Tuesday, 2 May 2017

XML file for WinLite10

WinLite10 v7.2 for Win10 1703 Build 15063

Alacran (on reboot.pro) has notified us of a few .cmd scripts available from 'sickdroid' (or Felix Wiegand) which can remove many non-essential Windows components such as Cortana, etc. during a fresh installation of Windows 1703.

You can automatically run the rmApps.cmd script during installation of Windows 10 as follows:

1. Download the files to a \WinLite10 folder on your E2B USB drive so that \WinLite10\rmApps.cmd and the other files are present in the USB:\WinLite10 folder.

2. Copy the Windows 10 (WinLite10).XML files to the \_ISO\WINDOWS\WIN10 folder.

There is one for Home and one for Pro.

The WinLite10 XML files will be in the next version of E2B in the \_ISO\WINDOWS\WIN10\SAMPLE XML FILES folder. They are also in the E2B Alternate Download Area - Other Files folders.

If you have a different Win10 ISO Edition (e.g. a Volume Licence version or other SKU), you may need to change the Product Key in the XML file or else you may get a 'License' error message from Setup.

3. Now boot from an E2B USB Flash drive and pick your Windows 10 ISO and the appropriate WinLite XML file.

4. After the file copy stage has completed and rebooted, the \WinLite10\rmApps.cmd should automatically run during the Specialize pass (keep the E2B USB drive plugged in!). Quit the command shell once rmApps.cmd has completed and you have answered all the questions to uninstall each Windows component (it is a long list!).

You could modify the rmApps.cmd script to automatically run without asking questions.
Note that removing Cortana in Win10 1703 will cause the Start Menu to not function!

Also see here for another way to prevent some components from installing - if you name the script as \WinLite10\rmApps.cmd then it will automatically run (use exit as the last line).

set key=HKLM\SOFTWARE\Microsoft\Windows\CurrentVersion\Appx\AppxAllUserStore\InboxApplications
FOR %%i IN (
) DO (
FOR /F %%a IN ('reg query %key% /s /f %%i /k 2^>nul ^| find /i "InboxApplications"') DO IF NOT ERRORLEVEL 1 (reg delete %%a /f 2>nul)

Notes on XML files

Note that although there is only an x86 XML section for the 'Specialize' 'RunSynchronous' command and no corresponding amd64 section, the x86 section is run even when using a 64-bit ISO!
In fact, the other 'WindowsPE' 'RunSynchronous' command exists for both the x86 and amd64 sections, and Setup executes LOADISONP.CMD twice (but the second time it is ignored by the batch file)! However, the Product Key is only picked up from the appropriate WinPE section (i.e. if you are booting 64-bit Windows Install, the Product Key must be in the amd64 WinPE section or Setup will complain!).
This seems to be strange behaviour which has been noticed by others, but AFAIK, Microsoft have never given a satisfactory explanation as to why Setup should be running both the x86 and amd64 portions of the XML file.

.imgPTN and UEFI-booting

If you have a E2B USB HDD or want to UEFI-boot to install Windows 10:

1. Convert the Win10 ISO to a FAT32 .imgPTN file (use Chandra's Split_WinISO tool and the MPI button and choose the winpeshl.ini\mysetup.cmd option)
2. Add the XML files to the root of the .imgPTN partition
3. Edit the \Auto.cmd file to pick one of the XML files