Microsoft’s Windows 8.1 WIMBoot Lets You Install The OS In Only 3GB Of Disk Space

rated by 0 users
This post has 12 Replies | 0 Followers

Top 10 Contributor
Posts 26,504
Points 1,196,895
Joined: Sep 2007
ForumsAdministrator
News Posted: Fri, Apr 11 2014 10:53 AM
Microsoft just made it feasible to install Windows on a small capacity solid state drive (SSD) or hard drive with not much space left. Using a new deployment option called Windows Image Boot, or WIMBoot, users can install Windows 8.1 in just 3GB of space. This is an option that could come in handy if you're rocking a system with a 16GB SSD or eMMC storage -- by using WIMBoot, you'd be left with more than 12GB of free space (after accounting for the size of WIM plus a little extra for overhead), versus only around 7GB if installing Windows the traditional way.

Bear in mind that this isn't a new version of Windows, it's just a new way of installing the OS. Instead of extracting all the individual Windows files from an image (WIM) file, WIMBoot allows them to remain compressed. From a user standpoint, everything still looks the same -- you'll see a C: volume with Windows, your apps, and all your data.

Windows Screenie

"So how does this work? Effectively, you copy the WIM file into a separate 'images' partition (just like you would for a recovery image), then use DISM to create pointer files from the standard C: operating system volume into the WIM file. These pointer files are completely transparent, and Windows knows how to boot the operating system (keeping all the files in the WIM) when configured in this setup," Microsoft explains.

WIMBoot

The image above shows what the disk looks like when going this route. This option is supported by all SKUs of Windows 8.1 with the Windows 8.1 Update. According to Microsoft, tablet devices in the coming months will come pre-configured using WIMBoot.

If you want to try it yourself, you'll find detailed instructions in the ADK documentation.
  • | Post Points: 155
Not Ranked
Posts 11
Points 70
Joined: Mar 2011
Location: Sacramento, CA

Nice to finally see them address the problem of lack of free space for the end user after OS / bloatware installs. If it is at the sacrifice of too much performance be a real turn off getting a 16GB device.

  • | Post Points: 20
Not Ranked
Posts 87
Points 940
Joined: Oct 2010
Location: NYC
RMD replied on Fri, Apr 11 2014 1:11 PM

I wonder if this is possible with my Surface Pro? While it has an incredibly fast 128gb in it, more space plus the image on the ssd might be worth reformatting over.

  • | Post Points: 5
Top 10 Contributor
Posts 8,705
Points 104,490
Joined: Apr 2009
Location: Shenandoah Valley, Virginia
MembershipAdministrator
Moderator
realneil replied on Fri, Apr 11 2014 8:33 PM

So it decompresses files on the fly as they're needed?

That sounds like a performance hit for some systems. (made easier when using SSDs for OS & Data)

Dogs are great judges of character, and if your dog doesn't like somebody being around, you shouldn't trust them.

  • | Post Points: 5
Not Ranked
Posts 73
Points 780
Joined: Jun 2013
basroil replied on Sat, Apr 12 2014 7:20 AM

This is practically meant only for embedded devices that aren't capable of running Embedded 8 for x86 compatibility reasons. You can always make custom install disks with many things disabled and get space use down into the single digits without sacrificing performance.

Microsoft doesn't have bloatware in their OS, that's the fault of your OEM or operating system installer. Use the available slipstream tools to easily fit W8 in your 16gb disk.

  • | Post Points: 5
Not Ranked
Posts 28
Points 165
Joined: Jun 2013

Cool ! Finally a replacement on my netbook for my Windows XP nLite edition! : http://www.nliteos.com/

  • | Post Points: 5
Top 500 Contributor
Posts 121
Points 920
Joined: Mar 2013

This would have been handy back in the dawning days of SSD when 16, 32 or 40GB was all the commoner could afford.

  • | Post Points: 20
Not Ranked
Posts 1
Points 5
Joined: Apr 2014

That sounds nice:-)

  • | Post Points: 5
Not Ranked
Posts 28
Points 165
Joined: Jun 2013
DavidWebb1 replied on Sat, Apr 12 2014 10:18 AM

http://www.maximumpc.com/article/howtos/slipstream_windows_xp_sp3_and_vista_sp1#comments_top_anchor

  • | Post Points: 5
Not Ranked
Posts 12
Points 60
Joined: Apr 2014

I still wouldn't install it.

  • | Post Points: 5
Not Ranked
Posts 73
Points 780
Joined: Jun 2013
basroil replied on Sat, Apr 12 2014 11:23 PM

Custom slipstreamed (well, removed components so anti-slip?) install disk can get 32bit Windows 7 installed in the size of a dvd (uncompressed, not install disk size), and 64bit comes in at about 9gb without much effort. Sure it has pretty much nothing installed on it, and might not work if you later need services and components that you removed, but it's useful for certain situations.

  • | Post Points: 5
Not Ranked
Posts 7
Points 50
Joined: Mar 2014

But Win8 is a POS

  • | Post Points: 5
Top 50 Contributor
Posts 2,923
Points 24,700
Joined: Jul 2001
Location: United States, New York
digitaldd replied on Mon, Apr 14 2014 10:34 AM

Nice to have the option with a 'new" install. however if the system currently has Windows 8/8.1 installed and needs to be trimmed down the only thing you can try is moving the OEM recovery image off the SSD and onto a USB stick. This got me another 4-5GB on my Dell venue 8 Pro. 

  • | Post Points: 5
Page 1 of 1 (13 items) | RSS