Microsoft

Free software able to reduce the size of Windows Vista

Increasing attention has been drawn to a free software utility that promises to strip down Windows Vista. The software is called vLite, and the final version of vLite 1.1 was released last week.

Increasing attention has been drawn to a free software utility that promises to strip down Windows Vista. The software is called vLite, and the final version of vLite 1.1 was released last week.

vLite provides a way to easily remove unwanted components in order to make Vista run faster and to your liking. In fact, the customization happens before the actual installation of Windows Vista. As it is, if you want to make any changes, you'll have to remake the ISO and reinstall the operating system. This method is much cleaner, not to mention easier and more logical than doing it after installation on every reinstall.

Excerpt from InformationWeek:

vLite allows users to preselect numerous Vista features for automatic removal prior to installing the OS on their personal computers. Among them: Windows Media Player, Windows Photo Viewer, MSN Installer, Wallpapers, SlideShow, Windows Mail and other utilities.

You can visit the vLite Web site here.

Any of you tried out this tool yet?

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About

Paul Mah is a writer and blogger who lives in Singapore, where he has worked for a number of years in various capacities within the IT industry. Paul enjoys tinkering with tech gadgets, smartphones, and networking devices.

38 comments
trhl4589
trhl4589

it worked for me like never before after i reduced the size of vista i split the 5 install.swm files and created a ISO with it but im having trouble makin it a bootable cd oh and i like how you can make it run on 256 and if ne1 would tell me if they kno how to makie the vista cd bootable on a cd-r plz if u can send the information to this email trhl4589@yahoo.com

edwin.sibrian
edwin.sibrian

Well, Vista Without all those features it is "XP". I better keep My XP. Thanks!!

edwin.sibrian
edwin.sibrian

Well, Vista Without all those future it is "XP". I better keep My XP. Thanks!!

jhaft
jhaft

Why should users need a tool to remove or strip down parts of the OS? Shouldn't we be able to choose which components get loaded in the first place?

BurnJW
BurnJW

Were can a person get this SOFTWARE. Regards from Mr. B. J. Warnock. bjwarnock@optusnet.com.au

paulmah
paulmah

Any of you tried out this tool yet?

Dumphrey
Dumphrey

there is a "make bootable iso" button in nLite, I would imagine that vLite has at least that feature. It will be one of the large square buttons towards the end.

nscollura
nscollura

I think that I will wait for the next version of Win and see what that release like. I almost bought a copy of Vista. I will keep my XP Pro.

Dumphrey
Dumphrey

even striped down, Vista still has the rampant DRM sub-system running at all times.

stempy
stempy

Yes, we should be able to choose what components should get loaded in the first place, trouble is though, the installations dont provide this level of choice, lots of things are automatically installed that may never be used by the system. This is where programs like Nlite and Vlite come in handy, to remove things that you may never use, to trim out the gunk, and to automate installation processes.

daring
daring

Obviously the setup process is designed for "regular" users who should not be bombarded with questions. However, I do wish that Microsoft gave us a Basic/Advanced option when installing. vLite/nLite are really designed for multiple rollouts, where you want to skip the entire installation process altogether. For example, I use a custom nLite build at work where we have all the same Org name, VLK product key, etc, and where I want to skip the tour, folder options, start menu options, etc. This way I know that every workstation is set up the same. In a way, it's better than imaging since it's not hardware dependent.

serrin
serrin

Yes, we should be able to pick and choose what components get installed, but the fact is, we don't have the luxury on most windows components. I have used NLite for Windows XP and found it great when I was playing with the EEEPC from Asus. I am anxious to try this out with the few deployments of Vista that I have, even though I don't have much intention of going wide with Vista where I work for some time.

daring
daring

Holding back from spelling and grammar correction... You can try www.google.com.

barrie.duke
barrie.duke

You mean I could buy Vista and make it like XP. Well I never.

gregzdnet
gregzdnet

I use nlite all of the time its fantastic but it's difficult to add deleted functions I have done it but it's a hassle finding the files and making the reg hacks, although sometimes running the inf after putting the file(s) in the right place(s) can work. Haven't had a chance to run it on Vista yet it would not work on the Beta's. Seems like winsxs would be the biggest problem with Vista at least in terms of disk space and I would have more security concerns about V liteling Vista I can run a very full featured install of Xo with word, and a fair amount of programs at 1.5 gig or so can get XP install from from stripped a 1 gig I have heard 2-300 mb is possible haven't tried that yet don't have time to monkey around because you must make a new install from scratch that means making the CD and doing and clean install each time. Don't freak if you do updates and gain a half gig just go to Windows and delete the $ntuninstall... files and delete all but last system restore assuming your system is stable with updates and you know you don't need to go back to previous state. You can slipstream service packs and updates and actually wind up with a smaller install just due to the fact that updates are integrated into the system files, although at least at the intro of the SP3 that won't have as much relevance soon. Make sure you don't pull any security features out if that is a concern. Windows is designed as a system and I'm sure MS doesn't want people putting security holes in Nlited and Vlited systems. Another issue is if you run sfc obviously it will know your install is missing files and when you add programs you will be greeted with a pop-up up asking you if you want to keep non original files. So there are quite a few cons and I run n-lited 2000 and xp installs and full as well. Its great having a 1.5 gig partition image with word, updates,drivers, security suite and several programs and being able to do bare metal restore in under 2 minutes including shut down and reboot. My 2 cents worth after using it for a while.

carlsf
carlsf

Be installed onto my Home or Business (15 Seats) systems and MY clients are saying the same (65 seats). VISTA and Office 2007 will NOT be recomened or used. In the event MS stops suppoprt or us purchasing XP PRO and Office 2003 PRO we are evaluating Linux (Mandriva) and an Online suite (ZOHO), looking good and we will be ready to cut and run if MS does.

ginkep
ginkep

All measures are good then need to stay on float with a boat that is not made for :)))).

jhogue
jhogue

An O.S. is not an optional piece of software. It stands between the machine (however powerful the hardware) and the user. The LAST thing I would do is install ANY O.S. ** IF ** it was really so bad that it would need third-party freeware to make it work properly. This has got to be the ultimate condemnation.

daring
daring

I've been using this tool for a while now. It's not as robust as nLite yet, but it's still a helpful tool. Keep an eye on it over the next few months, as it's going to get better and better. There is a lot of support behind this tool, and it may become mainstream.

mike_patburgess
mike_patburgess

Vlite, Vmini, etc. Who cares it is still a product that in my opinion very few people wanted or needed. MS should focus and standardize on an OS that works and provides what people want. XP Professional is a good OS (and this might be the last time you hear me say that about MS and their OS). Just keep the security patches coming and improvements.

JCitizen
JCitizen

but I'm only interested in the security features.

CharlieSpencer
CharlieSpencer

One of the XP Resource Kits or Admin Tools includes a utility to let you build an "answer" file to respond to all the XP installation prompts. Is it similar to this? Thanks.

Oz_Media
Oz_Media

Sorry but I`ve heard it all before, too many times in fact. Your comments are exactly the same as most people were saying when XP came out. A few years later and everyone is an XP junkie, the same will happen for Vista. It`s not like Vista is ME or something, Office 2007 has nice features once you get used to the differences. Vista has a some really good user features also which make the users life a lot easier by easing tasks and reducing time nd effory needed to get things done.

HarryBarracuda
HarryBarracuda

Why don't you just by Macs and be done with it. Vista and Office 2007 are excellent but like all changes they have a learning curve. People are just too lazy to learn even when it's to their benefit. I think you're just cutting off your nose to spite your face. If you are going to look at Linux then you should at least look at PCLinuxOS.

Dumphrey
Dumphrey

that vLite and its predecessor Nlite do more then just strip out parts of the OS, they also create auto install scripts, itegrate service packs and hot fixes into the iso, and you can even integrate many programs into the install (Firefox,uTorrent, 7Zip, Foxit reader, Adobe Flash....etc), so when you boot to your clean desktop, there is Firefox, there is 7Zip... There is also (in Nlite, havent used vlite yet)a section that implements many commoon regisrty tweaks durring install. Mostly, this tool is aimed at the user that likes to tweak and/or reinstall their OS frequently.

stempy
stempy

I guess you haven't actually used nlite or vlite, while we can say what MS should focus on and do, the thing is these programs are out now to help us with issues related to problems now, rather than waiting for the complete solution. XP is good, however can be trimmed down with nLite, which I have used many times to chop out lots of gunk from the system, automate installation, this definitely makes XP run smoother. If Vlite can help with some of Vista's issues than it is very useful to many people.

Oz_Media
Oz_Media

What's funny is that I have read the exact same comments here from Win98, through Vista. A couple of years ago, XP was plastered all over every internet forum as a complete piece of junk, waste of time etc. The dismal acceptance of Xp even prompted MS to continue Win2K support for another year or so. I have played with Bista Home, and hated it. Poor build for the box, stripped down OS. I was recently forced into an upgrade when needing a new notebook in a flash. The hardware is fine, it runs fast and secure, and once you get used ot it, Vista is actually quite useful. The way Explorer offers a scrolling document path in the title bar is great for navigation. Finding and swapping through buried files is a snap. The networking features are intuitive and user friendly. The system can easily be stripped down if needed, but there are many useful NEWBIE features such as the taking three or four clilcks to confirm file deletion along with warnings/confirmations of any file open function etc. (however this can all e turned off too). All in all, having been a diehard 2K fan who quickly ditched Xp to go back to Win2KPro again, I have to eat crow. Vista just aint as bad as many people think it is. The problem with OS's as with ANY new product of any type is the FEAR UNCERTAINTY and DOUBT that comes with change from routine. Many peoepl have said XP is the best OS (how times change) those same people ask what is so great abotu Vista. Time to try it out, if you need a new box, Vista is great. as an upgrade from an existing OS or on an older box, I would steer clear of it, or XP for that matter. I think MS does create a nice OS at times, they are definitely better over time (ME excluded of course)but as an upgrade to an existing system, they usually fall short due to compatibilty issues.

JCitizen
JCitizen

I think I'm getting worse and worse with communication since I got back from the hospital - I'd bet I got the same two Alzheimer genes my mom has. It would be interesting to see a direct comparison chart between Vista Business and XP x64 security parameters.. I say that because Server 2003 would not be compared to a standard operating system normally. I already know it and XP x64 are definitely more secure that XP sp2.

daring
daring

Oh yeah, I've gotten XP installs to be about 700MB on disk by removing unwanted components. Just be careful what you remove. For example, I used to remove Windows Media Player but that screwed up my codecs. Only way to know is to break it and keep trying. VM makes life real easy, especially since you can boot from an ISO file. Saves you from wasting CD's.

Dumphrey
Dumphrey

but it also includes registry installs, OEM installs, registry tweaks, package integration, hotfix and SP integration... its an amazing program really. Spend an afternoon seeing how tiny you can get XP and have it still install in a vm =)

sidney.wong
sidney.wong

Everything new has a learning curve associated with it, but the problem with Vista isn't actually using it, it's deploying it on an Enterprise level. XP had a mass deployable image that could fit on a CD, with VISTA, you'd be lucky to fit that on a single layer DVD. How many OSes do you know that take up 8GB of space??? That blows out the deployment of a machine from 10 minutes (XP) to 60 minutes (VISTA). I'm waiting for "Windows 7" to come out as it is currently boasting an OS kernel of 25Mb but unfortunately if I want to get a new PC for home, most are only avaialable with Vista and that realy sucks. MS really needs to remove the bloatware and get the OS running like an OS...not an app server. The take up on VISTA will be similar to when XP got released...give it another year when hardware, drivers, games and applications are fully functional on VISTA, and it'll be the defacto standard...unless MS shoots itself in the leg again and releases Windows 7 within the next 2 years.

brendan-news
brendan-news

Yes, I agree. Some people are so startled by change, especially the cowboys in the industry.

eM DuBYaH
eM DuBYaH

Oz, you hit the nail right on the head! I'm *STILL* a Windows 2k fan. Win 2k was/is perfect. Nothing fancy, just an OS with a GUI. I don't see the point of fancy visuals for an OS. An OS should run the apps as quick and securely as possible. I have Aero shutoff on one of my Vista boxes, and use the Windows classic theme. I'm sure about 4 or 5 years from now, Vista will be the tried and true OS (on SP4 or 5!) and the next incarnation will be the most hated OS on earth.

im_ratiocinate
im_ratiocinate

Vista is a Dawg! the CEO of our co. has urged us all to roll back to XP and Office 2003. Vista and Ofc07 have caused major problems for every person at our company that has attempted any combo of upgrade. Nosir, this is not just a new face, it is a malignant time and money sucking binary boil harly worth the effort to fix. I have actually suggested taking two years to migrate to Linux/OpenOffice.

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