I have a Dell Inspiron 910, bought from cash converters for £150 3/4 of a year ago. As I had tested Windows Visa and found it to be in many ways an advert not to upgrade from Windows XP I left my machine with the XP installation that the Dell originally came on. Something that surprised me was the 8Gig solid state hard disk. I bought a cheap 4 gig SD card and shoved that permanently into the side for some extra space but I mainly relied on an external 360GB Western Digital slimline hard disk.
When windows 7 came out my usual fear of learning the nuances of a new OS evaporated as I found it to be in almost every way and pleasure to deal with. After testing on a Dell Optiplex 780 for some time I though I should get my Dell Inspiron upgraded to 7 also.
Windows 7 space requirements
Windows 7 Ultimate 32bit with a standard install takes about 7gig and even though you can disable many core feature these features are not removed. After some searching I found vLite a utility that is (I assume) mainly used by companies to create tailored Windows installs that suit the corporate image. More searching around on the net and I found that Windows 7 starter was probably the best choice for my netbook. Though Starter removed many features so low powered computers can run it it seemed to be the best choice as a starting package to reduce further in size. After hacking the image with vLite and successfully installing I found that there was no domain support, you could not easily personalise the theme and there was no Aero. Finding this I used vLite to reduce a Windows 7 Ultimate installation. Below is the howto.
This is my vLite configuration file for a Windows 7 Ultimate installation. If you want to use it copy the text and save as a text file with a .ini extension in C:\Program Files\vLite\presets or wherever you installed vLite to.
; vLite preset file ; ;#Environment: ; vLite v1.2 ; Framework 2.0.50727.4200 ; Microsoft Windows NT 6.0.6002 Service Pack 2 32-bit ; ;#Target: ; Windows 7 Ultimate Activated 32Bit - Orbit30 32-bit ; Version 6.1 English (United States) ; [Compatibility] ACDSee / XnView DriveimageXML Aero Glass File and printer sharing (Server) Recommended Scanners and Cameras Windows Update [CustomHide] [Components] ;# Accessories # Accessibility Games-Inbox Games Games-Premium Inbox Games Speech Support Welcome Center ;# Drivers # Diva Server Modems QLogic Fibre Channel Adapter Scanners Storage controllers-Adaptec Storage controllers-Elxstor Storage controllers-IBM ServeRAID Storage controllers-ICP vortex Storage controllers-Intel (Matrix) Storage controllers-nVidia Storage controllers-SiS Storage controllers-Via TV Tuners-ADS Technologies TV Tuners-ASUSTeK Computer Inc. TV Tuners-AVerMedia Technologies, Inc. TV Tuners-Compro Technology Inc. TV Tuners-Creatix TV Tuners-Hauppauge TV Tuners-KNC ONE GmbH TV Tuners-KWorld TV Tuners-Lumanate, Inc. TV Tuners-Philips Semiconductors TV Tuners-Pinnacle Systems TV Tuners-TerraTec Electronic GmbH TV Tuners-VidzMedia Pte Ltd. ;# Hardware Support # Firewire (1394) Floppy Disk Support Infrared Support Microsoft Multi-Path Bus Modem Support Smartcards TV Tuner support XBOX 360 Controller ;# Languages # Arabic Brazillian Bulgarian Croatian Czech Danish Dutch Estonian Finnish French German Greek Hebrew Hungarian Italian Japanese Korean Latvian Lithuanian Norwegian Polish Portuguese Romanian Russian Serbian Simplified Chinese Slovak Slovenian Spanish Swedish Table Driven Text Input Processor Thai Traditional Chinese Turkish Ukrainian ;# Multimedia # Media Center Music and Video samples Sample Pictures Screensavers ;# Network # Connect to a Network Projector Distributed File System (DFS) Internet Information Services (IIS) Telnet Client Telnet Server TFTP Client Windows Collaboration Windows Mail ;# System # Disk Quota Help IMAPIv2 Burning Support Microsoft Client For NFS Natural Language Parental Controls Run a legacy CPL elevated Tablet PC Windows Easy Transfer [Options] DEP (Data Execution Prevention) = Default User Account Control (UAC) = Enabled AntiSpyware Realtime Protection = Default Memory requirement = 256MB AutoPlay = Disabled Paging Executive = Enabled Power scheme = Power saving Power button = Shutdown Sleep button = Sleep Control Panel - Classic View = Default Show hidden files and folders = No Show protected operating system files = No Show extensions for known file types = Yes IE Phishing Filter = Default IE Phishing Verification Ballon Tips = Default [Services] [Protection] [Drivers] E:\Downloads\Applications\Drivers\Pippin\R200081\Driver\x32\jmcr.inf [Unattended] SkipAutoActivation [Hotfixes] [LanguagePacks]
vLite Points of interest
Anything listed in the above ini file are things that will be REMOVED. The items you may not want to remove are listed sequentially below:
- TV Tuners
- Floppy Disk support
- Infra Red Support
- Language (select your own)
- Media Centre
The install image is around 1.5gig
Installing your vLite image using a usb drive
Seeing as my dell has no cdrom drive the iso that vLite produces should be put on a memory stick. Here are some good instructions.
Compress your Windows Drive
During the initial windows setup I formatted my hard disk with compression enabled. After clicking advanced for a new windows setup and being shown my disks you can press Control F10 to get to command prompt. Here run diskpart, select the correct hard disk, if necessary clean, create a partition and format with the command
FORMAT FS=NTFS LABEL=”Win 7″ QUICK COMPRESS
exit and refresh and continue the install.
Further Space Saving, Post Install.
There are various ways you can reclaim a few gig of space.
- Disable pagefile, or set it to 200MB
- Disable hibernate support by using the following command in an administrator command prompt:
powercfg -h offAs shown here
- Compress the entire drive, if you did not format during setup; right click drive c and check compress and ignore all access denied messages.
- Disable System Restore.
- Disable Recycle Bin or reduce its size to 50Meg.
- Remove Hotfix files.
Many of the above tips are explained here, there are more but the above produces the greatest gain.
A 4 gig Windows 7 Ultimate install for a dell mini or similar laptop. Leaving me with 4 gig to install applications, though running them, especially at the same time, may require more virtual memory.