So I just got a small SSD to use. It's not big, but quite small - 16GB.

However I think it'd speed things up in my old HP 8530W a LOT. But Windows 8 by default is way too big for that.

Is there a chance that it could run from there, say, after a serious trimming of drivers, extra apps and features I do not use, and moving around some folders to my main drive? I'd prefer to have the core OS, the preinstalled apps, and a few small utilities (Total Commander, uTorrent, etc.) on the SSD.

Also, which tool is the recommended one for modifying a Win8.1/Win10 image?

  • On paper yes, it requires, yet I've failed so far to install Windows 8 and make it take up more than 10GB. I believe by removing a huge amount of junk I don't need will make it take even less space. Not to say about Windows 10 - it literally took 4.5GB after install!
    – fonix232
    Oct 21, 2014 at 21:15
  • If I recall correctly Windows 8.1 will refuse to install on a 16GB drive, but it does fit. Here's a screenshot of how big my unaltered Windows 8.1 Enterprise Evaluation virtual machine installation is: postimg.org/image/uog66y7kx . Not even 9GB in size.
    – Robin Hood
    Nov 1, 2014 at 19:20

1 Answer 1


When you use the WIMBOOT Feature of Windows 8.1 Update 1 (KB2919355), Windows will work fine with such a small amount of storage. Here Widows runs directly out of the WIM File which is much smaller compared to extracting all files in the regular way.

Windows image file boot (WIMBoot) lets you set up a PC so that it runs directly from a compressed Windows image file (WIM file).

WIMBoot can significantly reduce the amount of space used by Windows files. This helps you provide more free space to users, and helps you manufacture Windows on PCs with smaller drives.

  • It seems to be a great solution, but doesn't it kill the purpose of the SSD? I mean, loading from WIM is a lot slower, so the speed I gain with the SSD, I lose it with the WIM loading, no?
    – fonix232
    Oct 22, 2014 at 9:26
  • 1
    it works fine with SSDs. They can read data from a large file very fast. WIMBoot doesn't work well on old HDDs (and MS recommends to use it ONLY on flash drives), with the slow access time. Oct 22, 2014 at 15:57
  • Hmm, sounds good. But any way I ended up actually buying a 120GB SSD and using the 16GB one in an external USB3.0-SATA3 case for fast storage.
    – fonix232
    Oct 22, 2014 at 19:12
  • The limitation about this solution is the CPU speed (for on-the-fly data decompression), not the SSD.
    – nex84
    Mar 7, 2016 at 17:19

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