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12 replies to this topic

#1
enderandrew

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I'd like to see the community pool together their knowledge so that we can put together a comprehensive step-by-step guide on slimming down your Windows install as best as you can. I know monohouse is working on his "Deleted Edition" and I hope he is willing to share his discoveries. In making my CD I am currently tempted to donate a few bones to bold_fortune to get his batch files, except for two problems. 1 - I want to remove as much from the install CD safely as possible, and bold_fortune doesn't support using nLite to remove from source. 2 - I want to share all my findings. Given that he charges for his files, I don't think he'd appreciate me sharing his work.

This is what I propose.

1 - The guide needs to list a session.ini file that includes only options and removals. People can load this up in nLite. At the same time, for those who don't like using nLite, we should list which files are being removed from the cabs so people can do it manually if they really insist.

2 - We need a list of files to be put in the "Keep" and "Remove" advanced options respectively. I know that different people prefer to keep or remove different components and wish to keep and remove different functionalities. The goal of this project should be to slim down Windows as much as possible. In the cases of MAJOR features to be preserved/removed, we simply seperate those files.

For example:

Keep
Blah 1
Blah 2
Blah 3

Remove
Blah 1
Blah 2
Blah 3

Additionally these files control IE functionality - Keep or remove at your discretion
Blah 1
Blah 2

Additionally these files control Auto-Update functionality - Keep or remove at your discretion
Blah 1
Blah 2

Additionally these files control WMP functionality - Keep or remove at your discretion
Blah 1
Blah 2


I imagine those will be three key features that people may want to preserve or not in their particular builds.

3 - Certain files need to removed after install. autofm.exe for instance is needed to format drives during install, but can be removed post-install. bold_fortune also discussed on his forums that certain files must be present in the install CD to be registered, but can be removed safely after the fact. We need to compile a list of files that can be removed via batch file after the fact.

I've been going through removing a couple new .dlls at a time, making a CD and testing how it goes. I'll post my current progress in a few hours when I'm on a different PC.

After I post what little work I've made starting out, others can contribute their list of files to be removed in the various stages. We'll test those files, and format them in a nice guide. To continue work, I will go down the list pretty much of all the .dll files in the System32 folder and test them.

http://www.bold-fort...hp?showforum=56

Using bold_fortune's freely available guides I think if multiple people are working on this, we can get a working, streamlined CD pumped out in no time at all. I know that plenty of people have already ventured down the path I'm heading down, and I would like to pool that experience together into a nice guide that others can continue to follow for years to come.


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#2
gdogg

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many have already done this, all over the place.

me for one.
MicrowinX7 - Personal Project 20% complete - Expected Time of Completion Oct 2009

#3
enderandrew

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Great! Where is your guide or documentation?

Edit: Anyone who attempts to look at your code has to pay you $15,000 and they are subject to any future legal mumbo jumbo you want to throw out?

Yep, that sounds exactly like I described. I described a community project that involves publicly sharing information.

Edited by enderandrew, 21 June 2006 - 11:20 PM.


#4
Kramy

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gdogg will publicly share his information. If you ask him a question he'll help you out. If you ask him(or nuhi, or Gurgelmeyer) for their source code or working project files....then you'll be laughed at. :lol:

Not intended as a slight, and aside from that I have nothing else to add. I don't have Windows XP, so any windows modding will have to be with Win2k for me. I don't go nearly as deep as some of these people, and it would take me months to catch up with them, so I have busied myself with other projects. :whistle:

You might examine the What Not to Remove thread, or the wiki entry, for some additional info before you start gutting random files.
IBM Thinkpad 390e (WinXP) - nLited
Athlon XP 2800+ (Win2k) - HFSLIP+nLited
Athlon XP 2000+ (Win2k) - HFSLIP+nLited
Compaq Presario 5008 (WinXP) - HFSLIP+nLited

#5
enderandrew

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gdogg will publicly share his information. If you ask him a question he'll help you out. If you ask him(or nuhi, or Gurgelmeyer) for their source code or working project files....then you'll be laughed at. :lol:

Not intended as a slight, and aside from that I have nothing else to add. I don't have Windows XP, so any windows modding will have to be with Win2k for me. I don't go nearly as deep as some of these people, and it would take me months to catch up with them, so I have busied myself with other projects. :whistle:

You might examine the What Not to Remove thread, or the wiki entry, for some additional info before you start gutting random files.

Thanks. I've gone over both of those, and I've also been reading over Bold Fortune's guides, going over each dll individually and deciding whether or not it can be kept, or removed, and removed at which stage.

#6
Camarade_Tux

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It's clear BoldFortune's lists has some nice aspects, especially with functionnality. He clearly establishes what is needed for which app. Moreover the file approach is more precise than the nlite component one but I don't know how BF manages with services. :.?

And it's a pity he did not put that in a central place so you immediately know the consequences of removing a certain file.
(that's what I tried to do on the wiki page)


Using bold_fortune's freely available guides I think if multiple people are working on this, we can get a working, streamlined CD pumped out in no time at all.

From a practical point of view, we can.
Then, would we be allowed to ?
Even if he stated his guides were freely available, I think we have to respect the author. I mean, someone makes project to reach a goal and licenses it under GPL or BSD and then someone uses the code to reach the opposite goal. This is allowed but not really respectful.

Afaik nuhi and BoldFortune are not the best friends in the world. However, this has happened before I arrived, so I can't say much things. (you may search the forum).


you ask him(or nuhi, or Gurgelmeyer) for their source code or working project files....then you'll be laughed at.

HFS... :D

#7
enderandrew

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If I payed for his files and then just basically released them, then I think I would be stealing from the guy. However he posted his guides freely and said in his guides that you can effectively recreate his work from them.

Even still, I don't intend to 100% duplicate his work. He keeps a few things that I feel are unnecessary, and removes some things I feel should be kept.

There are people who get their Windows installs under 100 megs. That pretty much trumps Bold Fortune's guide. MicrowinX is one such project. I'm not sure the average user wants to completely remove explorer.exe and such, but since multiple people have slimmed down Windows to such minute proportions, I know it is very possible.

If people want to safe-guard their work, they are entitled to do so, and I will not judge them in a negative way. However, if I put in the work, I intend to share it. I want to help the next guy/gal down the road. And I am hoping others are willing to help partake in that endeavor.

Normally I do most of my work on nLite and such at work. I'm surrounded by a plethora of computers, and I have free time here. I never have free time at home, even though I usually have two notebooks and a desktop on my desk to allow me to work on three computers at once.

However, I've been quite busy the past few days unfortunately.

I was going over Bold Fortune's 350 files to keep the other day and got half way through it. Most of those files I've put in my "Keep" list. I'll remove as much as I can using the typical nLite processes, and then attempt an install. If any of the "Keep" files are missing, then I'll need to manually put them in to the "Keep" area in nLite. I've even added a few on my keep list that Bold Fortune didn't have.

I noticed that there were plenty of files that he said you could remove that wouldn't actually break functionality per se, but however you would receive error messages when going into MMC areas like System Properties. Does anyone know if there is a workaround/fix for such things? For instance:

ADVPACK.DLL.....(Advpack Library). Used by Windows to verify .inf files. Needed to enter System Properties by right-clicking on My Computer and selecting Properties without receiving this error: This application has failed to start because ADVPACK.dll was not found. Re-installing the application may fix this. However, System Properties will open after clicking OK on the error even without the file present.



#8
Camarade_Tux

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I noticed that there were plenty of files that he said you could remove that wouldn't actually break functionality per se, but however you would receive error messages when going into MMC areas like System Properties. Does anyone know if there is a workaround/fix for such things? For instance:

ADVPACK.DLL.....(Advpack Library). Used by Windows to verify .inf files. Needed to enter System Properties by right-clicking on My Computer and selecting Properties without receiving this error: This application has failed to start because ADVPACK.dll was not found. Re-installing the application may fix this. However, System Properties will open after clicking OK on the error even without the file present.


Try with a dummy advpack.dll (just launch notepad and save a blank file as advpack.dll). It *may* work.

#9
enderandrew

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That's a good idea! I'll try that.

#10
gdogg

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lol, yah I got a great sence of humor.

and I was sure it said if you distributed my source, as your own, it would be 15,000.
I dont know lol, anyway, its a temporary way of protecting microwinX from theft.

I am an open guy though, any user can request things for microwinX, and can make there own additions to microwinX, by using addon packs, that would just join/combine/team up with microwinX, to make it the way you want.

Edited by gdogg, 23 June 2006 - 07:22 AM.

MicrowinX7 - Personal Project 20% complete - Expected Time of Completion Oct 2009

#11
enderandrew

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I have no intention to redistribute anyone work's and claim credit for it. I also have no intention to 100% clone anyone's work. But I'd love to hear any advice you have for stripping windows down bare while keeping basic functionality.

If you'd be willing to show me which files you remove in cleanup, I wouldn't mind taking a peek. Mind you, I don't intend to strip down as small as you have. For one, I intend to keep IE support (though I loathe IE), explorer, and auto-updates.

Personally, I know about autopatcher, and I am a big Firefox fan. However, I want the guide (and whatever CD I make) to support most people. I do a lot of PC repair, and when I do formats/reinstalls for people, they may need IE support and auto-update support.

Edited by enderandrew, 23 June 2006 - 08:17 AM.


#12
gdogg

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yah, lots of this is my goal with microwinX too.

I want, to have any hardware support users need, and so on.

Along with there programs (rationally, I wont make 3dmark06 work, it just needs too much)
MicrowinX7 - Personal Project 20% complete - Expected Time of Completion Oct 2009

#13
bigman1

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Sorry for the lateness of the reply, but I wanted to point you to a better option than using a blank file for replacing dll's. Dud! http://www3.telus.net/_/dud/
Wayne




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