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Configuring XP for nLite to work through a virtual environment


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Hello everyone!

Noob here. I may be here a while, or be gone in a flash if it turns out that I'm wasting everyone's time -including my own.

Allow me to explain; Objective:

To use the most stripped down version of Windows possible -my purposes are to only use certain programs, namely:

MS Office (specifically: Word, Excel, Access, Outlook)

I don't need anything else!!! I have a Windows XP Home edition, and really just need Windows XP to run these programs, as well as access my company data base which runs in Windows.

Problem: I was originally told to use Windows XP or 7 with a PE installation. I was then told, that this would not work, and was guided here. I'm hopeful from what I've read so far.

Catch (if there is one)

I'm running a MacBookPro, and need nLite to work through a virtual environment like Parallels, which I own.

Can this be done? Am I on the right track?

Thanks for reading, and thanks for your time!

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There is an other catch; nLite is for personal use only (you agree to that when you install it). So accessing your company data base and stuff will have to be done an other way.

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Thank you, Ponch!

I'm sorry, I'm afraid I don't understand...

I'm aware of this, and am in accordance with the provisions of the agreement. I'm an employee of the company, and would be using this tool to facilitate the management of this data base. I do this already with another computer. That said, what would be the difference in using a "stripped-down", nLite version of windows to achieve the same purpose?

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The nLite license says clearly you cannot use it in any business setting. Mainly because the use of nlite destroys your company agreement with ms and nuhi\nlite will not be responsible for that.

Using a modified version of nlite in a business is against your windows agreement and opens your company for lawsuits from ms.

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Very well. I understand you need to protect yourselves.

Would you know any other way to strip Windows XP down, perhaps through a custom installation? Or something of this nature?

Thanks for your time

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Maybe, since Nuhi is back, we may ask him the actual "intentions" behind the original nlite license.

It seems to me how the idea was well before the current (BTW senseless) BYO device approach (which is probably what Rhetro is needing the nlite for).

Just for reference BYOD madness considerations:



Basically nlite is not particularly needed in your case.

Apart the "fun" of it (I mean "liteing" XP), the issues with a "stock" XP installs are two:

  1. amount of space on disk occupied
  2. amount of memory/resources/CPU needed
  1. the first one is not (nowadays) much of a problem, a "normal" XP install + Office + some "normal" archiving space would go within 4 Gb, in a VM the actual disk access is usually very fast, so it is not a "real" issue. If you are truly "Commercial" as said before a XPlite would do and 40 bucks or so won't make that much impact on a budget that implies a Mac and Parallels, or you can serach and locate the n articles here and there on the 'net (though nowhere like the nlite and/or XPlite efficiency/thoroughfulness) there are a number of "tricks" that allow to reduce the used space, examples: http://www.marcofolio.net/tips/tips_to_shrink_the_windows_directory_to_create_space.html or http://forums.macrumors.com/showthread.php?t=192199
  2. the second one can be obtained through the advices on the mentioned blackviper site, by removeing/disabling the zillion unneeded services otherwise normally running in the background


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Kelsen, X, and Jaclaz:

Thank you so much for this information! There is plenty to work with here, and have no doubt that it will get me going for my purposes. If all else fails, I have no problem spending the $40.00 for XPLite. Again, I appreciate your caution and know that you can't be too careful these days as the internet is rife with nefarious intentions.

I will research this information, and slowly apply it!

Thanks again, for your time and your help.




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Another idea:

start with the 4 GB image. A fixed size VHD image is nice, It's almost a RAW image and is supported by a virtual machine,

wimb created VHD_XP_Compact, thanks. http://www.911cd.net/forums//index.php?showtopic=25375

Use this to trim down the VHD image. No idea, if this support the unknown office version.

If this fails, you may use the 4 GB image still.

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Hello Folks!

I've yet to start, but am planning on it this weekend now that I'll have some free time -you know how it goes....

Just want to make sure that I'm starting off on the right step:

Step 1: Set up an image for 4GB

Step 2: Install Win XP

Can I do anything that will benefit the process? Like setting up for a custom install etc? Or just blow all that off, and do the standard installation?

I want to go one step at a time and not get ahead of myself .... :sneaky:

Thanks for all the help!

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Naah, if you are going through the wimb's app, just follow the instructions (they are complex, due to the number of options available :ph34r:, but they can all in all perfectly be followed with some patience and attention).

You can make the VHD the "default" 2GB, using this approach:


and after enlarge it (I don't remember if there is an option to make bigger than 2 Gb .vhd's from within the program).

The issue you may be facing is the availability in the "source" XP CD/iso of the appropriate Mass Storage drivers (if any needed) for your "Parallels" environment.

You may want to NOT install the "whole" driverspack, but rather just the needed driver (in order to save some space).


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Thanks, Jaclaz

The only reason I ask, is because it looks like it would be difficult to do all this configuration within within the parallels environment. I have another machine which is a PC running XP. I guess I should do all of the above on it. To practice if nothing else? Then I could just take the files I need, and burn them to a disk. However, I know that Parallels allows for a setup of Chrome where I can download all my files from and not have to worry about OSX compatibility. Everything would run inside of Chrome. Does that make sense, or just do all this on the my other PC, get the files that I need, and take it from there?

Hope I'm making sense.


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The issue is slighlty different.

I am not familiar with Parallels, so the following is just "generic" info.

A "Virtual Machine" has *somehow* to emulate "real hardware", i.e. it needs to create "virtual hardware".

As an example Qemu emulates a virtual hardware that comprises a "standard" BIOS and chipset and more than anything else a "standard" PCI IDE interface for mass storage. XP will use in Qemu the "Standard Dual PCI IDE" driver, which is of course included in any XP source.

Another virtual machine, let's say VmWare, uses a LSILogic compatible "virtual hardware" and XP does not have by default those drivers.


so that you need to "add" them (integrating them or using a "virtual F6 floppy" at install time).

Creating the image on another PC is good only for "practice", because each XP installation is "customized" on a given hardware and (though possible) moving it on different hardware is complex.

On the other hand, if you follow the idea of wimb's "universal XP" (or "hardware learning" XP) you will add (besides some space occupied by the driverspacks) a layer of complexity, whilst the original scope was "as simple as possible".


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