Microsoft is against the use of nLite and vLite

Slimming down your Windows install to save hard drive space or RAM is not essential as many tend to believe. In this day and age, hard drives and RAM both are very affordable and easy to install. Microsoft has said that their Vista operating system is larger than they would have preferred. They have also released information that the next version of Windows (known across the Internet as Windows 7) will include a minimalistic variation of the Windows kernel called MinWin. Until Windows 7 and MinWin become available around the year 2011 users have instead been utilizing nLite and vLite.

Users have been turning to nLite for Windows 2000, XP x86/x64 and 2003 x86/x64 and vLite for Windows Vista to “slim down” their installs. Both programs do have a few nice features that allow you to integrate hotfixes, service packs and drivers. Unfortunately they also allow you to remove components and services which is a bad idea. While you may think you don’t need something like the Wireless Zero Configuration, DNS Client, or Error Reporting services, these all have a purpose. Disabling idle services offers zero performance gain and idle services take no RAM or CPU power at all. When you go to use some new software, wireless card or other hardware that relies on a service that was manually disabled you’ll receive an error message like: “The RPC server is unavailable”. Now you think that the program you’re using is useless, broken, or does not work. The program actually works just fine but the functionality is hindered because a required service has been disabled.

“Microsoft does not recommend using any tool to strip out applications from Windows Vista prior to installing it on your system, as it may affect your ability to download future Windows updates and service packs, and may cause your system to become unstable,” the company said to CNet News after a recent story about vLite.

A vanilla install of Windows will work out of the box. Even after you update your computer everything will work because you did not remove a necessary feature, service or component using a program like nLite or vLite. Best of all you will still have plenty of space left on your hard drive. Most computers that shipped with Windows XP had a hard drive of 30GB or larger. Computers that ship with Windows Vista generally have a hard drive that is 60GB or larger. The install may seem “bloated” to some, but it will work with your system because Microsoft includes many necessary drivers to help configure your system during setup.

Many users prefer to make updated Windows media when they need to reinstall by integrating service packs, hotfixes, drivers and even addons which install their favorite programs for them. For users who want to integrate service packs, hotfixes, drivers and other addons you can turn to the RyanVM Integrator or even make use of Autostreamer. You can also acquire driver packages from Bashrat the Sneaky’s DriverPacks and for hotfixes and addons you can get RyanVM’s UpdatePack.