New utility cuts Vista install down to size

Vista on a diet.

Windows Vista users now have a way to cut down the operating system's famously large installation footprint with a free software tool.

Developer Dino Nuhagic released version 1.1 of vLite last week. The configuration utility is designed to remove Vista components such as Windows Media Player, Windows Mail, Windows Photo Viewer, Wallpapers and other utilities before installation, creating a new installable image.

The utility can also integrate other components such as hotfixes, drivers and language packs into the new image and has an unattended install function, Nuhagic said.

Tools such as vLite are a response to concerns about what even Microsoft has conceded is Vista's enormous install size. Similar tools exist for Windows XP, such as Nuhagic's own nLite.

Vista's Home Premium and Ultimate editions both require 15GB of disk space to install, 10 times that of Windows XP. The OS has also gained a reputation as a memory hog, leading outfits such as 2X to argue that companies would be better off running Vista on centralized servers and providing it to users via thin clients.

vLite is designed for technically savvy users, and there are serious pitfalls to watch out for, according to Nuhagic. For example, if a user removes the driver for the hard disk controller used on the system, the PC will not be able to see the disks on startup, Nuhagic said.

He said the software plays by Microsoft's rules. "This tool doesn't use any kind of hacking, all files and registry entries are protected as they would be if you install the unedited version, only with the changes you select," Nuhagic said on the site.

During beta testing the utility has gained a wide following. For instance, a message board used to suggest new vLite features has registered nearly 51,000 views. Nuhagic said he doesn't have exact figures on downloads.

In October Microsoft admitted it was working on a streamlined core called MinWin in order to help slim down future operating systems such as Windows 7.

At the time, Microsoft distinguished engineer Eric Traut said: "A lot of people think of Windows as this large, bloated operating system, and that's maybe a fair characterization, I have to admit."

Join the newsletter!

Or

Sign up to gain exclusive access to email subscriptions, event invitations, competitions, giveaways, and much more.

Membership is free, and your security and privacy remain protected. View our privacy policy before signing up.

Error: Please check your email address.
Keep up with the latest tech news, reviews and previews by subscribing to the Good Gear Guide newsletter.

Matthew Broersma

Techworld.com
Show Comments

Cool Tech

Toys for Boys

Family Friendly

Stocking Stuffer

SmartLens - Clip on Phone Camera Lens Set of 3

Learn more >

Christmas Gift Guide

Click for more ›

Brand Post

Bitdefender 2019

This Holiday Season, protect yourself and your loved ones with the best. Buy now for Holiday Savings!

Most Popular Reviews

Latest Articles

Resources

PCW Evaluation Team

Aysha Strobbe

Microsoft Office 365/HP Spectre x360

Microsoft Office continues to make a student’s life that little bit easier by offering reliable, easy to use, time-saving functionality, while continuing to develop new features that further enhance what is already a formidable collection of applications

Michael Hargreaves

Microsoft Office 365/Dell XPS 15 2-in-1

I’d recommend a Dell XPS 15 2-in-1 and the new Windows 10 to anyone who needs to get serious work done (before you kick back on your couch with your favourite Netflix show.)

Maryellen Rose George

Brother PT-P750W

It’s useful for office tasks as well as pragmatic labelling of equipment and storage – just don’t get too excited and label everything in sight!

Cathy Giles

Brother MFC-L8900CDW

The Brother MFC-L8900CDW is an absolute stand out. I struggle to fault it.

Luke Hill

MSI GT75 TITAN

I need power and lots of it. As a Front End Web developer anything less just won’t cut it which is why the MSI GT75 is an outstanding laptop for me. It’s a sleek and futuristic looking, high quality, beast that has a touch of sci-fi flare about it.

Emily Tyson

MSI GE63 Raider

If you’re looking to invest in your next work horse laptop for work or home use, you can’t go wrong with the MSI GE63.

Featured Content

Don’t have an account? Sign up here

Don't have an account? Sign up now

Forgot password?