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I was just wondering if anyone knows what are the main or needed files to boot Windows 8 up to the login screen?

I am asking this because I want to do some tests on Windows 8 in VirtualBox, to strip it down as much as I can, install my custom desktop shell and see just how small I can get it.

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closed as too broad by Heptite, Wesley, Kevin Panko, and31415, Mokubai Apr 26 '14 at 12:06

There are either too many possible answers, or good answers would be too long for this format. Please add details to narrow the answer set or to isolate an issue that can be answered in a few paragraphs.If this question can be reworded to fit the rules in the help center, please edit the question.

Your question is not really all that clear the files required to boot are really the same between all versions of Windows and there exist tools to streamline Windows 8 just like previous versions – Ramhound Apr 25 '14 at 23:33

The barebones install is windows PE, which is essentially Boot.wim. There's a couple of fora given over to making winpe, both off winxp and windows 6/7. The bartpe was all about customising PE into a proper recovery environmrnt.

The trick is to delete install.wim off the install cd, and use a few toole to change files in boot.wim.

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