Free utility condenses Windows Vista from 13GB to 1.4GB

A Croatian college student has created a utility that installs a seriously stripped-down Windows Vista, saying the heft of Microsoft's biggest desktop OS was just too big to believe. "Who can justify a 15GB operating system?" asked Dino Nuhagic, a fifth-year student from Split, a Croatian city on the Adriatic. Not Nuhagic, or the uncounted users who have turned to his creation, vLite.

vLite, a free program that lets users pick and choose which Vista components, hotfixes, drivers and even language packs are installed, then builds a disk image that can be burned to a DVD for unattended installation of the operating system.

"Why did I do it? Well, it's performance and work environment," said Nuhagic when asked why he came up with vLite. "Performance, that's easy to explain. The less things running, the more responsive the OS. But the environment part is where it gets down to personal preference."

Those preferences include options for leaving out virtually every component of Windows Vista, from the minor -- such as the bundled screensavers -- to the major, such as the firewall or Universal Plug and Play.

Link: vLite | vLite Forums
View: Full Article @ Computer World

Update: The vLite author contacted Neowin to to say that the compression is actually from 13GB (64-bit Ultimate version) Thanks for that!

Please review the vLite website for information on using the program with SP1

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38 Comments

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When you can get a 500gig drive for around 150 bones its time to stop complaining about space being used seriously.....

Also ... smaller OS != faster OS

Some of the memory handling techniques of Vista are quite large (caching etc) but it really does help your PC in everyday work (eg. launching Outlook)... programs like this cause more problems then they fix.

if you think Vista is fat and large, take a look at OSX...

here come the Apple flameboys:

Oh boy.... hehe , but you are correct.

There is a reason OSX and Vista are large, the reason is the same, to make continues work faster
Thats why loading office apps in vista is so fast, thats why loading OSX apps is so fast compared to previous and older operation systems, compare even to linux.

Vista loads openoffice faster than linux loads openoffice and I did the test myself.

I got 4gb of ram, when I run a new game like crysis and alt tab to windows I find that crysis is 1.5gb of ram but total usage is only 2gb, when I run vista alone it totals at 1.5gb of ram, vista knows how to disappear when ram is needed.
If the OS can use 4gb of ram to make my continues work faster and better... then by all means it should.

(Beastage said @ #10.1)
There is a reason OSX and Vista are large, the reason is the same, to make continues work faster. Thats why loading office apps in vista is so fast, thats why loading OSX apps is so fast compared to previous and older operation systems, compare even to linux.

Are you saying that a having a memory management system with 1GB code is faster than one with 100kb code? Where do all this ignorance come from! :cry:

If you remove all the language packs, internet explorer, vista calendar, mail, and so on, that would in no way affect the OS performance.

If you want speed, you can just use some of your memory as a temporary drive and copy your applications to there. They'll load faster than you can say zomg. Windows SuperFetch tries to do this automagically, but in my epxerience does not add much speed; only thrashes the HD when the system is idle (and yes I have a killer system).

(CheeseCow said @ #10.2)

Are you saying that a having a memory management system with 1GB code is faster than one with 100kb code? Where do all this ignorance come from! :cry:

If you remove all the language packs, internet explorer, vista calendar, mail, and so on, that would in no way affect the OS performance.

If you want speed, you can just use some of your memory as a temporary drive and copy your applications to there. They'll load faster than you can say zomg. Windows SuperFetch tries to do this automagically, but in my epxerience does not add much speed; only thrashes the HD when the system is idle (and yes I have a killer system).

1GB code? where did you see that? 100KB code? maybe unix for micro devices....

It isn't the code that eat the ram, is vista's live links and cache

When you have 1TB of storage these days and 500gb drives cost less than 100usd... those who need vista and can run vista should , those who don't , keep you XP

none the less, vlite is useful and nice but I don't like the tone of its creator , he takes his opinion and makes it a "fact"

I run vista ultimate 64bit, and the only tweak I needed was to remove UAC, yes it takes a little bit more time to boot, but my PC is on 24/7 .

"vLite is NOT compatible with Windows Vista SP1 at the moment!"


Of course it is. It's just that SP1 can't be integrated using vLite or any other tool nor can you install it on a vLite'd install. All you need is a preintegrated SP1 ISO and you're good to go.

Did you know that Vista is heavily based on hard links? That means that if you don't know how to calculate the size properly your results can be 2 times more than the reality.

Also Vista DVD containing all editions as about 2.5 GB. He shrunk 1 edition to 1.5. So what?

With hard drives so big and prices so cheap, I could care less about how large an OS is after an install. This is so much a non issue.

Essentially, most of the difference is through removal of unnecessary drivers and language packs...
It is possible to slim down Vista to a large extent without removing any functionality as u can remove drivers and language packs that u don't use..

First of all, Vista install DOES NOT take 15GB of HDD space to fully install, I not sure what moron wrote that, it takes about 6-7BG with minimum free HDD space available around 15GB. On my system it took 6GB, and on my virtual machine it was the same--again around 6GB. And just to be clear, yes it was the Ultimate install.

Well if you read it properly you'd realise he was talking about a possible maximum which also includes the likes of language packs, hibernation, page file, system restores and so on and so on.

Its OK though I won't hold it against you :P

(hal90001 said @ #4)
First of all, Vista install DOES NOT take 15GB of HDD space to fully install, I not sure what moron wrote that, it takes about 6-7BG with minimum free HDD space available around 15GB. On my system it took 6GB, and on my virtual machine it was the same--again around 6GB. And just to be clear, yes it was the Ultimate install.

Requirements, From Microsoft:

40 GB hard drive with at least 15 GB of available space

Have you tried installing it on a partition smaller than 15 Gigs?

I just put Vista Ultimate on my system last night. The Windows folder + Program Files folder + Users folder + Swap/Hibernation file was about 12 Gigs. That is not counting space for System Restore or system updates/temp files.

The same full install of XP would have been about 5 gigs, with 3 gigs of that being just my swap file.

(Xenomorph said @ #4.2)
I just put Vista Ultimate on my system last night. The Windows folder + Program Files folder + Users folder + Swap/Hibernation file was about 12 Gigs. That is not counting space for System Restore or system updates/temp files.

Did you know that Vista is heavily based on hard links? That means that if you don't know how to calculate the size properly your results can be 2 times more than the reality.

Also Vista DVD containing all editions as about 2.5 GB. He shrunk 1 edition to 1.5. So what?

Good headline grabber - but just like nlite is too much is stripped away it's basically fubar'd for most users. It's a very good tool nonetheless but a great deal of care needs to be taken to avoid needing to reinstall because you stripped out some 'useless' feature that you actually need down the line.

Personally, I've always found it more useful for slipstreaming drivers and patches than stripping it down.

Note:

"Service Pack compatibility
2008.01.30 by nuhi
It came to my attention that some of you expected to install Service Pack on the lite Vista, without some components.
Unfortunatelly that is not possible, nor it was ever expected to be because Service Pack is meant to update the whole installation, if it detects that something is missing it aborts.

So the only way to use vLite on SP1 is to use it on the preintegrated version, meaning you can configure the Vista DVD or ISO which already has SP1 in it.
Until Microsoft releases one you can try making your own by following this guide.
But be careful, it's not official nor easy method so it is recommended only for the experienced users."

(RealFduch said @ #2.1)
DOS works brilliant too.
And it takes 1000 times less.

And it was Microsoft's last stable OS as well.

(RealFduch said @ #2.1)
DOS works brilliant too.
And it takes 1000 times less.

I know you joke but sadly many people don't , they want Vista to be as light as windows 2000 ...

(Volatile said @ #2)
If it works... brilliant.

The brilliant part is where it uninstalls Vista and installs XP SP2 (1.8GB).

(lbmouse said @ #2.4)

The brilliant part is where it uninstalls Vista and installs XP SP2 (1.8GB). :laugh:

You so funny!!!! :nuts:

Surely though, to strip out components to such a degree that the size of the install shrinks by a factor of 10, there's got to be some fairly experience destoying removals?!

Not sure I understand what you mean, but are you talking about removing stuff that you'd need?

When you're at the component removal area of vLite, there's a description of of all compnents in Vista when you highlight them. He has things listed in red that shouldn't be removed and if you remove one thing and keep something else that needs that, it lets you know before you go any further.

If you read the descriptions, there's no real way to screw anything up. It's the people that don't bother reading anything and remove everything that screw everything up. Then they want to complain if something doesn't work right and blame others when it's their own fault.