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11/12/2019 Tutorial for creating and testing a 700MB Windows 10 ISO – NTLite

Tutorial for creating and testing a 700MB Windows 10 ISO


February 27, 2018 Posted by chriswayg Tutorial

Some have asked for an updated guide for Windows 10, thus I would like to share my latest experiment with slimming down Windows 10 and th
to get it working.

Purpose:

Create a small functional image to be used for a fast virtual machine which can run most Windows Desktop applications, using minimal memor
HD space.

This is not a general guide, but just the steps I documented for my own needs, which may prove helpful to others who want to accomplish some
(My steps & descriptions are quite concise and without pictures, so this may not work as a beginners guide, but you can find a nice one here.

OS, VM and NTLite System Requirements

Recent version of Parallels (version 12) on a recent version of macOS (Sierra) and 8 GB RAM (this will probably work similarly in VMware)
Windows ISO file: MSDN version of Windows 10 LTSB
I am using the LTSB version in this example, because it is already built to function without Metro and it only requires minimal updates (but ot
Windows 10 should work similarly)
NTLite with at least the Home license, after trying out the free version (it cannot remove as much as the licensed one)

Preparations

Preferably, create a Virtual Machine as a Host for NTlite with the full version of the target OS
 for example Windows 10 LTSB 32 bit 
assign at least 3GB memory for the OS hosting NTlite
Install NTlite on the Host
use HWlist, if targeting the OS for other hardware
Download official Windows 10 ISOs from Microsoft (this includes a lot of recent updates already) or use the RTM/MSDN ISO
https://www.microsoft.com/en-us/software-download/windows10ISO/
RTM downloads for Windows 10 LTSB iso images can be be found on MSDN: https://msdn.microsoft.com/subscriptions/downloads
The 64bit version takes up a lot more space “Windows 10 Enterprise 2016 LTSB (x64) – DVD (English)”
en_windows_10_enterprise_2016_ltsb_x64_dvd_9059483.iso
https://msdn.microsoft.com/en-us/subscriptions/downloads/hh442898.aspx#FileId=70167
The 32bit version will create the smallest image: “Windows 10 Enterprise 2016 LTSB (x86) – DVD (English)”
en_windows_10_enterprise_2016_ltsb_x86_dvd_9060010.iso
https://msdn.microsoft.com/en-us/subscriptions/downloads/hh442898.aspx#FileId=70063
the LTSB versions are a bit hard to get without a MSDN subscription; for more info google: ‘mydigitallife MSDN Windows 10 LTSB’
check hash of downloaded image with Hashtab
Mount the ISO image
Copy contents of the ISO to a folder on the Desktop, for example
‘Windows10ltsb’

NTlite Settings

File – Manage License (check that the license is valid & all recent features are activated)
Toolbar – Add – Image Folder – select ‘Windows10ltsb’: to select the OS source
Right Click ‘Windows 10 Enterprise LTSB’ (install.wim) and select ‘Load’ to mount this image in NTLite (wait a minute or two…)
In Components
Toolbar – Compatibility: select things you want to keep working…
Component Functionality (each category selects a bunch of stuff to keep)
Default fonts
Microsoft Office

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11/12/2019 Tutorial for creating and testing a 700MB Windows 10 ISO – NTLite

Network Discovery
Printing
Recommended
USB
Video Playback
Windows Activation
Windows Update
Machine Support
Host Machine (or HWlist)
Parallels VM (or other VM you might use)
Toolbar – Expand All – Uncheck All: now only the absolute minimum is selected to be installed
Add to that the following things to keep, by checking what you need:
Drivers (nothing added)
Sound – high definition audio device – hdaudio.inf (if not already selected)
Hardware Support
click on ‘Individual Devices’ so that almost none are removed (double-check!, otherwise Win 10 may not boot)
Print to PDF
Localization
keep some common Fonts like Verdana, etc.
German Keyboard Layout & Language Support
Multimedia
Mouse Pointers
(optional)
Wallpaper Default
Network
Internet Explorer client (optional – install Firefox instead)
Remoting and Privacy
Network Discovery (Homegroup not needed)
System
 .Net Framework is included 
Application Compatibility! (needed for a lot of older applications)
Help File Support (CHM)
Group Policy Client & Local Security Policy (useful for changing some otherwise inaccessible settings)
Event Viewer
Disk Defragmenter
Zip and Cab folder
Windows Apps
OneDrive
In Features (mostly use defaults)
deselect XPS Viewer
deselect Microsoft XPS Document Writer
select Microsoft Print to pdf
In Services
Update: Disabled (because cumulative updates break the system)
optional: modify ‘Services’ according to Black Viper Safe list
http://www.blackviper.com/service-configurations/black-vipers-windows-10-service-configurations/
In Local Machine
Auto Reboot on BSOD: Disabled
Pagefile: 256 MB
Privacy: mostly Disabled
Allow Telemetry: Security
Automatic Activation: Disabled
Sponsored Apps: Disabled
Malicious Software Removal Tool Updates: Disabled
Updates: Check only
In Users
Welcome Experience: Disabled
Privacy: almost all Disabled
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11/12/2019 Tutorial for creating and testing a 700MB Windows 10 ISO – NTLite

In Updates – Integrate Update Packages:


Automatically using the NTLite (v1.7+) with the Download Updates function, more info here
Or manually:
To find out relevant Update packages, you should first make an NTlited install without integrated updates
then run Windows Update and make a list of all important Security Updates by KB number
Download the relevant updates based on the list created in the first step
manually from Microsoft Download Center https://www.microsoft.com/en-us/download/default.aspx ;(search by KB number) or some o
Integrate relevant updates
In Drivers
check that it all looks as expected with most drivers found
missing Parallels Drivers will be installedd by the Parallels Tools Package
In Unattended:
Toolbar – Enable, then Auto-fill
modify Administrator user Name as needed including Password
optional: check Auto-logon
optional: Toolbar – Add local account: Group – Users, …
Toolbar – Configure disk partition
Check… ‘Install to this partition’, ‘Maximum’
Label ‘Main’
* Setup Key (check for correct key )
* use generic free KMS Client Setup Key: https://technet.microsoft.com/en-us/library/jj612867.aspx
* or Generic Windows 10 Installation Key: http://windowsiso.net/windows-10-iso/windows-10-product-key/
* Windows 10 LTSB: DCPHK-NFMTC-H88MJ-PFHPY-QJ4BJ
* Windows 10 Enterprise: NPPR9-FWDCX-D2C8J-H872K-2YT43
In Post Setup:
To disable the Hibernate: Toolbar – Add – Command: powercfg/h (with Parameters) off
Compress the OS to reduce size by 1.2 GB Toolbar – Add – Command: Compact (with Parameters) /CompactOS:always
Add WinDirStat http://windirstat.info/index.html: Toolbar – Add – File windirstat1_1_2_setup.exe (with Parameters) /S

Add Firefox https://ftp.mozilla.org/pub/firefox/releases/: Toolbar – Add – File Firefox Setup.exe (with Parameters) -ms

 In Apply: 
check: Save the image: Save to outside of the VM and name it something meaningful
for example: Windows_10_LTSB_32bit_en_US_NTLite1.iso
Remove non-essential editions:
remove Windows PE
Image Format: Standard WIM
optional: use ESD compression (gets the image down by about one fourth, but can take about 15 mins longer)
Toolbar – Preset – Save: for example Win10ltsbNTlite1
Toolbar – Preset – Save as… the preset under a new name
Toolbar – Process (and wait for a few minutes)

Installation in Parallels VM:

Select image file


Select Operating System – ‘Windows 10’ (if not recognised)
Option: for Software Testing
Install should then all be fully automatic for Windows 10 within a few minutes (OS compression can take a while and the VM will appear to be un
possibly a few minutes)
restarts automatically

After Installation in Parallels VM:

optional: install Sysinternals Process Explorer & add shortcut (for better Memory usage measurement)
Memory usage about 300 MB, after a few minutes idle using Process Explorer
Install Parallels Tools
if auto-start is disabled, manually start setup from CD drive with autorun.exe
Unattended installation of Parallels Tools http://kb.parallels.com/en/11616: PTAgent.exe /install_silent
optional: add GPedit.msc & WinDirStat shortcuts
make Firefox default (if installed)
Check Device Manager

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11/12/2019 Tutorial for creating and testing a 700MB Windows 10 ISO – NTLite

Limitations:

Cannot be updated properly with Windows Update, due to cumulative updates breaking the system (see Host Refresh Wizard for alternatives
https://www.ntlite.com/v1-2-stable-released/ )
Network discovery has to be manually enabled
Event Viewer Errors: various such as
Print Service
Task Scheduler
Driver install failed
Strange layout in Settings – Privacy – Location
I tested it with various applications, and so far everything works fine including larger ones such as Corel Draw.

Final on-disk install Sizes with Presets:

Windows 10 LTSB 1607 (32bit) NTliteTiny2 – 1.2 GB (no swap)


The created iso image is less than 700 MB (with esd). This is my smallest image which works without problems, by leaving out Updates, Print
and a few other things. With more testing, this could be reduced further.
Windows 10 LTSB 1607 (32bit) NTlite9 with integrated updates – 2.3 GB (plus 500MB swap)
Windows 10 Enterprise 1703 (32bit) original FULL install – 9 GB (no compression), 7.5 GB (with compression)
Windows 10 Enterprise 1703 (32bit) NTlite1.0 with integrated updates – 2 GB (plus 500MB swap)
This is my favorite general purpose VM, using the settings described in the tutorial
If you want to use one of these example presets, please adapt them to your needs: at a minimum check the Components – [toolbar] Compatibil

For more presets look at Emma’s excellent work here.

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