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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 at 12:06

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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 at 23:33
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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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