1. Creating Virtual Machines

Windows

Installation

The first step is to install the OS. There isn't a lot of options on Vista and 7 for trimming it down during the install process. Deployment is best done with a zero-touch process, so that it's repeatable. (unattended, in the old parlance) 
  1. Use the (how to deploy here!) process

Optimization

There are some things that are undeniably good to do, such as:
  • Disable Login and User Screen Savers
  • Turn off Visual Enhancements
  • Disable Audio
  • Disable Performance Counters
  • Disable Start Menu Delays
  • Install the Guest Optimizations*
Then there are some things which are debatable, such as:
  • Setting the page file to exactly 512M (or whatever RAM size is)
  • Setting the page file to zero-out at shut down (so it's compressible)
  • Disable paging of files being executed 
  • Disable Last Access Time stamp and 8.3 names
  • Disable Windows Search (Indexing)
  • Disable System Restore*
And there are some things that are generally bad,  usually accomplish little, but can be advantageous in a few circumstances, such as:
  • Removing the page file
  • Disabling 'Unused' but safe to disable services
To do any of these, an automated mechanism is best. Right-click and run these .cmd files as an Administrator to automate the above steps, with the exception of the things that are starred. You must do those manually. See the notes at the bottom e to learn more.

Operation

Connections are best made via the RDP protocol.

Notes:

Disable System Restore

You  do this programmaticaly with the command 
 
    wmic /namespace:\\root\default path SystemRestore call Disable \
 
But don't. It unfortuanatly doesn't remove exiting restore points or actually stop all the services. So you are left with it only partially disabled. There are numerous registry settings associated with the services that make up system protection, but they are intended for the system to use and we are advised against manipulating them and causing unintended consequences, as above
 
Some useful links
 

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vm-bad.reg
(12k)
Allen Gattis,
Feb 23, 2010, 10:49 AM
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vm-debate.cmd.zip
(1k)
Allen Gattis,
Feb 23, 2010, 10:49 AM
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vm-good.cmd.zip
(1k)
Allen Gattis,
Feb 23, 2010, 10:49 AM
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