If you want full con­trol, it’s pos­si­ble to cre­ate the ul­ti­mate cus­tom­ized in­stall me­dia. But be warned: It’s for tech­ni­cal users only.

Down­load and in­stall the free ver­sion of NTLite from Once set up, launch the app. The sim­plest way to use it is in con­junc­tion with a pre­vi­ously cre­ated in­stal­la­tion flash drive—with that plugged in, click “Add” to select the drive con­tain­ing your Win­dows in­stall files. The OS ap­pears in the list—click it to mount it.

Once the source has been added, sev­eral op­tions ap­pear down the left-hand side of the NTLite win­dow. Start with “Com­po­nents”— read the warn­ing (it’s a good idea to test your cus­tom­ized Win­dows in­stall in a vir­tual en­vi­ron­ment, such as Vir­tu­alBox, as ad­vised), and click “OK.” From here, you can re­move var­i­ous com­po­nents—in­clud­ing driv­ers, se­lected apps, and lo­cal­iza­tion files—to slim down the size of your in­stall me­dia and sub­se­quent Win­dows in­stall. You’ll see some op­tions are marked in blue and grayed out—you need to pay for a full li­cense (from $45) to ac­cess th­ese.

The “Con­fig­ure” section en­ables you to choose which el­e­ments are pre-in­stalled, and which ones need to be man­u­ally en­abled after in­stal­la­tion—you can dis­able In­ter­net Ex­plorer 11 and Win­dows Me­dia Player, and en­able Hy­per-V sup­port out of the box, for ex­am­ple.

Go to “In­te­grate” to slip­stream Win­dows Up­dates and Driv­ers into the me­dia—th­ese will be au­to­mat­i­cally in­stalled after Win­dows, so while length­en­ing the over­all in­stall time, it saves you the has­sle of do­ing so man­u­ally. Fi­nally, the “Au­to­mate” section en­ables you to skip some of the setup ques­tions.

Once done, ap­ply your changes, then—if nec­es­sary —gen­er­ate a new ISO file, which you can burn to disc or copy to USB flash drive us­ing a tool such as Ru­fus ( https://ru­

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