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Configuring a Windows Server 2008 R2 as a Desktop (2100073)

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This article provides information about configuring a Windows Server 2008 R2 as a Desktop.

: This article is applicable to the following products:
  • VMware Horizon DaaS Bundle (VDI/RDSH Edition)
  • VMware Horizon Cloud with Hosted Infrastructure (formerly known as VMware Horizon Air Cloud-Hosted)
  • VMware Horizon DaaS On Premise Platform


To configure Windows Server 2008 R2 machine to be used as a desktop:

Note: These steps are in addition to standard image preparation steps, and not meant as a replacement.

  1. Log in to the console for the new Windows Server 2008 R2 virtual machine.
  2. Download and install any updates using the Update Manager.
  3. Remove the shutdown tracker:
    1. Open the Local Group Policy Editor such as gpedit.msc.
    2. Go to Computer Configuration > Administrative Templates > System
    3. Scroll down to Display Shutdown Event Tracker.
    4. Click Edit Setting.
    5. Select the status Disabled.

  4. Enable sound:
    1. Go to Programs > Administrative Tools > Server Manager
    2. Browse to the Services section.
    3. Scroll to the Windows Audio service.
    4. Edit the properties so that the Startup type is set to Automatic.
    5. Optionally if an audio device is installed, configure the device:

      1. Go to Control Panel > Hardware and Sound > Sound > Manage audio devices
      2. Select Playback device.
      3. Click Properties.
      4. Deselect Give Exclusive mode application priority.

    6. Update a registry value:

      1. Open the registry editor ( regedit.exe).
      2. Browse to HKEY_LOCAL_MACHINE > SOFTWARE > Microsoft > Windows NT > CurrentVersion > Multimedia > SystemProfile.
      3. Edit the value for SystemResponsiveness to be set as 0x00000014 (20).

  5. Enable themes:

    1. Go to Programs > Administrative Tools > Server Manager.
    2. Click Add Features.
    3. Select Desktop Experience and install it through the wizard.
    4. Go to Programs > Administrative Tools > Server Manager.
    5. Browse to the Services section.
    6. Scroll to the Themes service.
    7. Edit the properties so that the Startup type is set to Automatic.

  6. Set process priority:

    1. Go to Computer > Properties > Change Settings.
    2. Click the Advanced tab.
    3. Click Settings under Performance.
    4. Click the Advanced tab.
    5. Select Programs.

    6. Disable enhanced IE Security.

      1. Go to Programs > Administrative Tools > Server Manager.
      2. Under Server Summary, click Configure IE ESC.
      3. Set it to disabled for Administrators and Users.

      4. Ensure that GPOs are not conflicting with any of the preceding settings.
      Note: The preceding link was correct as of June,13th 2016. If you find the link is broken, provide a feedback and a VMware employee will update the link.

      Request a Product Feature

      To request a new product feature or to provide feedback on a VMware product, please visit the Request a Product Feature page.


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