How To Speed Up Virtual PC

What is Virtual PC? Virtual PC is software that allows you to run multiple PC-based operating systems simultaneously on one workstation.

Be sure you have enough memory on your computer, Virtual PC will bog down if you do not have enough memory because your system is in essence running more than one operating system at once, which can use a hefty amount of memory.

As you begin to build your Virtual PC environment, you should first understand that you may not need to run all the components of the system. By disabling certain components, tweaking some parameters, and allocating your memory you can easily speed up your Virtual PC program. Follow these guidelines below.

Step 1: Installation

It's best to install Virtual PC on a separate hard disk from your main operating system. If you have an additional hard drive internally or externally you can use that for your installation location. It’s best to always keep this volume defragged often by using Disk Defragmenter. Keeping it on a separate drive volume is not only a good way to organize, but dedicating your disk to run the virtual environment is much faster than sharing with another operating system.

Go to Microsoft Windows update and get all updates including Service Pack 2 (SP2). Install VM additions including BgInfo from Sysinternals and then create a back up of your disk image.

Step 2: Disable Unused Options

Disable any automated services that you do not use. In addition, you can go to the Control Panel and optimize your settings. Go to the Control Panel (Start/Control Panel). Using the tabs, follow each of the instructions below.

Click on System located in the Control Panel

  • Under the System Restore tab "Turn off System Restore on all Drives"
  • Under the Automatic Updates Tab "Turn off automatic updates"
  • Under the Remote Tab "Allow Remote Assistance Invitations to be sent from this computer"
  • Under the Remote Tab "Allow users to connect remotely to this computer"
  • Under the Advanced tab go to Performance Settings
  • Under the Visual Effects Tab set it to “Adjust for best performance”
  • Under the Advanced Tab set it to “Adjust for best performance of programs”
  • Under the Advanced Tab go to the Virtual Memory section and click Change. In the dialog box click on No Paging File and then click Set.
  • Under the Advanced tab go to Startup and Recovery
  • Uncheck  “Write an event to the system log”
  • Uncheck “Send an administrative alert”
  • Uncheck “Automatically restart”
  • Set Write Debugging Information to “None”
  • Under the Advanced Tab click on Error Reporting and then select “Disable error reporting”

Click on Date and Time located in the Control Panel

  • Under the Internet Time Tab uncheck the box for "Automatically synchronize with an internet time server"

Click on Display located in the Control Panel

  • Under the Themes tab, set the theme to “Windows Classic”
  • Under the Desktop Tab, set the Background to “None”.
  • Under the Screen Saver  Tab, set it to “None”.
  • Uncheck "Run Desktop Cleanup Wizard every 60 days" if it already is not

Click on Folder Options located in the Control Panel

  • Under the Offline Files Tab, uncheck "Enable Offline Files"
  • Under the View tab, uncheck “Automatically search for network folders and printers”

Click on Power Options located in the Control Panel

  • Under the Always On  tab, set the “Turn off monitor and turn off hard discs “ to “Never”
  • Under Hibernate, uncheck “Hibernation”

Click on Security Center located in the Control Panel

  • Select “Change the way security center alerts me” and disable alerts for everything.

Click on Sound located in the Control Panel

  • Under the Sounds Tab, set “Sound Scheme” to “None”.
  • Under the Hardware Tab, under Properties/Audio Devices, find your audio card in the list and under Properties make sure to check the box for "Do not map through this device” and “Do not use audio features on this device”

Click on Taskbar and Start Menu located in the Control Panel

  • Under the Taskbar tab, uncheck "Hide Inactive Icons"

Click on User Accounts located in the Control Panel

  • Under Pick a task, click on “Change the way users log on or off” and uncheck “Use Fast User Switching”

Click on Event Log Administrative Tool

  • Right click “Application” and select “Properties”
  • Select “Overwrite events as needed” in the Log Size section
  • Set the “Maximum Log Size” to 64kb
  • Click “Clear Log” and opt not to save. Clear the logs for Internet Explorer, Security, and System logs

Step 3: Disable Anti-Virus

If you have an Anti-Virus program running on the Virtual PC it is best to disable it so that you will not be contending with it. The Anti-Virus program takes up a lot of processing so it’s good to either turn it off entirely, or if you have the options you can disable it from monitoring your Virtual PC.