General, VirtualPC

Recipes for working with Microsoft Virtual PC

Robert Folkesson, a Swedish Microsoft developer evangelist, wrote recently about a recipe for getting good performance out of a VPC (in Swedish). In summary and translated to English, he suggest that you run the base VPC from an USB memory stick and run with the configuration file and therefore undo disks located in the system drive. This will help performance since USB memory does reads really well, while doing writes less so.

I thought I’d share a link to a document from Microsoft with loads of information about Microsoft Virtual PC Best Practices, see Working with Microsoft Virtual PC (I’ve got it tucked away should the link go dead). If you work a lot with VPC’s, have a look through the document. There are some worthwhile stuff in there. It describes several procedures for how to speed things up (far more than I use).

The steps that I perform before tucking away the VPC includes:

  • Clean up all logs and temporary folders, including running disk cleanup.

  • (Temporarily) disable and remove the page file (and restarting)

  • Defrag the (virtual) disk

  • Re-enabling the page file

  • Run the pre-compactor

  • Do a last cleanup and shut down.

  • Run the the virtual disk compactor.

And then tuck the disk away as base image. This is regardless if you plan to use it as a base for a differentiating disk strategy or for using state files or undo disks. I’ve never tried running it from a USB memory stick though, I don’t even have a memory stick big enough. Yet… 😉

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