Hello there. First of all, this is a project inspired by both, WinterStorm 2050's "Components to Keep" thread from Rockers Team Forums and LUZR4LIFE's "nLite Component Removal Explanation" thread from Wincert Forums (this thread helped me a lot when I was a little brat) and is the fruit of years of research and learning.
This thread is aimed for those who want to slim the hell down their Windows 7 WIMs but are just beginners in this field: it will try to help you decide whether you need a component or not.
WARNING: this thread will not include the things you need to keep for 3rd party software or other Microsoft software. Just for everyday stuff and Internet. If you have doubts, you can PM me, ask in the comments or check the RT 7 Lite's component description (which, by the way, I'm trying to improve with this thread).
*Another thing, I'm the author of this post. This was first published on Rockers Team Forums. This ain't no copy-paste.
This thread is based on what I remove and what I keep. That said, the final product is a fully-functional, stable and slimmed-the-hell-down ISO file. If you want my Lastsession.inf file straight up without having to read all this crap, then here it is.
So, let's get on with the basics.
*The original "install.wim" file is 2.429 GB large.
*My final "install.wim" file is 1.097 GB. So that means that 1.332 GB is taken down from the original one. Of course the size could be even smaller, because there are plenty of components I don't know if I could remove them.
*All this means ~55% of the original image, is crap (at least for me).
*Please note that the only tasks I activate in RT 7 Lite are Integration (to integrate my LAN driver), Components removal and Customization (to remove every Aero theme but one).
Bold components are the ones I leave alone.
✓ACCESSORIES - ALL OF THESE COMPONENTS ARE SAFE TO REMOVE
*Accessibility - Ease of Access Center control panel.
*Action Center - Action Center control panel.
*Aero Cursors - The pretty cursors that shipped with Windows Vista.
*Character Map - This app has all the characters your OS supports, in case you don't know how to input one.
*Calculator - Windows calculator.
*Clear Type Tuner - An app that lets you customize the clarity and appearance of Windows fonts.
*Default Computer Program Access - Default Programs control panel.
*Diagnostics Troubleshooting Wizard - Troubleshooting control panel.
*Disk Cleanup - A poor tool that lets you free some hard drive space, removing crap.
*Games - Games Windows 7 is shipped with.
*Infrared File Transfer Application - Application that lets you transfer files from and into your PC using Infrared.
*Mobility Center - Mobility Center control panel.
*Notepad - Windows plain text editor.
*On-Screen Magnifier - Windows zooming tool.
*Paint - Windows basic image editor.
*People Near Me - App that lets other people from your network to invite you to use programs, such as Meeting Space.
*Projector Connectivity - Lets you use a projector connected to your network.
*Speech Support - Speech Recognition control panel.
*Sticky Notes - Lets you create Post-It notes and pin them in your desktop.
*System Information - Basic and advanced things of the system are shown with this app.
*Welcome Center - Getting Started control panel.
*Windows Contacts - Basically, an address book that can be used by multiple programs.
*Windows Fax and Scanner - N/A
*Windows Repair Disc - N/A
*Windows Sidebar - The desktop gadgets platform.
*Windows Sideshow - N/A.
*Wordpad - A basic Word-like app, more functional than Notepad.
*Write - N/A.
✓LANGUAGE PACKS - ALL OF THESE COMPONENTS ARE SAFE TO REMOVE... SO I REMOVED 'EM
✓NETWORK - ALL OF THESE COMPONENTS ARE SAFE TO REMOVE
*Connect To Network Projector - Application to use and configure a projector connected to your network.
*Internet Explorer - Internet Explorer 8.
*Internet Information Services - Web server applications.
*Network Explorer and Sharing Center - Network and Sharing Center control panel.
*Remote Desktop and Assistance - Application to let you control or let you being controled by a remote computer.
*Remote Desktop Connection - See above.
*TCP/IP Applications - N/A
*Telnet Client - N/A
*Telnet Server - N/A
*Windows Mail - Default Windows e-mail reader.
*Windows Presentation Foundation Host - A .NET Framework component that is used for UI rendering. You could remove it, but I see it makes a stability improvement in my PC.
✓MULTIMEDIA - ALL OF THESE COMPONENTS ARE SAFE TO REMOVE
*Autoplay - Autoplay control panel.
*Mobile PC Presentation - N/A
*Sample Pictures - Images located in My Images folder... for no apparent reason.
*Screensavers - Screensavers Windows 7 is shipped with.
*Sound Recorder - Sound recording app.
*Windows Aero Themes - Default Aero themes.
*Windows Codec Packages - Bundled codecs of Windows 7.
*Windows ISO Burn - App that lets you burn ISO images to CDs/DVDs.
*Windows Media Encoders and Decoders - Encoders and decoders to create Windows Media content.
*Windows Photo Gallery - See below.
*Windows Photo Viewer - The default Windows image viewer.
*Windows Picture Acquisition Wizard - N/A
*Windows Sounds - Certain things trigger these sounds.
*Windows Wallpapers - Wallpapers bundled with Windows 7.
*Microsoft Common Console Document - MMC.exe in fewer words. This app is a host to multiple, very advanced apps. In this component, I remove these: Shared Folder Management, Print Management, Performance Monitor, Event Viewer and NAP Client Configuration. I'm not sure what could happen if I remove other stuff. Research of this component needs to be done.
*Adapter Troubleshooter - Run this app when you are having trouble with Windows 7. You'll thank it later.
*Advanced UAC - App to control every aspect of User Account Control.
*Auto File System Converter - Lets you format a drive with a different file system.
*Auto File System Format Utility - Lets you format a drive.
*Corrupted File Recovery - N/A
*Device Pairing Application - App that installs drivers for your hardware, like memory sticks.
*Disk Quota - App that lets you limit the hard drive space taken by each user account.
*Display Color Calibration - App that helps you determine which are the right settings for your screen.
*DPI scaling - Think of this as a Retina Display for Windows.
*Event Command Line Utility - N/A
*Extended Copy Utility - N/A
*IMAPIv2 Burning Support - Built-in app for burning media to CDs/DVDs.
*Location and Mobile PC Sensor - Location and Other Sensors control panel.
*Manual Windows Setup - Instead of booting from the DVD, you could insert the DVD and run the Setup app.
*Microsoft Custom Dictionary - N/A
*Microsoft Sync Center - Sync Center control panel.
*Natural Language - Instead of typing "kind:music Gorillaz", you type "music by Gorillaz" in the search box.
*Narrator - Screen reader app.
*Onscreen Keyboard - Lets you you input characters without the keyboard.
*Optional Features - N/A
*Recovery - Recovery control panel.
*SQL Client Configuration Utility - N/A
*System Properties - System control panel.
*System Restore - Daily backups of your PC are made with this. That way, in case something goes wrong, you could restore your PC from one of them.
*Tablet PC - Support for pen-controllable screens. You'll lose Sticky Notes and Snipping Tool.
*Thumbnail Cache - The pane at the bottom of Windows Explorer.
*User Account Control - The Yes/No question prompt it appears when you try to run an app.
*Windows Cabinet Maker - N/A
*Windows Cache Files (WinSxS) - Removes Backup folder (located in Windows\winsxs).
*Windows Easy Transfer - Application to help you migrate from an old version of Windows to Windows 7.
*Windows Font Viewer - Application that lets you preview fonts.
*Windows Help - Built-in help for Windows.
*Windows Logon Reminder - N/A
*Windows Memory Diagnostic - A RAM test to determine if your hardware is failing.
*Windows Powershell - Command line interface built with .NET Framework.
*Windows Script Host - Scripting runtime and engine.
*Windows SQM Consolidator - Customer Experience Improvement Program app.
*WinSAT - Performance Information and Tools control panel.
*Windows Time Zone and Date - Both, the Date and Time control panel and the Region and Language control panel.
*Workspace Runtime - N/A
*XPS Viewer - Default .XPS file viewer.
*Zip Folder - Default .ZIP file viewer.