Jump to content

How to Create the litest of Lite on XP


Recommended Posts

basic guide..

copy your xpcd to c:\xpcd

install nlite, point it at the c:\xpcd folder and begin :)

xplite is for reducing windows AFTER install, nlite is for doing it before install :)

Link to comment
Share on other sites

Another thing to look at (hard) when stripping down XP is what your end result will be for the effort invested.

Bragging rights and education/learning about how MSFT does things and new ways of doing them is always valuable. Always.

But after two and a half years of doing this I'm still not convinced. Other than the 'fun factor', the hugely valuable education factor, and the sheer convienence of all of the pre-loads and reg tweaks, I don't believe that I've gained much beyond what I usually get with a careful mangling of services startup settings.

My .iso is about 1.3 Gb and it's 50% stripped/modded/AddOn & driver laden XP and the other 50% is my standard applications mix and recovery tools. I'm happy with that result. Other people aren't happy until they can get an XP install/recovery environment on to a 150 Mb mini-CD. Nice thing is that everyone gets to play.

However (and these are sure to be unpopular opinions):

Fitting everything on a CD-R? In these days of near-universal DVD boot drives on machines, the old rationale of stripping XP to 'enable' the pre-loading of lots of applications and still fit the thing on to a 700Mb CD-R are gone.

Security? Other than setting some services to manual or disabled, pre-loading all of the MSFT patches, and pre-loading some anti-virus, what else is there that isn't more properly handled with some basic network-level security. Remember that it is security in layers, not a single brick wall that takes care of problems.

reload/install times? On a P4-2.8 and 512 Mb ram my combo RvM (30+ addons), nlite, & BtS DVD can be booted and installed in less than 20 minutes including a full NTFS reformat of hdd0. Dual core and more ram does not speed that up. Things that I manually install after that take another 30 mins. Some people claim to go from bare-metal to fully working machine in 15 minutes but their definition of fully-working is for their purposes, not mine.

Boot times? Is a reduction of 2-5 seconds on a cold boot worth weeks of test/install/vmware time?

System performance? System performance these days is gated almost wholly by the sustained transfer rates of your disk drives and how those drives connect to your system. After boot time, a stripped down XP isn't that much 'snappier' than stock. With reasonably modern video, you don't gain more than a single-digit handful of 'fps' for gaming. Things like seti and folding gain nothing from a stripped down XP; if that kind of performance is what you need you are better off with a linux distro anyway.

Remember that there is a bare minimum config for XP below which you lose networking, themes, support for anything but totally-generic hardware, high-performance video/audio (games, multimedia), and other stuff. Jeremy (among dozens of others) has done a lot of good work in that area over the past 3 years. Have a good look around for the various Last Session.ini files people have posted.

The key to XP iso building/hacking is to set your expectations appropriately and test the hell out of it in a VMWare/VirtualPC environment before trying to 'go live'. You'll probably spend 3-4 hours on each test iteration and with a lot of tweaks/removals/addons, expect dozens of test iterations.

Edited by newsposter
Link to comment
Share on other sites

maybe im stupid, but a ........ maybe you just better like, eighter full strip the *#$%# thing and than start experiencing the problems and look up " nlite what not to remove for myapp " and look that up in google. .. or jou just go an play outside with tha kiddies...

any way YOU have to find a good config for YOU and it you find that APP xyz does work with your config try to search first and ask than.... it took Me about a 5moths to find out what i can and cant remove and today still i use RW cd's to test my nlite.iso's first befor i burn them...

Link to comment
Share on other sites

OK I have to play devils advocate a bit here and say, its silly to ask

"what can I remove without losing any functionality" because if you're

removing something then you are losing functionality! OK languages,

fair enough, you don't need languages but apart from that... everything

in Windows is there for a reason.

I dunno about XP but I run Server 2003 and I swear to god, my games run

faster on the full one! Maybe its because removing stuff just confuses the OS

sometimes, meaning its not running so smooth?

I have found that if you start going below about 200Mb to 220Mb, then you

start having to lose some functionality, like Printing, Jet Database,

MDAC, Cameras.

I guess I could post a Last Session... but I cant be assed, its so late its early here. :blushing:

Link to comment
Share on other sites

Making a small XP CD sounds cool but it rarely works like you want it to. Variations in XP CDs mean that every alteration has a chance to fudge up yer new installation.

I use nLite to make GUI Unattended CDs and that's it. I can always come in after the fact and perform the tweaks and silent installs I need.

When it comes down to it, it's not about the smallest install CD - just what applications and updates you choose afterwards.

Edited by moongoon
Link to comment
Share on other sites

I got a Windows XP SP2 CD down to 400mb. I stripped it of all the languages and keyboards but English/united states. I also went in and disabled hibernate, and system restore. I also set some services to disabled such as search, index, firewall, etc, and SFC to speed up installation. I also added a default workgroup and company, along with a key. The CD is 400mb with RyanVM update pack 2.1.8, addons, directx, and framework 1.1, and 2.0. I also added a 40mb folder called goodies which include a theme and some other stuff.

Haven't tried it yet, but it should work.

Link to comment
Share on other sites

Removing everything and creating a very slim copy of Windows doesn't make any sense.

You're going to work on the PC and not just using it for Task Manager screenshots right?

Read a lot, try to understand what every single component is used for and then remove the useless components with nLite.

Then test, test, test, after a few tries you will have the best Windows installation CD adapted to your needs.


Link to comment
Share on other sites

Create an account or sign in to comment

You need to be a member in order to leave a comment

Create an account

Sign up for a new account in our community. It's easy!

Register a new account

Sign in

Already have an account? Sign in here.

Sign In Now

  • Recently Browsing   0 members

    • No registered users viewing this page.

  • Create New...