This is the second post in a series of articles articles where the goal is to create the optimal workstation for us consultants. In the first post Why I ditched XenClient for Hyper-V Part I we highlighted the missing features and bugs in Citrix XenClient.
For my setup I purchased a OCZ Vertex 2 180GB SATA II 2,5″ Solid State Drive with TRIM Support based upon recommendations from @shawnbass and @easi123. This is the most affordable SSD which supports 250MB/s read and write performance and TRIM support that is important for good performance. The boot time is now down to less than 15 seconds.
The first thing I did was to flash my drive with the latest firmware and then installed all the necessary drivers and software. A great resource is a website called Convert your Windows Server 2008 R2 to a Workstation. You’ll find an automatic conversion tool and articles describing the different elements. They also have great information on how to find all the drivers for your system automatically.
After I installed all my software I noticed that the new Firefox 4 was crazy slow. There is a new option called FireFox Hardware Acceleration that needs to be disabled.
- Enable Wireless networking
- Create network bridge between WiFi and the Virtual Network to get internet access
- Enable the Desktop Experience feature
- Replace the logon background image
- Enable audio and tuned it to remove the stuttering sound
- Microsoft Update for Desktop Experience Decoder for Windows Server 2008 R2
My first impression after running this configuration for 2 weeks are very good. The boot time is awesome and it now longer matters that Hibernation doesn’t work. I also successfully deploy our corporate image inside a virtual machine. Happy go lucky.