Accessed” option

• fsutil behavior set disablelastaccess 1 (Requires reboot)

• Disable Windows Prefetcher

[HKEY_LOCAL_MACHINE\SYSTEM\CurrentControlSet\Control\SessionManager\Memory Management\PrefetchParameters\EnablePrefetcher];

Set the value to 0 (Disable)

• Disable System Restore

Right Click – My Computer –  Properties, System Restore tab and select Turn off System Restore

• Disable Indexing

Double Click My Computer, Right click on C:\,Properties,Click General tab and clear Allow Indexing Service to Index…

• Disable Offline Files

• Disable scheduled or background Defrag

• Disable Windows Search

• Disable Windows Disk Optimizer

• Adjust the disk timeout value



•Use User Profile Hive Cleanup Service to help prevent profile corruption

Power Settings

• Disable hibernation

• Change power settings to “High Performance” and disable sleep timer

• Set HDD’s to “Never” turn off

Open Control Panel, Power Options,  Change Plan Settings. Click Change Advanced power settings, set “Turn off hard disks after” setting to Never

• Disable the Logon Screen Saver

HKEY_USERS\.DEFAULT\Control Panel\Desktop

Edit ScreenSaverActive and change value to 0

Disable Notifications

• Disable logging of informational Printing events

Open Printers and Faxes, Click File Server Properties. Advanced and clear Log spooler informational events

• Disable Success Logging (login attempts, etc.)

•  Only do this if security policy allows it

• Disable Toolbar Notifications

• Disable the Windows XP Tour Notifier

• Disable Balloon Tips

• Shrink Event Logs and enable circular logging (registry keys)

• Disable Desktop Cleanup Wizard

Internet Explorer

• Disable “Use Suggested Sites”

• Set home page to Intranet site, or blank, or something lightweight

• Change IE to prevent programs from suggesting a change of the search provider

• Remove Webslice gallery and suggested sites from Toolbars on IE

• Add “trusted sites” as necessary

• Shrink the IE Temp File size’

• Control IE Process behavior (Thanks Dennis van Dam:

HKCU\Software\Microsoft\Internet Explorer\Main – TabProcGrowth (string or dword)

  • TabProcGrowth=0 : tabs and frames run within the same process; frames are not unified across MIC levels.
  • TabProcGrowth =1: all tabs for a given frame process run in a single tab process for a given MIC level.

Common Applications

• Install Adobe Flash Player (turning off automatic updates)

• Install Adobe Reader and set to “Do not download or install updates automatically”

• Turn Java Updater off

• Remove MS OneNote tray service (if installed)

• Turn off Outlook Cached Mode

• Remove the Language Bar

Regsvr32.exe /u msutb.dll

General OS Environment

• Set Pagefile to static size

• Change the default Windows Theme to “Basic”

• Adjust visual effects for “Best Performance”

• Enable ClearType Fonts

• Turn off Windows Security Center

• Turn off Automatic Computer Maintenance

• Disable “Allow users to browse for troubleshooters”

• Disable “Allow troubleshooting to begin immediately when started”

Network Optimizations

• Disable NetBIOS over TCP/IP

• Disable IPv6

• Add any necessary DNS suffixes

• Add any necessary HOSTS entries for “custom” applications

• Disable Automatic Searching of Network Printers and Shares

• Disable TCP checksum and Large Send Offload (thanks Niek Boevink)

• Configure opportunistic locking if you’re using SMB1 (kb296264) (thanks Bart Groot Zevert)

When it’s all said and done, a few last steps

• Optimize the Registry

•  RegScrub.exe – Registry Cleaner

• NTRegOpt.exe – Registry Optimizer, removing ?white? space in registry

• Run disk cleanup

• Defrag the HDD

• Delete all event logs

• Make the User profile the Default Profile

• Windows 7, ensure KMS server is enabled

I will update this post when I find something worth adding, maybe you see something that should be added. Please feel free to leave a comment and I will add it to this blogpost. Maybe in time I will make a seperate blogpost for Windows 7 and XP because modification can be different based on the OS that’s beeing used.


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Kees Baggerman

Kees Baggerman is a Staff Solutions Architect for End User Computing at Nutanix. Kees has driven numerous Microsoft and Citrix, and RES infrastructures functional/technical designs, migrations, implementations engagements over the years.

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