The easiest way to improve performance is to free up resources and disable features which are not needed. There are many things installed on Windows 7 which are not really needed on a virtual machine running in a lab or data center. A user oriented virtual machine might need stuff so define the purpose of the virtual machine before disabling features.

Items to consider:

  • Games – Internet Games – This is a no brainer.  Much as we like games; they serve no purpose and take up resources and might take away resources.  Disable them if they are not disabled.
  • Indexing Service – There really isn’t a need to run this in a lab or data center VM, disable it.
  • Internet Explorer – This is a tough one. Security might improve with it’s elimination. Might also preserve resources as it eliminates a user from hitting the browser because it’s available. However, you might need it for debug purposes. I left mine in place for now.
  • Internet Information Services – FTP Server – If you find this running and don’t need it, disable it.
  • Internet Information Services Hostable Web Core – If you find this running and don’t need it, disable it.
  • Media Features – This is often overlooked. It’s a pretty good chance this is not needed so disable it.
  • Microsoft .NET Framework 3.51 – This one could be disabled if it turns out you don’t need it. A lab or data center VM might so check on it’s need before you disable it.
  • Services for NFS (Network File System) – This is not a normal install, check with the owners before disabling it.
  • Subsystem for UNIX-based Applications – See above.
  • Windows Gadget Platform – This is good for users. Probably not needed for a lab or a data center. Disable it.
  • Windows Search – The search feature has mixed views. Some like it; some hate it. In the case of a VM, disable it.
  • XPS Services – This feature is good for the users. Probably not needed for a back room VM.
  • XPS Viewer – Might or might not be needed. Some reporting systems use it.

To disable OS features.

  1. Start the Programs and Features Control Panel
  2. Off to the left; you will see Turn Windows Features on or off
  3. Select and bring up the list of options
  4. Deselect the options you want to disable.
  5. Select OK and wait for the uninstall process to finish.
  6. Reboot the system when you get a chance.