I support a similar environment except that we fortunately have SSDs.

The #1 first-sign-in time-saver in Windows 8 and higher is unprovisioning the built-in Windows Store apps (Weather, Calendar, Xbox, Movies & TV, etc.). These apps are provisioned for each user during user profile creation and take quite a bit of time (maybe 30 seconds or more on spinning disks). I use Michael Niehaus's RemoveApps PowerShell script<https://blogs.technet.microsoft.com/mniehaus/2015/11/11/removing-windows-10-in-box-apps-during-a-task-sequence/> during deployment of lab computers to remove these apps. (I leave these apps for non-lab computers that are assigned to specific users, though.) The script uses the Get-AppxProvisionedPackage<https://technet.microsoft.com/en-us/library/dn376467.aspx> and Remove-AppxProvisionedPackage<https://technet.microsoft.com/en-us/library/dn376476.aspx> PowerShell cmdlets, which are documented on TechNet. Be warned: Microsoft continues to move apps to the Windows Runtime (Windows Store model), so you may not want to remove all of these apps. For example, in Windows 10 v1607, the trusty calc.exe went away in favor of a modern app, and if you remove the Photos app, there is no longer a photo viewer on the computer. It is also my understanding that in the spring Creators Update release, the venerable mspaint.exe will be gone in favor of a new modern app. Bottom line: Just be aware of what you are removing. You can configure the RemoveApps tool (to which I linked above) to remove only certain apps.

I also suggest finding out which processes are running automatically at user sign-in. Run Autoruns from Sysinternals<https://technet.microsoft.com/en-us/sysinternals/bb963902> to get some insight on this. Look at the Logon tab, and watch out specifically for registry keys with "Active Setup" in the path. Active Setup is an operating system facility used in configuring the user profile, but some vendors think their application is so important that they insert themselves into this undocumented location in order to run something at first sign-in. I've seen Adobe Acrobat Reader and Google Chrome do this. (I once timed Chrome adding two seconds to every first sign-in this way.) Basically, whenever you see a non-Windows component under an Active Setup key, it is a good candidate for deletion (or at least to be disabled with Autoruns until you are sure doing so doesn't break anything).

Good luck!

Jay Michaud
System Administrator/Programmer
College of Business Administration
Central Michigan University


From: The EDUCAUSE IT Support Services Constituent Group Listserv [mailto:[log in to unmask]] On Behalf Of John Hilbing
Sent: Sunday, November 20, 2016 8:19 PM
To: [log in to unmask]
Subject: Re: [ITSUPPORTSERVICES] computer lab login times (windows OS)

We use a purchased tool http://www.forensit.com/desktop-management.html.

Minimizing the number of group policies being applied, local and domain.

We have a minimum standard of 3 minutes from power on to application loaded with a spinning desk. With SSD we are well under that.



From: The EDUCAUSE IT Support Services Constituent Group Listserv [mailto:[log in to unmask]] On Behalf Of Lucas Lanting
Sent: Saturday, November 19, 2016 6:26 PM
To: [log in to unmask]<mailto:[log in to unmask]>
Subject: [ITSUPPORTSERVICES] computer lab login times (windows OS)

All,

Would you be willing to share your thoughts, tips, tricks, recommendations and/or best practices in minimizing student computer lab login times?

Our classroom and open lab computers are running Windows 7 or 10 with DeepFreeze.  We are not currently using roaming profiles or SSDs.  We require students to log into the computers with their domain account - which of course requires time for the local profile build.  We have been testing a number of configurations to reduce our times - but would like to hear from other universities as to what methodologies have worked well for them.

Thank you for the consideration.

Lucas Lanting
Academic Technology Support, Director
IT | Cal Poly Pomona University

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