Microsoft doesn't recommend creating Vista "Lite" with vLite

Some people have been turning to a utility called vLite, which out components of the operating system deemed unessential.

"Microsoft does not recommend using any tool to strip out applications from Windows Vista prior to installing it on your system, as it may affect your ability to download future Windows updates and service packs, and may cause your system to become unstable", the company said in an e-mail to CNET News.com.

News source: CNET news.com

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It's pretty obvious that most of the commenters have never tried nLite, which is the XP equivalent of vLite. For years I haven't installed XP without first making a new image with nLite. It allows me to a) slipstream SP2 on my no-SP installation disc, b) remove all the unnecessary crap that XP has by default and c) apply some common tweaks to make XP run more comfortably.

I've done this on multiple machines and for several years and have run into NO compatibility or updating problems. Of course, it's pretty obvious that if you remove something like printer support then those won't work but since XP doesn't allow you to remove **** like Outlook Express, I can do that with nLite and just use my preferred e-mail program.

I tried vLite 1.0 when I moved to Vista 64-bit but at the time it didn't really offer anything IMO. There were no tweaks or component removal options that I considered worthwhile. This is partially because unlike nLite, vLite is still in its infancy and also because Vista does come with a lot smarter default options than XP. Sure, there are unnecessary services still running but turning them off is easy with the default installation too.

Obviously Microsoft won't recommend it. Did you really expect they'd say "sure, it's a great program, Joe Average who can't even use Excel properly will streamline his Vista really easily with it"? No, it's a tool for those who know what they are doing.

It's quite obvious that vLite (and nLite for that matter) are not tools for n00bs. Most IT professionals who use nLite know the possible reprecussions, and are smart enough to know how to fix them. Obviously Microsoft aren't going to recommend removing anything from Vista or XP. They put it there in the first place, they don't want people messing around with there OS. Having said that, they quite clearly don't want people customising their desktops either, after all you have to "hack" uxtheme.dll to get most VS to run.

Microsoft doesn't recommend, doesn't mean it's definately not gonna work!

This is no different than people who insist on hacking iPhone.

Go ahead if you want to. But don't even think about crying to Apple (or in Vista's case, Microsoft) when your product doesn't work as expected, isn't covered by a warranty anymore, or is incapable of receiving updates. You can only blame yourself once you mess around like that.

I'm curious. How many actually expected Microsoft to recommend that people do start stripping out applications from Windows Vista?

Not all EU take any notice of what Microsoft are saying any way, it's just common sense not to mess around with your OS when it can make it vulnerable and unstable. If you have a good HDD with the capacity to take Vista and run other programmes at the same time then why would you want to shrink the size of the OS to take up less HDD space does not make any sense to me at all.

I agree with Microsoft to be honest.

If you want to use vlite, go ahead. If you just don't know how to use it properly, than don't use it. I found it very usefull and handy.

Jeez. So much Vista hate. If the people wanna use it, let them use it, without bothering them. I can understand where Microsoft is coming from.

Some people use vLite to strip down install times and resource usage.

But the way i prefer involves making an unattended installation of windows, programs, drivers, tweaks, disabling services and other stuff, all manually using MS recommended guidelines.

This way, you can install everything without ever disabling anything that can be necessary for an update or a program.

Using vLite is just as stupid as removing the wheels and engine from your vehicle expecting it to perform 'better', 'faster' and remove excess 'bloat'.

thats the stupidest comparison of the thread... its more like removing the 'ash-tray' because you don't smoke and using the space for something worth your while. You think removing the 'Games' because your not a 'game-boy fan' and have a life...is going to ruin the performace of Vista...Get Real!

(jwjw1 said @ #22.1)
thats the stupidest comparison of the thread... its more like removing the 'ash-tray' because you don't smoke and using the space for something worth your while. You think removing the 'Games' because your not a 'game-boy fan' and have a life...is going to ruin the performace of Vista...Get Real!

Actually your analogy of the ashtray is perfect. Someone comes along, removes the ashtray from a car because they "dont smoke". Then the next time they have a piece of garbage to throw away in the car, they realize they used to dump it in the ashtray, but they can't now because they removed it.

There are idiots removing IE and WMP from Vista thinking that some third party alternative will do the job, then they find that at some point something they want to run needs IE or WMP and they really wasted their time removing it.

Too many stupid people are using vlite like its some sort of competition to see who can strip down their windows to the smallest size possible, then when things become unstable they blame Vista because VISTA SUCKS!!1!!1! and not because of their own stupidity. I don't blame MS for warning these people who are too stupid for their own good.

(7Dash8 said @ #22.2)
Actually your analogy of the ashtray is perfect. Someone comes along, removes the ashtray from a car because they "dont smoke". Then the next time they have a piece of garbage to throw away in the car, they realize they used to dump it in the ashtray, but they can't now because they removed it.

Then chuck your garbage out the window. :P

But I agree with your post. I myself stopped hacking apart Windows XP sometime ago after too many odd errors showed up and a handful of applications refusing to start. That goes for using programs such as XPlite and turning on/off individual services. (We can agree that Microsoft stupidly left several services on in the XP SP0 era that led to stuff like the wave of Messenger spam, but I think they've learned their lesson by now with XP SP2/3 and Vista.)

vLite is obviously notgoing to be recommended.. It's altering the system, and removing lots ofcomponents. You cant guarantee that things will work.

Plus, we CAN choose what components to install or not.

Start > Control Panel > Programs and Features -> Turn Windows Features on or off.

Plus there are different versions of the system. e.g. If you dont want a Media Center, buy Vista Basic.

So what else is new? Did you actually think Microsoft would come out to endorse 'vLite' ?? Get a clue already...

The majority of vLite/nLite users I know of use the program to remove components they don't use. If Microsoft were to offer users a CHOICE, there wouldn't be the need to use 'nLite', 'vLite', '98lite' or '2000/XPlite' to begin with... WHY can't Windows components like MSN, Movie Maker, Media Center, Speech (and the list goes on) be offered as optional or add-on components? Is it so difficult for the Windows development team to implement this? Jesus. This has been my single, biggest complaint since the days of Windows 98.

And yes, I have an nLite'd XP system (using it now as I type this) and it works PERFECTLY -- just the way I want it. As for vLite, I've applied it to several Vista "test" systems -- looks promising, just like its predecessor (nLite).

Bottom line... It would be great if we were offered a choice as to pick and choose what Windows components to install or not. I don't think it's too much to ask of Microsoft now is it?

P.S. Kudos to 'nuhi', keep up the good work my friend!

(Firecat said @ #20)
Bottom line... It would be great if we were offered a choice as to pick and choose what Windows components to install or not. I don't think it's too much to ask of Microsoft now is it?

That depends. Would you rather us spend time on that instead of on new features, performance improvements, and bug fixes?

(Firecat said @ #20)
If Microsoft were to offer users a CHOICE, there wouldn't be the need to use 'nLite', 'vLite', '98lite' or '2000/XPlite' to begin with...

The choice is called VISTA BASIC and XP HOME EDITION.

@Brandon live:

Of course not! Besides, I don't think it'll be that time-consuming... We need component installation options and a more comprehensive Add/Remove -- it's long overdue. The options that are currently available is very "limited". Having more choices will improve overall user experience, imho.


@Deviate_X:

XP HOME is useless to me without Group Policy, Remote Desktop let alone RIS which is available in XP PRO. As for Vista, HOME BASIC just doesn't cut it. When I do finally make the switch, Vista BUSINESS it will be

(Esvandiary said @ #20.3)

Because obviously everyone only either wants a Smart Car or a Hummer, right? :rolleyes:

That is completely wrong analogy. IF your going to turn off and remove tons of services why not buy vista basic in the first place which has most of the stuff not installed or inactive.

IT would be like buying a hummer and taking everything out so that a smart car runs better.

Microsoft could kiss my ass..

because vlite give me the power remove all bloat crap is included in vista.. matter fact from 2gig of vista crap brought it down to 900mb image r.. Installing vista with my create lite version only take 30 mins to install.. less crap running in the background and extra space and memory free... There a lot stuff microsoft included in vista is not needed seriously like 700mb of printers driver if I remember correctly.. I remove windows search,index, languages, etc... kept aero, wmp, basic stuff. and work fine with windows update.

between, people claim if strip **** mess up Vista if you know which services and crucial part of Vista not remove you won't get problem... so if you don't know what you doing don't use the damn program period.

(mel00 said @ #18)
Microsoft could kiss my ass..

because vlite give me the power remove all bloat crap is included in vista.. matter fact from 2gig of vista crap brought it down to 900mb image r.. Installing vista with my create lite version only take 30 mins to install.. less crap running in the background and extra space and memory free... There a lot stuff microsoft included in vista is not needed seriously like 700mb of printers driver if I remember correctly.. I remove windows search,index, languages, etc... kept aero, wmp, basic stuff. and work fine with windows update.

between, people claim if strip **** mess up Vista if you know which services and crucial part of Vista not remove you won't get problem... so if you don't know what you doing don't use the damn program period.

Umm... I don't know what they're doing to "remove windows search" but that sounds disaterous. That's not an optional component, and deleting COM servers that are vital to the shell (and other systems) is a terrible, terrible idea.

Disabling system services like that is one thing. Generally a bad idea in this case as it'll just hurt performance. But deleting important system files? That's just idiotic.

Vista's stock Ultimate install takes less than 30 minutes to install (usually 20 minutes). The wonders of image-based installation.

Now if you did an upgrade installation, have fun waiting for 2 hours.

If you want a "stripped down" version of Vista... use Basic! It will be cheaper too :P.... im quite happy with ALL the features that Vista Business has to offer!

The trouble is that it is getting more popular and more n00bs are using it.. vlite is NOT for n00bs if you know what components do and you understand what effect removing them will have then everything will run fine

Why? It's not like Microsoft lose anything from people running vlite... you already purchased all the stuff you are removing.

(TCLN Ryster said @ #14.1)
Why? It's not like Microsoft lose anything from people running vlite... you already purchased all the stuff you are removing.

It makes updates and service pack installs a crapshoot, which Microsoft invariably gets some blame for.

If you use these to remove part of something an update would patch, it may not install, leaving something else with an open vulnerability. It's just stupid. These things only eat up hard drive space if you don't use them, it's not like your machine is going to get any faster....And who knows if you'll be able to install SP1 if you've even touched vLite.

I have two versions of Vista install, one is the full version and the second is the vlite version. So far I have not needed to switch to the full version to install a update or run software. Everything is running well.

With SP1 I'm going to format and reinstall both.

Maybe people are using vLite to remove features that should have been removable during the installation (not everyone needs all the languages, Windows Defender, card games, etc etc). They use to let you remove SOME components in the 9x installation but they sadly stopped that.

I guess that they don't like it when someone else knows how to get rid of all of Vistas worthless bloat. Without the bloat Vista really isn't all that much to brag about when compared to other OSes, even the free ones. One truly has to feel sorry for those who are so easily impressed with shiny things and believe that all of Vista's bloat is a good thing. They are truly pathetic in their shallowness. They're even dumb enough to defend it.

Thank you for your feedback. Your comment has been recorded for training purposes on 'How to deal with abusive, big-headed and spiteful people who talk absolute ********' (y)

I can understand Microsoft somewhat...but WTF do I need with 2gigs of 'chinese,korean' laungages when they offer laungage packs. In fact I believe MS intentionally prevented updateing SP1 with a vlite'd or any other method used to remove components, how else will they save face to the bloat added. As of now you can't even intergrate a Service Pack because they fear you will then vlite the bloat out.

they did, Windows XP could update just fine (I'm not sure about SP3 but Sp2 would work fine on an nLite installation)

(jwjw1 said @ #1)
I can understand Microsoft somewhat...but WTF do I need with 2gigs of 'chinese,korean' laungages when they offer laungage packs. In fact I believe MS intentionally prevented updateing SP1 with a vlite'd or any other method used to remove components, how else will they save face to the bloat added. As of now you can't even intergrate a Service Pack because they fear you will then vlite the bloat out.

Are you saying you can install korean Vista from US Vista DVD? How?

I would imagine that the SP1 installer is a very complex piece of software engineering. Adding the additional complexity of an unknown state of the system is asking a great deal.

This article should read:

"Microsoft does not recommend using any tool to strip out applications from Windows Vista prior to installing it on your system, as it may affect your ability to download future Windows updates and service packs, and may cause your system to become unstable", the company said in an e-mail to CNET News.com. "Microsoft has developed Vista to become unstable on its own without the help of third party products."

(Mav Phoenix said @ #7.1)
And your post should read "I'm a troll." Vista is very stable.

Shhhh.... let the stupid person have his giggle while he can. Won't be long before the ZOMG VISTA SUCKS!!111!! crowd have to swallow their idiotic comments and actually upgrade to Vista. Maybe then they might actually learn the truth.

It's no surprise that Microsoft doesn't recommend it. Why should they recommend a tool that removes features they want the users to use?

I've used vLite before and it worked great until I wanted to try SP1. I'm not using the Media Center, the Sidebar, the support for Asian languages and so on - so why shouldn't I remove these features?

I will use vLite again when I'm able to create an image with SP1 included.

Care to explain why you think it's a "POS" operating system? Or are you content with just being an anti-vista propaganda troll ?

(TCLN Ryster said @ #5.1)
Care to explain why you think it's a "POS" operating system? Or are you content with just being an anti-vista propaganda troll ?

I'd go with the troll option. :P

Microsoft should have include such option when installing Vista. Not everybody needs all options in Ultimate, such as Media Center or Sidebar. Options to not install such gadgets would be great if ability to choose was built-in the OS setup routine.

Then don't use those features.

They're just going to sit idle on the hard drive anyway. It's no loss to you other than the hard drive space, which is a virtually unlimitted resource these days.

(MioTheGreat said @ #4.1)
Then don't use those features.

They're just going to sit idle on the hard drive anyway. It's no loss to you other than the hard drive space, which is a virtually unlimitted resource these days.


You slightly missed the parent poster's point. He was saying that if a feature isn't going to be used, there should be an option to not install it at all. Having a ton of crap sitting around that you don't use it called bloat. Within the context of this article, there's gigabytes of bloat. And I always hate hearing the "HD space is virtually unlimited these days" - for one thing, it's not, and for another I'd rather be using the good majority of my HD space for storing my data and programs, not my operating system.

Vista is not being "installed". It's being "unpacked". That's why it installs so fast. That's why they cannot let you manage components before the installation.

(Ledgem said @ #4.2)

You slightly missed the parent poster's point. He was saying that if a feature isn't going to be used, there should be an option to not install it at all. Having a ton of crap sitting around that you don't use it called bloat. Within the context of this article, there's gigabytes of bloat. And I always hate hearing the "HD space is virtually unlimited these days" - for one thing, it's not, and for another I'd rather be using the good majority of my HD space for storing my data and programs, not my operating system.

True, what people also ignore is the fact that, sure, on the desktop you can get 750gb to 1tb drives, but in the mobile world, the maximum size out there IIRC is 320gb. Imagine if you have a 64gb SSD, you don't have alot of space to throw around. I have to admit though, all my stuff is saved on an external hard disk so the OS size doesn't matter to me.

i can see problems now, people will strip their windows using vlite then wonder why something wont install then blame ms

I'd expect that most people smart enough to use vLite, or even know of its existence, would understand the implications of using such a tool and the effects that it might have on system dependencies, etc.

(Chicane-UK said @ #3.1)
I'd expect that most people smart enough to use vLite, or even know of its existence, would understand the implications of using such a tool and the effects that it might have on system dependencies, etc.

If you were smart you would not use a program like vLite. Vista contains thousands of components whose dependancies are not widely known so, for example you won't be able to install SP1.

(Chicane-UK said @ #3.1)
I'd expect that most people smart enough to use vLite, or even know of its existence, would understand the implications of using such a tool and the effects that it might have on system dependencies, etc.

You'd be surprised. There's an awful lot of people out there who know just enough to be a danger to themselves.

(Deviate_X said @ #3.3)

If you were smart you would not use a program like vLite. Vista contains thousands of components whose dependancies are not widely known so, for example you won't be able to install SP1.

If you were smart, you wouldn't be using Vista in the first place ;0

if you were smart you'll know HOW to use vista ^^; ...

--

and about people using vLite ... most of them are like (hmmm ... new free app ... let's DL it ... oh ... now my windows is smaller and working !! ... damn MS they make windows so big and useless !! ... I'm so l33t .. I'll go tell my friends) XD ...

(akav0id said @ #3.5)

If you were smart, you wouldn't be using Vista in the first place ;0

Really smart people make their own choices, based on real knowlege and not on idiots posting on stupid forums like slashdot and theregister.

Very true. You strip what you THINK you won't need but what if a friend or you comes to need a specific program or tool that you cut in Windows? You are actually breaking Windows and causing more problems as you cut "useless" programs from Windows. No wonder sites such as Neowin are getting posts from people having problems with Vista after usage of these stripping programs.

I used to do Windows XP unattended installations but abandoned it as it caused me frustications more then it solved. The sole purpose of using such programs to strip components from Windows is to save hard drive space, but as hard drives gets larger, this is getting pointless.

If you do not want whatever came with Windows, that means you do not want Windows and should look at alternatives like Linux which have some small distros.

(ozgeek said @ #1)
Very true. You strip what you THINK you won't need but what if a friend or you comes to need a specific program or tool that you cut in Windows? You are actually breaking Windows and causing more problems as you cut "useless" programs from Windows. No wonder sites such as Neowin are getting posts from people having problems with Vista after usage of these stripping programs.

Or more likely, you delete SuchAndSuch.exe because you think, "I never run that. It's never in task manager. Why would I need that?"

Then you start complaining about Vista's reliability, app-compat, or performance, because you removed a vital COM server.

(ozgeek said @ #1)
Very true. You strip what you THINK you won't need but what if a friend or you comes to need a specific program or tool that you cut in Windows?

You can install it later if something that unlikely could ever possibly happen. Which it won't. Ever.

MS continues to treat us all like idiots. The problem isn't removing components, it is that MS has designed Windows in such a way that it is a house of cards. The design of Windows is critically flawed. This was no accident, it was done so that the DoJ couldn't force MS to remove components and services that were deemed in violation of the antitrust settlement. Not just the DoJ, but the EU courts as well.

Windows 7 seems to be the first real attempt by MS to fix what it has been doing wrong all these years. I think MS is giving up on the idea that it can control the internet through Windows.

(toadeater said @ #1.2)

You can install it later if something that unlikely could ever possibly happen. Which it won't. Ever.

MS continues to treat us all like idiots. The problem isn't removing components, it is that MS has designed Windows in such a way that it is a house of cards. The design of Windows is critically flawed. This was no accident, it was done so that the DoJ couldn't force MS to remove components and services that were deemed in violation of the antitrust settlement. Not just the DoJ, but the EU courts as well.

Windows 7 seems to be the first real attempt by MS to fix what it has been doing wrong all these years. I think MS is giving up on the idea that it can control the internet through Windows.

You do realise that even in Linux, Mac OS X and UNIX in general, there are components you cannot remove because they are vital? Yes, there is far too much interdependence in Windows, but even if they modularise the whole thing from top to bottom, you'll still have components that must stay.

(toadeater said @ #1.2)

You can install it later if something that unlikely could ever possibly happen. Which it won't. Ever.

MS continues to treat us all like idiots. The problem isn't removing components, it is that MS has designed Windows in such a way that it is a house of cards. The design of Windows is critically flawed. This was no accident, it was done so that the DoJ couldn't force MS to remove components and services that were deemed in violation of the antitrust settlement. Not just the DoJ, but the EU courts as well.

Windows 7 seems to be the first real attempt by MS to fix what it has been doing wrong all these years. I think MS is giving up on the idea that it can control the internet through Windows.

It's pretty obvious you have no idea how Windows (or even major programs in general) are designed. It's a completely modular system, with various bits and pieces plugged in together that for the most part work separately, with the Kernel communicating between them if they need to interact. Yes, some parts rely on others, but it's hardly a "house of cards" scenario.

Microsoft is simply covering their backs here. You can use vLite to remove a lot of crap you don't need, but if you're not careful you could easily cripple your installation. Not to mention the fact that Microsoft has to test every single update against a wide variety of configurations, they're not going to test them against installations that have had components removed and should an update break an installation because of this, it's entirely your fault, not theirs.