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April 8, 2010

Reduce logon times by excluding the bloat

Profile bloat – we’ve all seen it. Many applications, and even Windows itself, can store files in the most inappropriate places within the user profile. For example, here’s just part of what the Vodafone Mobile Connect application stores within the roaming portion of my profile:

VodafoneMobileConnectAppData

Yes that’s 37.3Mb of logs. Handy.

Here’s iTunes storing 161Mb in 3295 files in AppData\Roaming – imagine waiting for that to copy at logon.

iTunesBackupAppData

I’ve been spending some time with some of the user profile virtualisation (or user virtualisation / user environment management / user workspace virtualisation ) products lately and have started to compile a list of profile folders that I’ve needed to exclude from being managed.

Profile virtualisation products like this one and this one can optimise what is roamed; however exclusions may still be required and are necessary if are using standard Windows roaming profiles or less complex virtualisation solutions such as Citrix Profile Management.

Most of these products are very easy to install and configure and for the most part are ‘fire and forget’; however adding some exclusions is a simple way to improve logon and logoff times by reducing the amount of managed data.

Folder Exclusions

The following tables list a selection of folders from within the user profile (all relative to %USERPROFILE%) that should be considered for exclusion.

First up, here’s a list of the default user folders for Windows Vista and above, that in most cases would be redirected from the user profile to a network location:

FolderDescription
ContactsContacts folder (depreciated in Windows 7?)
DesktopDesktop folder; usually redirected
DocumentsDocuments folder; usually redirected
DownloadsDownloads folder
FavoritesInternet Explorer favourites; usually redirected
LinksWindows Explorer favourites; usually redirected
MusicMusic folder; usually redirected
PicturesPictures folder; usually redirected
Saved GamesGames saves
SearchesWindows Explorer custom searches; usually redirected
VideosVideos folder; usually redirected

If you are using folder redirection, you may not need to add these to your exclusion list; however if folder redirection did not apply then excluding these from the user profile will prevent them from becoming managed (potentially managing very large amounts of data).

Next is a list of folders from various applications that either store large files or many small files that will impact on logon and logoff times:

FolderDescription
.VirtualBoxSun VirtualBox; Default configuration and storage folder
TracingWindows Live Messenger, Office Communicator; tracing logs. Info how to change that location here
PodcastsZune; Podcasts folder
Virtual MachinesWindows Virtual PC; default configuration and storage folder
AppData\Roaming\Apple Computer\MobileSyncApple iTunes; Folder used to store device backups
AppData\Roaming\Apple Computer\LogsApple iTunes; Stores device logs
AppData\Roaming\Apple Computer\iTunes\iPhone Software UpdatesApple iTunes; Stores full images of the iPhone OS
AppData\Roaming\Microsoft Office\Live Meeting 8Microsoft Live Meeting; default installation folder
AppData\Roaming\Microsoft Shared\LiveMeeting SharedMicrosoft Live Meeting; shared folder
AppData\Roaming\Microsoft\XDEMicrosoft Visual Studio; Windows Mobile 7 emulator images
AppData\Roaming\Macromedia\Flash Player\macromedia.com\support\flashplayer\sysAdobe Flash; Cookies and settings
AppData\Roaming\Macromedia\Flash Player\#SharedObjectsAdobe Flash; Cookies
AppData\Roaming\Adobe\Flash Player\AssetCacheAdobe Flash; cache folder
AppData\Roaming\Vodafone\Vodafone Mobile Connect\LogVodafone Mobile Connect
AppData\Roaming\Microsoft\Windows\RecentWindows; recent files and folders; lots of small files can increase logon/logoff times
AppData\Roaming\Microsoft\Windows\Start MenuWindows; personal Start Menu; if applications are managed this folder could be excluded
AppData\Roaming\SoftGrid Client\Icon CacheApp-V; Icon cache for shortcuts. If using App-V server this will be re-populated
AppData\Roaming\Juniper Networks\Juniper Citrix Services ClientJuniper Networks; Citrix ICA client binaries
AppData\Roaming\Juniper Networks\Setup ClientJuniper Networks; Setup client binaries
AppData\LocalVarious; Local application data (i.e. non-roaming); should be excluded by default
AppData\LocalLowVarious; Local application data for low integrity applications; should be excluded by default
AppData\Roaming\MetroTwit\User_ImagesMetroTwit user images cache
AppData\Roaming\DropboxDropBox install folder
AppData\Roaming\Microsoft\Office\RecentShortcuts to recent files edited in Microsoft Office
AppData\Roaming\Mozilla\Firefox\Crash ReportsFirefox Crash Reports
AppData\Roaming\McAfee\Common FrameworkVarious McAfee apps including VirusScan. Logs files and others
AppData\Roaming\Spotify\GracenoteGracenote SDK DLLs used by Spotify

If you have any additional folders to exclude, let me know and I’ll add them to the list.

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