I just installed two new virtual machines with Windows 8 and Windows 8.1 on our VMWare ESXi 5.1 Server and noticed a base load of about 800 Mhz without the machine doing actual work.

Now I wonder how one can reduce this to a minimum (e.g. my Linux fileserver has a minimum load of 6-10 Mhz, and Windows 2003 one of 40 Mhz). Believing Microsoft designed this OS to also run on mobile devices, there must be switches that stop the system from doing useless stuff. Any ideas?

  • Have you checked what processes are draining CPU?
    – Havenard
    Jul 22, 2014 at 4:52
  • How old are the installs? If they are brand, brand new they may settle down; I have an idle load of around 10Mhz for our VMs. Jul 22, 2014 at 4:52
  • @Marc: Thanks for the info, I will try to check for myself, first.
    – Daniel
    Jul 22, 2014 at 4:59

3 Answers 3


There's a fling that might help you: VMware OS Optimization Tool

The VMware OS Optimization Tool helps optimize Windows 7/8/2008/2012 systems for use with VMware Horizon View. The optimization tool includes customizable templates to enable or disable Windows system services and features, per VMware recommendations and best practices, across multiple systems. Since most Windows system services are enabled by default, the optimization tool can be used to easily disable unnecessary services and features to improve performance.

As Reality Extractor points out these optimizations apply even if you run it on ESXi without View.

  • accepted as answer, because this is by far the most easy way to do it. Thanks!
    – Daniel
    Aug 4, 2014 at 6:39

In addition to Mark Henderson's comment you may also want to check out the Optimization Guide for Windows 7 and Windows 8 Virtual Desktops in Horizon with View @ VMware.com and follow most of those optimizations which may cut down on CPU usage, and will for sure cut down on disks I/O because desktop OSes are far more I/O intensive if left unchanged than server OSes. It doesn't matter if the guide says it's for View, most all of the changes in Windows apply even if you run it on ESXi without View.


Windows 8/8.1 does not have such a high constant base load, neither on physical nor on virtual machines.

I have seen similar issues caused by software installations that corrupt the WMI stack (Unfortunately this is very hard to diagnose and fix), or maybe it is just caused by Antivirus software.

Check what processes and/or services are causing the CPU load, and start trouble shooting with this information. As always "Google is your friend"!

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