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How big were the different Windows versions? (95 = 19 MB)


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I am interested in finding out:

  • How large Window's OSs files are before install (e.g. Windows 95 is 19 MB)
  • How much space it took after install
  • General hard drive space requirements

After some brief research (Wikipedia!), I believe:

  • Windows 3.1 - installed size between 10?15MB.
  • Windows 95 was 19 MB and needed 50?55 MB of hard drive space depending on features selected.
  • Windows 98 needed at least 500 MB of hard drive space depending on features selected.
  • Windows XP needed 1.5 GB or higher of hard drive space depending on features selected.

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If I recall correctly, I could get Windows 98 down to less than 100MB without any impact to compatibility just by deleting files that were not necessary (eg: help files). It made Windows 98 (Windows 98SE of course) really fly :D

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and suddenly Vista and 7 use like 15GB in a default install :laugh:

I read that was due to the inclusion of as many drivers as possible to ensure 90% of computers were up and running from a base install without the need to hunt for drivers.

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What I never understood is if it is all drivers why they install all of them. You only need the drivers for the hardware at first install to get it running. Why not only copy those across?

Would making the installer that bit smarter have been that much work?

Also when you add a new piece of kit who uses the default windows drivers? Half the time there isn't any proper ones if it came out recently.

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What I never understood is if it is all drivers why they install all of them. You only need the drivers for the hardware at first install to get it running. Why not only copy those across?

Would making the installer that bit smarter have been that much work?

Also when you add a new piece of kit who uses the default windows drivers? Half the time there isn't any proper ones if it came out recently.

All the drivers are copied over so that if you happen to replace that AMD Radeon graphics card with shiny New Nvidia, your PC won't show the colorful rainbow on screen or even worse, refuse to load windows. Or demand you to insert your Windows CD which you may have happily donated to some charity.

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The minimum disk space requirements should be a good indication of how much space it takes up.

Would like to see a comparison between Vista and Windows 7.

I think the requirements are the same except for the disk space requirement which is slightly less, if I remember correctly.

Those were the days.

Even now GPU-drivers are over 100 MB...

And hard drives are over 3 TB.

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The minimum disk space requirements should be a good indication of how much space it takes up.

I think the requirements are the same except for the disk space requirement which is slightly less, if I remember correctly.

And hard drives are over 3 TB.

and 200 bucks.... :-( money I don't have......

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If you want to save space you can use pnputil to clear out the driverstore in Windows 7 to bring the size down but it's a bit of a pain!

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Good thing Apple has been shipping computers that can boot >2TB drives since 2006 :rolleyes:

I don't know anyone with a >2tb hard drive, unless it's a raid setup but even then they have multiple 1tb or multiple 1.5tb

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What I never understood is if it is all drivers why they install all of them. You only need the drivers for the hardware at first install to get it running. Why not only copy those across?

Would making the installer that bit smarter have been that much work?

Also when you add a new piece of kit who uses the default windows drivers? Half the time there isn't any proper ones if it came out recently.

I don't think it installs all of them during setup. The new-age installers copy themselves entirely to the drive prior to running the actual setup, which expands the OS and installs the drivers for all devices that are detected at that time. It seems that running the setup off the home drive rather than the installation media significantly speeds up the installation process.

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I don't see the issue with drivers taking up space. It's pretty amazing how much you can plug into a Windows computer and expect to have it run right away without any setup.

Personally I would rather if the computer would just go directly online and find the latest and greatest driver and download it right away. Mind you that would mean that Ethernet and Wireless drivers still have to be included ;)
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Personally I would rather if the computer would just go directly online and find the latest and greatest driver and download it right away. Mind you that would mean that Ethernet and Wireless drivers still have to be included ;)

Really? Have you ever searched for drivers online? Most hardware manufacturers have god-awful sites, if they're even in English. I'd rather not have a hardware install rely on my internet connection, a server in China, and a valid link between the two.

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Really? Have you ever searched for drivers online? Most hardware manufacturers have god-awful sites, if they're even in English. I'd rather not have a hardware install rely on my internet connection, a server in China, and a valid link between the two.

What kind of cheap hardware are you buying. :p

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