Windows Vista installs many programs and add-ons on your system during its installation which most users normally do not need. I'm speaking of components like Tablet PC support or Speech Support. All those programs take up space on the Vista DVD and on your hard drive and I was looking for a way to remove those files before installation - and Vlite is exactly the tool created for that job.
You have to copy Vista from your DVD to your hard drive. Once that is done you load the folder in Vlite and it will be automatically analyzed. Once that is done you may click on the Components tab which displays many programs that you may choose to remove from the installation.
Hovering over one entry displays some short lines about its purpose. The red entries should only be removed with caution because removing them will have side effects that are explained by the program. A removal may for instance block other applications from running when they depend on the component.
Components are sorted in to categories like Drivers, Multimedia and Games. Once you mark a feature for removal the size will be displayed. Removing the Movie and DVD maker for instance reduces the size by 200 megabytes. (uncompressed I assume).
My test run had a estimated size reduction of 3843 megabytes. Afterwards you have the option to either apply the changes without rebuilding the installation files or with rebuilding them. The difference is that the first method will not decrease the size that Vista takes on the DVD whereas the second method removes the files from the installation thus creating a reduced image. This does not affect the installation of Vista though, it does not matter if you choose method 1 or 2, the software that you have selected to be removed will not be installed during installation.
The result of the procedure was that I had a final size of the Vista folder that was close to CD size. The final size was 990 megabytes. I did not try to install this image because I'm quite happy with the fact that my current one is working but I suppose it should not be a problem at all.
Please note that you need the .net framework and two additional components which are checked and installed when you first run the program.
Ghacks is a technology news blog that was founded in 2005 by Martin Brinkmann. It has since then become one of the most popular tech news sites on the Internet with five authors and regular contributions from freelance writers.