I really enjoyed the UK Citrix User Group meeting in London last week; great speakers, the chance to meet up with old friends and make new business connections.
One tip that came up was a free VMware tool that will optimize a Windows OS. Of course, their intention is for generating a sound base for gold images, but using it on limited-resource laptops can really help by removing unnecessary services and bloatware.
For example – a Lenovo IdeaPad Flex, purchased from the Amazon July sale last year. It has a Celeron CPU (N2840) @ 2.16GHz, 4GB RAM with the rotating HDD swapped out for a 240GB SSD and running Windows 10 64-bit Home edition The problem was, that just with the VMware vSphere client running, CPU was at 25-30% with memory at around 2.7GB used. CPU soared to 100% far too often when just launching and using one or two additional apps.
Goto https://labs.vmware.com/flings/vmware-os-optimization-tool and install on your trial laptop/tablet. Launch and let it do it’s thing. Now if you want to have a go (and have a system backup ready before you do this!) – on the Analyze tab, simply click Analyze and then Optimize. The tool will go through a series of processes; registry updates, features disable, simplify visual effects, scheduled tasks and services disable, apps remove, and so on. It’s a cathartic process as you will soon realize the amount of bloatware in the standard Windows image.
Note that the default optimize will turn off client firewall and this was re-enabled – for my peace of mind. The same scenario as above, running vSphere client now shows CPU usage of around 15-20% and memory usage of around 2GB. The other parameter to monitor would be network activity, as there will now be no Bing checking your weather/celebrity/sports news!
It is possible to pick and choose the optimization process through the tool’s dialog. Of course, it should be noted that the real use for this VMware utility applies equally well to generating optimized images for Citrix XenDesk – or Azure, etc.