Useful article on template windows vmware images. One point of great note:
As a result of point (4), your OS disk is now perfectly aligned with the storage layer below it, increasing disk I/O performance. This is actually a server OS problem that applies to all of Microsoft’s pre-Windows Server 2008 server operating sustems, and Windows XP. A simple explanation is that systems like to write data in 64k chunks onto disks with 64k sectors. However, they create their very first chunk at only 63k in size. That means every subsequent chuck writes at least 1k to the previous sector, resulting in every read and write going to two sectors and resulting in two I/Os per operation instead of just one I/O. This is what you’ve just corrected in (4).