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Windows 7 Thread, Desktop Logon Optimization and speed / Mandatory Profiles - My Setup in Technical; Good Morning All, I spent a portion of the half term break trying to get as much speed as possible ...
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    Smile Desktop Logon Optimization and speed / Mandatory Profiles - My Setup

    Good Morning All,

    I spent a portion of the half term break trying to get as much speed as possible into the student logon process in our ICT Suites and found a few useful bits and bobs i thought it was worth sharing (as well as for me to check back on when i inevitably forget what i have done!). I know there are a few (very useful) posts on here regarding this already but i found some things which have not yet been noted so I hope someone finds them useful.

    After creating and copying the profile to our network share i did the following:

    Remove all policy entries under HKCU\Software\Microsoft\Windows\CurrentVersion\Pol icies and HKCU\Software\Policies

    Remove all startup entries from HKCU\Software\Microsoft\Windows\CurrentVersion\Run and RunOnce

    Delete all log, blf and regtrans-ms files which have been created in the root of the profile

    (Adobe CS3) Wipe %appdata%\Adobe\Acrobat\Distiller 8\Cache Folder

    (Adobe CS3) Delete %appdata%\Adobe\Fireworks CS3\Styles\Style Defaults.stl

    Delete %appdata%\Microsoft\Windows\IECompatCache\index.da t and %appdata%\Microsoft\Windows\IECompatCache\Low\inde x.dat

    Delete %appdata%\Microsoft\Windows\IETldCache\index.dat and %appdata%\Microsoft\Windows\IETldCache\Low\index.d at


    These tweaks brought the size of our profile down from 7+MB to 1.3MB

    I also made the following tweaks to the library-ms files in %appdata%\Microsoft\Windows\Libraries by dragging them into notepad and editing their contents:

    Remove the content of the <serialized> tag in the library files. If this tag has content then it seems to stop the redirected/user specific folders from being included in the libraries and instead shows the local profile of the user who the profile was based on (eg C:\Users\profileuser\Documents etc)

    Remove the last <SearchConnectorDescription> tag (both the tag and its contents) in the library files. This is the link to the public documents/pictures/music/videos folders. Removing them stops them from appearing under libraries when users login and just leaves their homefolders.

    Once this was complete the login times reduced from 90 seconds to around 45-60. (7 year old PCs and 100Mb Switches).

    I then setup an XCOPY Script to copy the mandatory profiles to the local c drive of the machines as the copying of the profile via the network was responsible for around 21 seconds of the login time. Script pasted below:

    IF NOT EXIST C:\Installed MKDIR C:\Installed
    IF NOT EXIST C:\Installed\__LOGS MKDIR C:\Installed\__LOGS
    IF NOT EXIST c:\installed\Profiles\installed.txt goto install
    IF EXIST c:\installed\Profiles\installed.txt goto installed
    :installed
    ::echo "already installed"
    goto end
    :install
    eventcreate /l system /so ProfileScript /t information /id 1 /d "The Mandatory Profile Batch Script has detected that it has not previously ran on this computer and has begun"
    MKDIR "c:\Profiles"
    XCOPY "\\domain.local\netlogon\profiles\DEPLOY\*" "c:\Profiles\*" /O /S /E /H /Y /C >C:\Installed\__LOGS\ProfileScriptlog.txt
    XCOPY "\\domain.local\netlogon\Deployments\Installed \*" "c:\installed\Profiles\*" /S /E /H
    :end


    Quick outline of the script:

    It checks if the file c:\installed\Profiles\installed.txt exists. if it does then it knows this script has already been ran and finishes without copying anything. If it doesn't exist then it runs and creates an event log in the system log. It creates the folders c:\installed\Profiles and C:\Profiles . It then copies all the mandatory profiles within the DEPLOY folder into c:\Profiles and logs the process to c:\Installed\__LOGS\ProfileScriptLog.txt. Once completed it copies Installed.txt from a network share into c:\installed\profiles\installed.txt to stop the copy job running at every bootup.

    I then used a GPO to assign the profile c:\profiles\student to the ICT suites.

    I also did a number of Registry tweaks via Group Policy Preferences to the workstations to increase speed:

    Created/Changed HKLM\Software\Microsoft\Windows\CurrentVersion\Pol icies\System\DelayedDesktopSwitchTimeout (REG_DWORD) to 5 to vastly increase the final "Preparing your desktop" stage of login.

    Changed the IsInstalled REG_DWORD values to 0 and deleted the StubPath values for a number of items under HKLM\Software\Microsoft\Active Setup\Installed Components :

    {7790769C-0471-11d2-AF11-00C04FA35D02} - Address Book

    {44BBA840-CC51-11CF-AAFA-00AA00B6015C} - WinMail

    {89820200-ECBD-11cf-8B85-00AA005B4383} - Web Platform Customisations

    {89820200-ECBD-11cf-8B85-00AA005B4340} - Windows Desktop Update


    Login times now down to 27 seconds on a very old Athlon X2 machine and 17 seconds on a new i3.

    This has been mostly successful and is fully functional for users using the mandatory profile. However, if a user logs in who doesn't use any kind of roaming profile and a fresh local profile is created then the library files are never created for them so windows explorer shows nothing under libraries and also nothing under favorites (where desktop/downloads should be). After a lot of research i have found that restoring the registry items for Windows Desktop Update fixed the Favorites issue and restored Desktop/Downloads however i have not found a fix for the libraries, in the meantime all users have the mandatory profile applied to them when they login in the ICT Suites.

    So in conclusion, massive increase in login speed but an issue with libraries. Has anyone else been down this route/ have anything to add/ can advise on the creation of library files at login?

  2. 4 Thanks to Zenden:

    Badzeye (4th June 2013), Chris_Jones (4th June 2013), eean (8th July 2013), zag (8th July 2013)

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    Hi,

    if your main goal is to reduce logon time you could also use a shared mandatory dummy user for all users:

    Using ZCM Bundles to speed the login for students at shared computers | Novell User Communities


    The logon time is about 5 seconds - 10 seconds to ready opended internet explorer.

    I use this for some stand-up computers since 1 year now. At first sight it seems wierd to share a dummy user amongst all users. But we have shared computers anyway.
    In one year there has been no issue with this solution. However its fundamental to configure the machine correctly since we cannot rely on the SID as security boundary.

    Logon with a Windows Dummy User could also be achieved with pgina (pGina)

    best regards

    Markus

  4. Thanks to wehr from:

    Zenden (5th June 2013)

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    Quote Originally Posted by wehr View Post
    Hi,

    if your main goal is to reduce logon time you could also use a shared mandatory dummy user for all users:

    Using ZCM Bundles to speed the login for students at shared computers | Novell User Communities


    The logon time is about 5 seconds - 10 seconds to ready opended internet explorer.

    I use this for some stand-up computers since 1 year now. At first sight it seems wierd to share a dummy user amongst all users. But we have shared computers anyway.
    In one year there has been no issue with this solution. However its fundamental to configure the machine correctly since we cannot rely on the SID as security boundary.

    Logon with a Windows Dummy User could also be achieved with pgina (pGina)

    best regards

    Markus
    That looks quite interesting but unfortunately wouldnt be suitable for our environment. It could be useful for stations for print job releasing etc though so i will keep it in mind.

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    Hmm, my previous reply seems to have disappeared into the Ether, try again

    Just implemented this in a test environment, using an old Core 2 Duo and a fresh image.
    Got Login times down from 37-40 Seconds to 22-24 quite an impressive reduction.

    How did you work out which things to cut out? did you use some kind of logging tool to monitor the login process?

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    Quote Originally Posted by Chris_Jones View Post
    Hmm, my previous reply seems to have disappeared into the Ether, try again

    Just implemented this in a test environment, using an old Core 2 Duo and a fresh image.
    Got Login times down from 37-40 Seconds to 22-24 quite an impressive reduction.

    How did you work out which things to cut out? did you use some kind of logging tool to monitor the login process?
    Glad to see it helped you out. Regarding the mandatory profile, I just hunted through the folders looking for large sizes so that was quite easy. Regarding the tweaks, it was mostly through research and trial and error, I did a lot of timing of the login process with verbose logging on so I could see which bits were taking the most time. I also checked the group policy event logging to see the exact times which policies were taking to rule those out. By the end I knew that "please wait for the user profile service" and "preparing your desktop" were the biggest culprits and found through research that the first one was copying the profile across the network and the second one was related to the active setup stub paths and the desktopswitchtimeout.

    I am still hunting and trying to improve on it and was hoping that this thread would lead to others sharing new tricks

    Let me know anything more you find.

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    Minor Bug found with this setup - The DesktopSwitchTimeout setting causes the PC to load the desktop before loading a wallpaper (if you set wallpaper by group policy) sometimes. This issue is intermittent and actually resolved itself because the wallpaper loads afterwards.

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    This is a very useful guide, thank you. Got this job to do next week in a short space of time so want to ask you a few questions so I'm as prepared as possible.

    Quote Originally Posted by Zenden View Post
    I then used a GPO to assign the profile c:\profiles\student to the ICT suites.
    I didn't know you could assign a profile in GPO, I've always done it in Active Directory users and computers. Is it a computer or user setting, if so did you have to use loop back to restrict it to students logging onto ICT suite computers?

    Quote Originally Posted by Zenden View Post
    This has been mostly successful and is fully functional for users using the mandatory profile. However, if a user logs in who doesn't use any kind of roaming profile and a fresh local profile is created then the library files are never created for them so windows explorer shows nothing under libraries and also nothing under favorites (where desktop/downloads should be).
    I don't understand this, can you clarify?

    Do you have documents, start menu and desktop redirected to the network or to a local location?
    Are you renaming user.dat to user.man?
    What version of windows are you on?

    What I'm looking to do is have some class logins for the youngest and individual logins for our middle pupils - each year group will need it's own customised default profile and they should get fresh copy at login.
    Older children/staff might have a profile saved onto the local machine or the network after they've received a good default, not sure yet.

    Any updates to the method?

    Thanks!

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    Quote Originally Posted by Zenden View Post
    Let me know anything more you find.
    The following article lists more folders you can exclude...

    Reduce logon times by excluding the bloat Aaron Parker

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    Zenden (8th July 2013)

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    Quote Originally Posted by eean View Post
    This is a very useful guide, thank you. Got this job to do next week in a short space of time so want to ask you a few questions so I'm as prepared as possible.


    I didn't know you could assign a profile in GPO, I've always done it in Active Directory users and computers. Is it a computer or user setting, if so did you have to use loop back to restrict it to students logging onto ICT suite computers?


    I don't understand this, can you clarify?

    Do you have documents, start menu and desktop redirected to the network or to a local location?
    Are you renaming user.dat to user.man?
    What version of windows are you on?

    What I'm looking to do is have some class logins for the youngest and individual logins for our middle pupils - each year group will need it's own customised default profile and they should get fresh copy at login.
    Older children/staff might have a profile saved onto the local machine or the network after they've received a good default, not sure yet.

    Any updates to the method?

    Thanks!


    Glad it was useful for you.

    The GPO is a computer based GPO and is found at Computer Configuration\Policies\Administrative Tempaltes\System\User Profiles\Set roaming profile path for all users logging onto this computer

    To clarify about the library file issue:

    Windows 7 libraries are controlled/setup by library-ms files hidden in the appdata portion of the userprofile. They are automatically created for a user when their profile is first created. I have found that by setting things up as I have done (removing the active setup for bits and bobs) that if a user logs in who does NOT have a roaming or mandatory profile and also does NOT already have a local profile on the computer and therefore a new one is created when they login that the library-ms files do not get created and the libraries appear completely blank. I am guessing this problem is caused by the removal of the activesetup for windows desktop update but I have not got to the bottom of it. It doesn't particularly matter since all users who login to the pc are using the mandatory profile anyway but I thought it was worth noting.

  13. Thanks to Zenden from:

    eean (8th July 2013)

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    Quote Originally Posted by eean View Post
    This is a very useful guide, thank you. Got this job to do next week in a short space of time so want to ask you a few questions so I'm as prepared as possible.


    I didn't know you could assign a profile in GPO, I've always done it in Active Directory users and computers. Is it a computer or user setting, if so did you have to use loop back to restrict it to students logging onto ICT suite computers?


    I don't understand this, can you clarify?

    Do you have documents, start menu and desktop redirected to the network or to a local location?
    Are you renaming user.dat to user.man?
    What version of windows are you on?

    What I'm looking to do is have some class logins for the youngest and individual logins for our middle pupils - each year group will need it's own customised default profile and they should get fresh copy at login.
    Older children/staff might have a profile saved onto the local machine or the network after they've received a good default, not sure yet.

    Any updates to the method?

    Thanks!
    oops didn't answer a coupleo f your questions with my first reply. We redirect docs/downloads/music/videos/pictures and we use mandatory profiles (user.man)

  15. Thanks to Zenden from:

    eean (8th July 2013)

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    just implementing some more of these tweaks on our site.

    I've modified the copy script to use robocopy, as its installed by default in win7 and to run at every start up, so any changes are detected and copied

    IF NOT EXIST C:\LocalProfiles MKDIR C:\LocalProfiles
    IF NOT EXIST C:\LocalProfiles\__LOGS MKDIR C:\LocalProfiles\__LOGS
    ROBOCOPY \\fileserver\profileshare$\PupilProfile.v2\ c:\LocalProfiles\PupilProfile.v2\ /MIR /R:10 /W:10 /LOG+:C:\LocalProfiles\__LOGS\ProfileScriptlog.txt /NDL
    :end

    the log file is set to append new info, this amounts to roughly 1K at each login if there are no changes, so a full year of 5x startups a day would leave a file of about 1.5 Meg


    I've also removed the TranscodedWallpaper.jpg and Thumbs.db files from Profile.v2\AppData\Roaming\Microsoft\Windows\Theme s
    We use wallpaper specified from group policy so this was just 600K of useless data being copied each logon.

    Profile size now 1.62MB, 133 Files in 80 Folders. logon time 10s over wireless on a new i3

  17. Thanks to Chris_Jones from:

    Zenden (1st October 2013)

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    Thank for the info Chris, Can you clarify your use of robocopy as I dont have much experience with it. If you make a change to the central profile does it copy out only those individual changes and otherwise copy nothing? if so, that is very useful! Also, do you find the slight issue where sometimes the desktop loads before the wallpapaer? if not can you clarify how you are setting the wallpaper?

    and finally one more question, can i add your setup to my original post so this becomes a central place for the info?

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    Robocopy with the /MIR parameter copies changes from the source to the destination, including removing files from the destination that have been removed from the source. This should make it easy to keep the local copies up to date.

    I haven't noticed an issue with wallpaper delays in testing, though I haven't gone live yet with all the pupils - I'm giving it a few days to make sure the local copy exists on all PCs first.
    We deploy wallpaper via a separate GPO which uses the User Configuration - Policies - Administrative Templates - Desktop - Desktop - Desktop wallpaper Policy.

    Feel free to add the info to the main post - I'm putting it up here for people to share after all!

  20. Thanks to Chris_Jones from:

    Zenden (2nd October 2013)

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    Fantastic, thanks again Chris. I will give your robocopy script a go. I assume the switches included in that copy the files with the same permissions aswell?

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    if you want to preserve permissions you need to add /SEC on the end as well.

  23. Thanks to Chris_Jones from:

    Zenden (2nd October 2013)

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