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Are there anyways to lessen the footprint of a Windows 7 install when installing to a virtual machine? So far it seems to take around 30GB, anyway to reduce this?


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My average install of win 7 after all updates and patches is less than 8gb, what else are you installing? – Paperlantern Feb 2 '12 at 3:19
Use Server 2008 with a Server Core installation instead? – Iszi Feb 2 '12 at 3:28
up vote 1 down vote accepted

There are several applications out there for making "lite" versions of Windows, where you can customise the components and services that get installed.

This is often referred to as slipstreaming.

Here is an example - thisis just the first in a google search for "Windows 7 Lite" so you may want to research alternatives.

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Thanks! That is exactly what I was looking for, just needed the nomenclature :). – evan Feb 2 '12 at 4:59

Here is how I reduce the sizes (needed it for SSD installs - both guest and host OS).

  1. Install Windows7 with SP1 - don't install then patch to SP1
  2. Turn off hibernation
  3. Change the paging file to manual with a size between 1 and 2 GB
  4. Change Recycle Bin max size to 500 MB
  5. Apply all patches (windows update)
  6. Run the system clean up tool from the c drive properties section. Be sure to clean both system files, backup files, etc.
  7. Install CCLeaner
  8. Run CCLeaner to remove any lingering temp files
  9. Take snapshot
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your instructions seem to stop short, did you have the rest of it ? – orn Jun 28 '12 at 15:21
I added the missing steps. Not sure what happened there. Thanks for letting me know. – tsells Jun 28 '12 at 16:22

adding on to tsells answer - Before taking a snapshot, Power Down the virtual machine. That way, your snapshot will not have to include an image of the PC memory. That can save you several gigs on the size of your VM image.

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