Create custom Windows 10 installations with MSMG Toolkit - gHacks Tech News

Create custom Windows 10 installations with MSMG Toolkit

You have two core options when it comes to creating custom Windows 10 installations. Either start from scratch by manipulating a Windows 10 ISO image directly, or modify a running system instead. MSGM Toolkit falls in the former category, as it will modify a source image and not the running system.

Note: It is highly recommended that you create a backup of the system partition before you run the program. Note that you need a Windows 10 ISO image, or a Windows 10 DVD, as this is used as the base image for the custom version.

You may download MSMG Toolkit from My Digital Life but that requires an account. If you don't have an account on the site, download the software program from Majorgeeks instead.

Create custom Windows 10 installations

msmg toolkit

Extract the package that is provided as a 7z archive file, and run the script in the root afterwards. The program displays an EULA on start which you need to accept to continue. Basically, what it says is that the author is not responsible for damages or issues. The application is a command line script for the most part.

MSGM Toolkit runs some scans once you hit the a-button for accept, for instance to detect the version of the operating system, and make sure the required tools are all available (stored in the MSMG Toolkit folder).

create custom windows 10 installation

The program displays its main screen afterwards. The first thing that you need to do is select a source image or folder. You can copy the source folder of a Windows 10 installation image or DVD to the DVD\sources folder of the MSGM Toolkit folder to have that picked up for instance.

Tap on the 1 to start the source folder selection process, and select one of the available options afterwards.

Once you have set the source, you may start the customization process. The main menu items that you will use during the process are (3) integrate, (4) remove, and (5) customize.

Integrate

windows 10 image integrate

Integrate allows you to add language packs, drivers, features, updates, and custom features to the Windows 10 installation.

  • Language Packs -- This enables you to add language packs -- read support for additional languages -- to the custom Windows 10 installation media.
  • Drivers -- Add drivers to the installation media, for instance for hardware that Windows does not support by default, or does not provide up to date drivers for.
  • Windows Features -- Enables you to add Windows components such as Microsoft Games, Microsoft .NET Framework 3.5, Windows Sidebar, or Windows Media Feature Pack to the installation. Some of these restore features that were removed previously (e.g. Microsoft Edge).
  • Updates -- Integrate Windows Updates directly so that they are installed during installation of Windows 10, and not installed afterwards.
  • Windows Custom Features -- Add custom system files, UxTheme patch, or a custom Windows Recovery Environment.

Remove

remove

You may use the remove option to cut components from the Windows 10 installation.

  • Remove default Metro apps -- Lists all default applications, and provides you with the means to remove select Windows 10 applications, all applications, all except Windows Store, and all online apps.
  • Remove Default Metro Apps Associations -- This removes the file associations from Metro apps so that they are no longer launched when you open associated files on the Windows 10 machine.
  • Remove Windows Components -- Remove Windows 10 components such as Cortana, Telemetry Services, Home Group, Parental Controls, or Xbox & Gaming from the image. There is also an advanced option to remove things like Microsoft Edge, Adobe Flash, Windows Defender, or Windows System Restore.
  • Remove Windows Components using Package List

Customize

customize

Customize enables you to import or export default metro application associations from and to XML files.

Once you are done

When you are done making the changes, you need to use the apply menu to apply the changes to the selected source.

Once that is out of the way, you may use the target menu to create a new installation medium, for instance by making a custom Windows 10 DVD ISO image, burning the ISO image to a bootable Flash drive, or burning an ISO image to DVD.

It is recommended that you test the custom Windows 10 installation media, for instance in a virtual machine, before you install it on computer systems.

Closing Words

MGMT Toolkit is a handy script for Windows devices to create custom Windows 10 installations from a Windows 10 ISO image or sources folder.

It enables you to make basic modifications to the installation media, for instance by removing select Windows apps, but also more advanced modifications such as adding drivers to the Windows 10 image, or removing core components.

A comparable program is NTLite. It enables you to modify a live installation, or create new custom media.

Now You: Do you customize your Windows installations?

Summary
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Author Rating
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4.5 based on 10 votes
Software Name
MSMG Toolkit
Operating System
Windows
Software Category
Administration
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Comments

  1. mike said on May 2, 2017 at 10:22 am
    Reply

    Just like the old days of 98Lite…

    Can you get W10 down to 50mb?

  2. Yuliya said on May 2, 2017 at 11:03 am
    Reply

    It works on 7 and 8.1 too, as well as their Server counterparts. MSMG Toolkit is kind of a text based “UI” for DISM which is built-in Windows. It’s one way of integrating USB3 drivers into install.wim of Windows 7 (tip: you don’t need them into the boot image too as you can use the one from 8.1 or 10, and replace install.wim with the 7 one – it will install 7 since on HDD will end up only the install.wim’s contents. It’s the easiest way to install 7 on a USB3-only PC).

    1. Alt said on May 3, 2017 at 11:21 am
      Reply

      It’s a very interesting boot.win tip. Do you copy Win 10 boot.win into Win 7 files, or copy Win 7 install.win into Win 10 files?

      1. Yuliya said on May 3, 2017 at 11:18 pm
        Reply

        Copy Windows 7’s install.wim file (it’s the largest one, should be about 2,7GB – 3GB) over Windows 10 iso files.

        I forgot to mention, both iso files should have the same language (I haven’t tested otherwise, so I’m not sure). So: 7 EN_US | 10 EN_US

  3. Sebby said on May 2, 2017 at 11:06 am
    Reply

    I suppose the question for me is:

    How effective is the telemetry removal, and by what means is it achieved? Is it a clean job, or another hacked-up affair?

    Certainly, if I could use Win10 as effectively as Win8.1 … but somehow I doubt that will be the case. Still it would be nice if I could so I’d like to know how others get on with this.

    1. Yuliya said on May 2, 2017 at 11:28 am
      Reply

      Telemetry in Windows 10 can’t be removed. It’s not one exe that sends stuff to Micro$oft, it’s rather built into many core executables and libraries. It can’t even be done in Enterprise LTSB: imgur com/a/j6BSb
      Note the wording: “includes” instead of limited to MSRT/MSE. You’ll have to either patch explorer.exe (unlikely) or remove it (rendering Windows almost unusable). And explorer.exe is just one example of a misbehaving built in executable.

      On my install I disabled everything I could through GPEdit and yet the Settings application indicates that “System” made 90kB of traffic – no need for me to do further monitoring as it’s abovious that it still does its nasty thing..

  4. Mark said on May 2, 2017 at 12:56 pm
    Reply

    Yeah, after completely gutting Windows 10 1607 14393 Enterprise LTSB N with MSMG AND applying DWS (destroy windows spying) AND O&O ShutUp10 the thing still calls home (about 4 addresses, add a few more for office 2016 with telemetry off). While stuff like “login.live.com” could be blocked in “hosts”, nasty geo-prod.dodsp.mp.microsoft.com.nsatc.net and prod-w.nexus.live.com.akadns.net still getting a clean pass with hosts, windows firewall (ip block) and “Windows 10 Firewall Control” application. Just can’t force myself to use it. Guess if I absolutely have too I will block it with router.

    1. Sebby said on May 3, 2017 at 9:07 am
      Reply

      Oh well. I should have known. Thanks for the confirmation guys. I’ll just have to stick to 8.1 until M$ finally get a clue (not holding my hopes up on that score).

    2. P said on October 13, 2017 at 1:41 am
      Reply

      Try WPD, it sets a number of firewall rules to block telemetry among other things.

  5. dmacleo said on May 2, 2017 at 8:14 pm
    Reply

    saving for later use, good article.
    think I can use this on the small domains (5-8 clients) to deploy.
    thanks

  6. omario said on May 2, 2017 at 11:46 pm
    Reply

    have been using a great tool for past year or so, definitely worth trying

    https://www.winreducer.net/winreducer-ex-100.html

  7. Anonymous said on May 3, 2017 at 1:28 am
    Reply

    If you want to customize Windows 10 ISO you should try “Winreducer”
    It is free!

    1. daveo76 said on May 4, 2017 at 4:06 am
      Reply

      WinReducer is not totally free. Many features of it are locked and have to buy a license that only lasts for 6-24 months to have all features unlocked.

  8. Barry said on May 8, 2017 at 12:59 am
    Reply

    @daveo76
    > WinReducer is not totally free.

    In my humble opinion, it’s worse than that. I can’t get tbe installed program to do anything but re-direct me to their store.

  9. salem said on June 12, 2018 at 10:46 am
    Reply

    V8.2 cont open advance removal to remove such as window defender

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