Slim down Windows XP

Discussion in 'Windows Guest OS Discussion' started by markallison02, Jun 19, 2007.

  1. markallison02

    markallison02

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    6
    I only use XP to run a couple of applications, and I was wondering if anyone had any tips on how to slim it down a little bit. Is it possible? Is it worth the trouble?

    Mark
     
  2. dkp

    dkp

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    1,367
    The Parallels compressor tool will rip out non-essential files from Windows including games, backgrounds. You can let it go on it's own or you can run it interactively to limit what it rips out.
     
  3. Leauki

    Leauki

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    157
    Parallels compressor runs for a long time and didn't seem to get rid of anything for me.
     
  4. wingdo

    wingdo Kilo Poster

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    314
    Take a look at nlite os. This is a version for XP, there is also a vista version.
     
  5. mcg

    mcg

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    168
    Here's another option: http://www.litepc.com/

    However, I would say that if it's disk space you're looking to save, make sure to use a tool like Drive Doppler to figure out where you're consuming the most space. Run this tool on your C: drive, and drill down onto the largest directories to see what's consuming the most space. In my case, I saved several hundred megs cleaning out Windows Update's dowload directory and some hotfix uninstall directories.
     
    Last edited: Jun 19, 2007
  6. Leonard

    Leonard

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    49
    In another thread someone from the Parallels team said a fix to repair the "compressor runs a LONG time" bug has been suggested for the next update.

    I also did not notice any change to the VM, or image size, after running the compressor, so all it did was take 12 hours of my time. :)
     
  7. dkp

    dkp

    Messages:
    1,367
    Did it not remove your games such as pinball and battleship, and background images? I'm wondering if it has problems with the new virtual disks the way that the image tool that used to be included does. Also - I think it can work on a copy of your vm while you continue to use your vm.
     
  8. Leonard

    Leonard

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    49
    I don't really use the games, but Hearts, Freecell, Solitaire, Minesweeper and Spider Solitaire are still installed. I also don't use a background but ~32 background images are still available in the Properties list.
     
  9. mcg

    mcg

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    168
    FYI, I tried LitePC and successfully removed quite a bit of Windows XP cruft. The free trial lets you remove some things, but it's the pay version that really lets you slim things down. At the moment my C:\WINDOWS directory is under 500MB. And that includes IE7!

    Here's another resource that looks VERY helpful, but far more manual:

    http://www.bold-fortune.com/forums/index.php?showtopic=229
    http://www.bold-fortune.com/forums/index.php?showtopic=1093

    I used his advice to further trim down XP's memory footprint my disabling some services that I couldn't outright remove using LitePC. So now I have only 18 processes going at bootup (and that includes the several Parallels Tools processes) and a commit charge of only 75MB. For comparison, my BootCamp system, running under VM, has 28 processes and about 130MB commit charge at bootup. I'll bet I can slim down some more.

    It's not all perfect though, so let me warn you. I'm having trouble with Quicken 2007's Internet update feature now---it causes it to crash. Obviously, that's a bad thing. But I'm not entirely sure it's all LitePC's fault; I see the exact same problem occurring for other people. Even uninstalling and reinstalling Quicken doesn't help. I strongly suspect that if I did a clean XP install, THEN used LitePC or the above guide to slim things down, THEN installed Quicken, I might not have had this problem.

    Therefore, if you're going to try and develop and aggressively slim XP VM, I would do the following:
    --- Create a new VM with a fresh, fully activated install of XP SP2 and all the latest hotfixes
    --- Make a copy or snapshot of that VM
    --- THEN slim it down
    --- THEN install any applications you want.
    --- Be prepared to cycle a few times if you accidentally delete something your app needs.

    System Restore could be your friend here---but you're going to want to remove that too! So I say having a backup of the full XP VM is the best avenue. If you're really ballsy, remove Windows Update too.
     
    Last edited: Jun 21, 2007
  10. non-troppo

    non-troppo

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    51
    I've used Nlite which is solid and free. And for service configuration, BlackViper's excellent info found here:

    http://www.blackviper.com/WinXP/winxp.htm

    Note inactivating services is risk as programs may depend on them. I imagine that is part of your Quicken update problem - it won't matter what order you do things in. Try returning to a default services config and seeing if that fixes it...

    Some people manage to get miniscule XP systems, 390MB HD space and 40MB memory use:

    http://www.secguru.com/link/tinyxp_run_xp_from_400mb_hdd_and_under_40mb_ram
     
    Last edited: Jun 22, 2007
  11. mcg

    mcg

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    168
    non-troppo---I actually used litexp to put all of the removed components back onto the machine and it still didn't work for me. So I do think that ordering has something to do with it. I suspect that litexp may have removed some key files without removing their info from the registry. Who knows... I'm going to experiment more when I have time. Maybe I'll check nlite too while I'm at it!
     
  12. non-troppo

    non-troppo

    Messages:
    51

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