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Reducing Win10 and older OSs footprint

wimlib-imagex wimlib-clc winsxs_reduce

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#151 alacran

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Posted A week ago

 

Can you use Dir_List_x64.exe to make and share File_List and Folder_List of your Mini Win10x64 with VHD Used Size 1.5 GB ?

Then I will make comparison with my Full Win 10x64 and determine exactly what Folders and Files can be removed.

 

Just done, please check your messages, (PM).

 

alacran



#152 antonino61

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Posted A week ago

Dear ppl, I have played Simple Simon again today, Checked our chopping framework on a fresh install, I even captured a wim and reapplied it to a second vhd to check if exclusion list was doing its job - well, it did it partly, so I am now on the stage of the brute force proper for a trim up. the "imperfection" is probably due to some wildcard error on my part. I am a quarter-way thru (25% of the job) and I can tell u that I have not come across any winsxs leftover, but this may be due to my previous copying of the manifests folder from an already trimmed-up build. to make things clear, I am referring to the custom part of the win_reduce pruning, not to the other slotboxes; I have to admit that the bulk of it all was eliminated thru exclusion list and custom lists, though, as my pruning is much much lesser than before win_reduce. so I can re-extend a big attaboy to all contributors, with a special thanx to alacrán and wimb, and also to wonko for his learned sense of humor.


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#153 Wonko the Sane

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Posted A week ago

... to make things clear ...

 

This is a good one.  :D

 

:duff:

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#154 antonino61

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Posted A week ago

at last I have managed to have wonko smile

 

btw, I don't wanna seem pedantic, but I insist on the value of registry and services pruning, as I can see that the meagre space gain is coupled by a huge speed gain. me, I use registrar registry manager to prune and registry first aid to readjust and compact the registry (it shrunk by 28%). to gain a few hundred megs in free space, one can still recapture the vhd and reapply the wim - it often helps.

 

In general, I can say I am not sure anything else can't still be taken out, both from system32 and from syswow64, but there is no telling which - are all exes and dlls in both sys...-base directories needed?



#155 alacran

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Posted A week ago

I decided to update/improve and also reduce my old Mini 8, made with wimb's program VHD_W8_Compact - Make Mini 8  some time ago.

 

Last time I made a new build my VHD was Compact 8k installed, it is in fact a 8.1 U-1, this time I didn't make a new build, just took a look and removed some old portable programs and a lot of language files not on my lang, and captured it on Wimboot mode, it also made a big reduction of files/folders acumulated during its use.

 

The captured WIM image file is 1.49 GB.

 

Finally I made a Compact 8K install on 2.3 GB VHD, and also a Wimboot install on a 1 GB VHD, it is 108 MB after lz4 compressed, the first version is ideal to Filedisk boot on old slow machines with low memory, the second and third versions can boot almost on all machines, but the 108 MB lz4 compressed version, loads to ram very fast.

 

On attached picture you can see I was able to install and run Office 2003 Word and Exell on it since builded.

 

alacran

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#156 antonino61

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Posted A week ago

it could be all the smaller and faster, believe me, by taking out more things, not other things instead. tanto esto como aquello, una cosa no excluye a otra. podés tener las dos reducciones juntas. 



#157 alacran

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Posted A week ago

I know wimb is on the way to make a list to exclude from reduction of SysWOW64 all required to boot Office and it will be the best solution.

 

As I have tested LibreOffice several times when booting Linux Mint (my favorite distro), and found it usefull, and not so big as recent MS Office versions.

 

In the mean time since I already downloaded LibreOffice Portable Fresh and extracted/installed it to a partition on the HD, and found it also don't run on a full Win_Reduce_Trusted environment.

 

From: http://reboot.pro/to...e-5#entry216629

 

Then in conclusion LibreOffice Portable Fresh don't run fine on a Win_Reduce_Trusted environment.

 

I decided to copy back the full SysWOW64 folder from the respective install.wim image index, for testing pourposes.

 

By the way, contrary to antonino61 statements, my opinion is:

It is a good practice to keep our Registry intact, this allows us to copy back something chopped, when we latter notice we need it.

 

Belive me when I say this was a big space sacrifice, reduced version of this folder was 200 MB and full version is 920 MB (both uncompressed), the 10x64-2004-LZX-R.vhd was 2.2 GB and 1.56 GB used size, and this of course forced me to make a new VHD, and I decided to deploy on my expandable VHD (used for first installations) the backup image and made required changes, finally I ended making a new 2.3 GB VHD with 1.97 GB used space.

 

Well, to make the history short, I partitioned and formated a new 32 GB USB device (please read 28.8 + GB) using USB_FORMAT by wimb:

 

And deleted the second partition to make a new 128 MB NTFS, latter expanded to 19 GB (to keep $MFT the closer possible to the begining of the partition and out of the way), and used same trick  when creating third partition, this partition may be unnecesary, but the idea was keep all Portables and some other programs separate on another small drive and not as a stone on the way as the $MFT used to be. Then I can make all changes/additions I want here and don't care.

 

Finall layout is:

  • First Primary Active partition FAT-32 8 GB U-BOOT
  • Second Primary partition NTFS 19 GB U-NTFS
  • Third Primary partition NTFS 1.9 GB (aprox. size) Programs

Then when running the tests of new 2.3 GB VHD (still located on HD) just plugged the USB device and re-assigned the drive letters to my convenience:

  • U-BOOT   drive U
  • U-NTFS    drive V
  • Programs drive Y (to be consistent with Win10XPE).

When finally the VHD was copied to U-NTFS (after running CCleaner) all USB drive letter were kept the same

 

Programs added so far:

 

Applications (Aplicaciones) folder with 43 portables programs, is Compact LZX compressed, and folder was applied directly Compact LZX compressed by wimlib-clc (not fragmented). 437 MB compresed to 237 MB

 

LibreOfficePortable do not run fine when Compact LZX compressed, but it runs very fine from an (old version) NTFS compressed folder. Also this folder was applied by wimlib-clc, just after applied it starts compressing automatically to comply with the attibutes it had when captured by wimlib-clc, files into this folder always ends very highly fragmented, I usually defragment the folder using WinContig. 521 MB compressed to 353 MB

Attached some pictures when Rambooting the full size 2.3 GB 10x64-2004-LZXR.vhd

 

By the way I noticed when running from a full VHD on RAM it is possible to attach/mount the same VHD, there is no disk identifier collision, and add/remove all we want to it, like add some important info to its Documents folder, cleanning garbage acumulated (after Filedisk booted several times) re-runing the Win_Reduce_Trusted program by wimb with appropriate options from time to time, to keep it the closer possible to when it was first installed, or run WOF_Compress by wimb if we added/installed a new program when Filebooting and want to keep the VHD used space as optimized as possible.

 

alacran

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#158 antonino61

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Posted A week ago

have it your way. me, I think a registry full of keys pointing nowhere (no longer existing files and/or folders) is more dangerous (to use your words) than a chopped registry with all keys pointing somewhere (the proper files and/or folders).



#159 alacran

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Posted A week ago

Well, you need to remember we are still on testing stage, once we decide it's time to stop chopping and testing, then your comment may become valid.

 

alacran



#160 antonino61

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Posted A week ago

btw, I would like to inform u that bioenrollment has gone away as well, by intelligently brute force. now trying ecapp, as well as lockapp and chxapp - success!!


win32webviewhost, no way!!!
gamecallable, no way!!!
undockeddevkit, no way!!!
cbspreview, no way!!!

Well. Folks, I tried recapturing it all, and... Not so much of a gain + it creates more problems than it solves, so forget it all, I have just put a foot on my mouth.

#161 Wonko the Sane

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Posted A week ago

By the way, contrary to antonino61 statements, my opinion is:

It is a good practice to keep our Registry intact, this allows us to copy back something chopped, when we latter notice we need it.

 

.... and you are BOTH wrong, the one and only valid approach to modularize a system is to know exactly what each program *needs* in the Registry so that you can remove it and when needed re-add it.

 

:duff:

Wonko 



#162 antonino61

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Posted A week ago

Which I insert in *.reg form from one system to another. Anyway I think I am closer to wonko's way than alacran's leaving all intact after brute force file and folder deletion.

#163 alacran

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Posted A week ago

 

By the way, contrary to antonino61 statements, my opinion is:

It is a good practice to keep our Registry intact, this allows us to copy back something chopped, when we latter notice we need it.

 

.... and you are BOTH wrong, the one and only valid approach to modularize a system is to know exactly what each program *needs* in the Registry so that you can remove it and when needed re-add it.

 

:duff:

Wonko 

 

Your proposal is a hard task. All we are chopping is there since the OS was first time installed, then a program like Regmon (reg monitor) or reg compare are not usefull in this case, as we are not installing something, on the contrary we are removing.

 

And by the way even on a just installed OS with nothing removed, there are many items on the registry pointing to nothing, like to .Net framework 1.x (which died long time ago).

 

Well, you need to remember we are still on testing stage, once we decide it's time to stop chopping and testing, then your comment may become valid.

 

alacran

 

What i mean is let the registry alone untill finish testing, then once you are confortable with the chopped OS, you may try removing all not required anymore, and I said may try, because on 10 many things, especially those related to things they think are critical for the OS are protected so strongly an Admin User can not even modify them. Please read this as: all things they don't want to be removed/modified including Telemetry and the damn (CR)Apps.

 

An alternative to delete all lines on the Registry pointing to nothing (if not hard protected) may be CCleaner, I have used CCleaner feature to clean the registry for many years and never had an issue, it also gives you the option to make a backup copy (reg file) of all it is going to remove (just in case).

 

Latter it may be good to compact the Registry to reduce its size.

 

alacran


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#164 Wonko the Sane

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Posted A week ago

Sure it is a hard task.

 

Still, if you delete a set of files, and keep notes of what exactly you delete, you can re-add them.

As well, if you modify or delete keys and values in the registry, if you keep notes (or compare to snapshot the registry before and after the edits) you can re-add deletes and revert changes.

 

It needs lot of time and patience, for sure, still it remains the "right" approach.

 

As a side note in older OSes (cannot say specifically for 10) the one and only "registry cleaner" that (IMNSHO) worked fine[1] was Regseeker:

http://www.hoverdesk.net/

(used to be freeware, now there are two version, one free, one commercial) 

 

:duff:

Wonko

 

[1] not that there aren't other good similar softwares, but they often are "too light" (i.e. largely ineffective) or "too aggressive" (i.e. removing too much) or they don't provide similar  ways to control the actions or re-do/undo them as this one. 



#165 wimb

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Posted A week ago

Sure it is a hard task.

 

Still, if you delete a set of files, and keep notes of what exactly you delete, you can re-add them.

As well, if you modify or delete keys and values in the registry, if you keep notes (or compare to snapshot the registry before and after the edits) you can re-add deletes and revert changes.

 

It needs lot of time and patience, for sure, still it remains the "right" approach.

 

As a side note older OSes (cannot say specifically for 10) the one and only "registry cleaner" that (IMNSHO) worked fine[1] was Regseeker:

http://www.hoverdesk.net/

(used to be freeware, no ther are to version, one free, one commercial) 

 

:duff:

Wonko

 

[1] not that there aren't other good similar softwares, but they often are "too light" (i.e. largely ineffective) or "too aggressive" (i.e. removing too much) or they don't provide similar  ways to control the actions or re-fo/undo them as this one. 

 

Thanks for the Info.

 

Also Registry Backup Portable can be useful so that we can easily return to previous registry.



#166 antonino61

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Posted A week ago

Hi folx, 

U willa noticed that when trying to work on windowsapps and systemapps, I blew it, as has just been smartly theorized by Alacrán. If u consider the slight free space gain that might have accrued to us in the event of success (a few dozen megs), it was not a big deal, so let us stick with what we got and see what else can be "deducted" from system32 and syswow64.



#167 wimb

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Posted A week ago

Hi folx, 

U willa noticed that when trying to work on windowsapps and systemapps, I blew it, as has just been smartly theorized by Alacrán. If u consider the slight free space gain that might have accrued to us in the event of success (a few dozen megs), it was not a big deal, so let us stick with what we got and see what else can be "deducted" from system32 and syswow64.

 

\Program Files\WindowsApps can be removed completely but you loose functionality like Calculator, Foto's etc but Win10x64 is booting OK (can be done if you don't need these Apps)

\Windows\SystemApps is quite essential for functioning of Win10x64 so I never remove it.

 

The program is improving these days, but I still need to find out what else of Windows and System32 subfolders can be removed without feeling pain ....

 

The SysWOW64 folder has been improved by keeping all Language files of en-US and your Distribution Language e.g. by using SysWOW64\en-US\* and SysWOW64\wbem\en-US\*

 

As a preview version ready for testing there is Win_Reduce_Trusted-20

 

Attached File  Win_Reduce_2020-10-16_162548.jpg   53.59KB   0 downloads



#168 antonino61

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Posted A week ago

thanx wimb, I will give it a try



#169 antonino61

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Posted A week ago

hi wimb, I did try version 2 out, without the first three, but I still do have something in windowsapps (net framework and some visual c++, which I think I need) the rest is ok. the booting is not under discussion, it is some functionality I dont wanna do without that pushes me to keep syswow64 dlls, I do not know about exes, though.



#170 antonino61

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Posted A week ago

Listen hear u, I got a big question - how come whatever goes thru wimb's wimboot machine becomes smaller and supersonic?!?!


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#171 wimb

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Posted A week ago

By using  Win_Reduce_Trusted-20 (test version)

 

Before Win_Reduce - 4K WIM = 4.46 GB - Compact LZX - VHD Used Size = 4.70 GB  with Windows folder = 80210 files and 19507 folders

After  Win_Reduce - LZX WIM = 1.58 GB - Compact LZX - VHD Used Size = 2.37 GB  with Windows folder = 20767 files and   1971 folders

 

Reduction  _Reduce - 4K WIM = 2.88 GB - Compact LZX - VHD Used Size = 2.33 GB  with Windows folder = 59443 files and 17536 folders

 
Attached File  Win_Red_5_2020-10-16_193045.jpg   225.35KB   0 downloads

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#172 alacran

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Posted A week ago

Hi folx, 

U willa noticed that when trying to work on windowsapps and systemapps, I blew it, as has just been smartly theorized by Alacrán. If u consider the slight free space gain that might have accrued to us in the event of success (a few dozen megs), it was not a big deal, so let us stick with what we got and see what else can be "deducted" from system32 and syswow64.

 

That's why I use MSMG Toolkit to remove (on the install.wim) All Apps (System and Windows) in a clean way, and also all its references into the OS, as if they never be there, the remove all Apps option keeps only the Calculator (or you can select removing one by one only those you want), and there is also on tricks section the option to activate the old Windows Photo Viewer.

 

\Program Files\WindowsApps can be removed completely but you loose functionality like Calculator, Foto's etc but Win10x64 is booting OK (can be done if you don't need these Apps)

\Windows\SystemApps is quite essential for functioning of Win10x64 so I never remove it.

 

The program is improving these days, but I still need to find out what else of Windows and System32 subfolders can be removed without feeling pain ....

 

The SysWOW64 folder has been improved by keeping all Language files of en-US and your Distribution Language e.g. by using SysWOW64\en-US\* and SysWOW64\wbem\en-US\*

 

As a preview version ready for testing there is Win_Reduce_Trusted-20

 

attachicon.gifWin_Reduce_2020-10-16_162548.jpg

 

@ wimb

 

If your main concerns are the Calculator and the Photos Apps, no problem you will never miss them if using following alternatives:

 

Alternative to Calculator App:

 

I have the old Microsoft Calculator Plus (only x86 version, they never made x64 version), on all my WinPEs, it's a single *.exe, my script only copy it to a folder and make a shortcut for it..

 

NOTE: This program was made on 2004 for XP, but it runs very fine on all new versions upto 10.

 

English version, this is the install version but once installed on C:\Program Files (x86)\Microsoft Calculator Plus, the *.exe file can be copied to any location and it will work as a portable.

 

Alternative to Photos App:

 

To re-enable the old Windows Photo Viewer, you can use following additions to the Registry (extracted from MSMG Toolkit Tricks section):

 

Spoiler

 

Hope this info may be usefull to help remove (CR)Apps.

 

Thanks for the Win_Reduce_Trusted new 2.0 test version. I will download it and comment back.

 

alacran
 


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#173 antonino61

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Posted A week ago

my dear alacrán, I have never succeeded in removing anything on a pre-install basis with any of the software u and I and everybody advocate. this is exactly one reason for my being thru a post-install stage.



#174 coyotyl

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Posted A week ago

Wow thanks! Can`t wait to try. You and many others on here amaze me.I don`t post much, but I have learned so much from you all. Thank You!


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#175 antonino61

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Posted 6 days ago

we're all here to learn





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