Best ways to put Windows XP Pro on a diet? (reducing Windows bloated file size)

Discussion in 'other software & services' started by Devinco, Mar 11, 2006.

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  1. Devinco

    Devinco Registered Member

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    Hi Everyone,

    Operating Systems used to be so small and light weight. Now I find myself making the OS partitions 15-20 GB to allow for all the bloat. Where does all this bloat come from and what are the best ways to get rid of it?

    I would like to reduce the Windows XP Pro bloated file size so that backup partition images take less space. This will allow more versions of the OS to be stored in various stages of security tweaking/testing. I am already compressing the images on backup. This would be on a clean reformatted fresh install. I want a lean OS to start with. I don't want to use Windows XP's drive compression either.
    I would like to get rid of the biggest space hogs first.
    I can run the Disk Cleanup utility and get rid of temp files and some items. I can also remove some of the Windows components from the control panel. But I am looking for something more aggressive.

    A website like BlackViper.com is great for removing unnecessary services.
    But that only frees up RAM and CPU resources (and some potential vulnerabilities). I want to free up hard drive space.

    Are there websites that help people put the bloated beast that is Windows on a diet? Like BV's site, it would point out the biggest offender's, what they are used for and if it's relatively safe to remove (and the best way to remove).

    Other related OS space saving tips, advice, and programs would be great.

    For example:
    Is it a good idea during windows setup to copy all the files to your hard drive?
    Where are these files stored and can one safely remove them? How much would you save?
    When you go to Microsoft Updates, what updates or add ons should you avoid? (for instance: some Matrox video cards need .net 1.0 or 1.1 not .net 2.0)
    After an MS update is there left over downloaded stuff that is no longer needed? What's the best way to get rid of it?

    Any ideas?
     
  2. Rmus

    Rmus Exploit Analyst

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    After installing Win2K on C:\ I shrank the partition to leave 1GB free space - it's 4GB and frozen with Deep Freeze. It hasn't changed since installation except when new programs install data to the Registry..

    But the programs themselves and my files are on other partitions so C:\ is not involved with that.

    I think if I tested as much as you do, I would dual-boot and have a separate partition for that, leaving C:\ in a rather pristine condition. It's a nice feeling.

    ---
     
  3. WSFuser

    WSFuser Registered Member

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    u can try using nlite to reduce some bloat; as for the source, i believe it just comes from all the components/programs included with the OS.
     
  4. starfish_001

    starfish_001 Registered Member

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  5. Devinco

    Devinco Registered Member

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    Hi Rmus,

    Good points and they are well taken.
    XP does seem to have more bloat than Win2K.
    What about after you visit Microsoft update and download Windows Media Player and other updates etc.?
    Doesn't the bloat accumulate for you?

    The dual boot is a good option. One lean OS, and another loaded with all sorts of programs. But I still want to get the file size down the most that I reasonably can and still function well.

    Thanks!
     
  6. Devinco

    Devinco Registered Member

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    Hi WSFuser,

    Thanks. I will check it out. A reformat is a good a time for it too.
     
  7. Devinco

    Devinco Registered Member

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  8. ErikAlbert

    ErikAlbert Registered Member

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    I'm not sure, it's a good idea to change such a very complicated OS like Windows with millions lines of code.
    Sounds good and seducing, but is it the same as :
    "With XPlite and 2000lite we give YOU the power to set up YOUR machine the way winXP and win2000 wants!" ?
    I leave it up to the adventurers to take that risk.
    WinXP or win2000 could take revenge sooner or later and it won't be easy to find out what and where things went wrong and certainly not for a less-knowledgeable user.

    If there was a M$ CD with a pure winXP or win2000 without all these MS Applications, I wouldn't have any doubts, but that CD doesn't exists.
     
  9. WSFuser

    WSFuser Registered Member

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    make sure to browse the forum thoroughly and be careful in choosing what to remove. good luck
     
  10. Rmus

    Rmus Exploit Analyst

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    Hello, Devinco,

    Another option (I used to do this) is have another computer for testing/playing around.

    If I upgrade Media Player, for example, I just uninstall the old version and install the new. I don't see unnecessary stuff hanging around (although I keep the old installer).

    Again, I keep C:\ just for the OS and whatever is forced into Program Files; everything else on other partitions keeps C:\ lean, and Deep Freeze insures that nothing changes (file corruption, other unexpected Windows changes).

    I'm not sure what you mean by other updates, but I don't use Microsoft Update.

    ---
     
  11. Franklin

    Franklin Registered Member

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  12. WSFuser

    WSFuser Registered Member

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    you are correct. there are alternative runtimes but they dont work for me.
     
  13. zapjb

    zapjb Registered Member

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    The alternative runtimes work for me. Thank goodness I don't want NET.
     
  14. Mrkvonic

    Mrkvonic Linux Systems Expert

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    Hello,
    Blackviper's guide and other others are nice, but they take into account you are a single-pc user, no p2p, no gaming, minimal flexibility.
    You say you need large partitions to handle the bloat. In today's era, most HDDs are easily 200Gb or more, so 10% of your space is not that much. You will earn far more space by: reducing the size of the page file, reducing the size of the system restore and reducing the size of the recycle bin.
    By default, page file is 1.5x ram, system restore 12% and recycle bin 10%. Plus, reduce the size of the Temp folder to 100-200Mb rather than 1500Mb default. This way you can easily earn 3-5Gb or more without losing any functionality.
    Mrk
     
  15. Franklin

    Franklin Registered Member

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    Did anyone mention that if you don't use the hibernate feature it can be turned off in power options to save disk space equal to the size of your ram.
     
  16. clansman77

    clansman77 Registered Member

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    TRY NLITE IF YOU PLAN ON A FRESH INSTALL
    TRY XPLITE IF YOU WANT TO REDUCE YOUR CURRENT OS
    NLITE IS FREE XPLITE IS NOT FREE
    I USE NLITE WITH ALTERNATE RUNTIMES AND RYAN'S UPDATE PACK AND IT WORKS GREAT:cool:
     
  17. lotuseclat79

    lotuseclat79 Registered Member

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  18. Devinco

    Devinco Registered Member

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    Hi ErikAlbert,

    This type of thing is certainly not for everyone.
    Having a reliable backup would be a good idea before trying any of these ideas. That's what I will do.

    Thanks
     
  19. Devinco

    Devinco Registered Member

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    Rmus and WSFuser.

    Thank you.
     
  20. Devinco

    Devinco Registered Member

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    Franklin,

    Thanks for the link and the hibernate tip! That is an amazing guide. It does make me think twice about it though. If nothing else, it is very helpful to show how seemingly unrelated components are dependent on each other. I think I'll try just a little at a time.
    Kudos to bold-fortune for his thorough Slimming Guide.
     
  21. Devinco

    Devinco Registered Member

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    Hi Mrk,

    Good ideas. Backup software usually doesn't include the pagefile.sys, but they may (not sure) include the system restore and recycle bin.

    Thanks!
     
  22. Devinco

    Devinco Registered Member

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    Thanks clansman77.

    Right now I think I'll go with nlite as it will save me time with the updates etc.
     
  23. Franklin

    Franklin Registered Member

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    I have implemented about 60% of Bold Fortunes slimming guide which I would be hesitant to do if I didn't have Ghost images or clones on a slave..

    My "C" drive is on a partition of 5 gig with xp,security apps and maintenance programs taking up 1.3 gig of space.Paging is turned off.

    Ewido scans take around 1min30secs,AV-3mins and smart placement defrags with PD take around 30secs.

    Ghost images are around the 780 meg mark and backing up only takes 2 mins.

    I also have turned off the Workstation service and don't have any probs.

    Ones persons needs are different to anothers but with imaging software you are quite safe to try different things.
     
  24. Devinco

    Devinco Registered Member

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    Hi Tom,

    That link to Black Viper's Review is not working for me.
    It comes up with Error Code: 102.
    Does it work correctly for you?
    If it is working for you, could you please post it here or send me a PM with it?
    I've never heard any bad things about BV. Could it be someone just trying to stir things up?

    Bold-Fortune's Windows XP Services Companion is really good too.
    It goes more in depth into the how's and why's of the services than BV.

    Thanks!
     
  25. Devinco

    Devinco Registered Member

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    Wow. Very impressive results. At that size, backing up the OS more frequently would not be a big deal.
    Definately worth a try.
     
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