nLite: Windows Installation Customizer

Normally I post tips and tricks about Linux but once in a while I make that leap into the MS Windows world. OK, without further ado, here is a tip for you Windows users out there.

Have you ever wanted to create a custom Windows CD that had your name, product key, timezone and regional settings “automagically” set during the installation? Wouldn’t it be nice to have the latest service packs automatically slipstreamed as well as have all the updated drivers for your system, registry tweaks, and even have a patched UXTheme.dll without doing a thing?

Do you waste countless hours tweaking the default Windows configuration after you do a clean OS install? If so, then nLite ( is what you are looking for. (NOTE: I apologize for sounding like an AD. Hey, at the very least, using this tool can and will save you some time. jtnez)

I have personally used this tool to customize a Windows XP installation that included everything mentioned above plus removing some built in software like MSN Messenger, MS Paint and other un-used games and themes. You can even add small apps that you would normally install anyway after a re-installation of windows. The number and size of the apps will obviously depend on how much space you have on your CD-R.

Generally, I include things like a notepad replacement tool (Notepad++), a image viewing tool (Irfanview), my IM app (Trillian), my firewall/AV (ZoneAlarm Suite), and my archiving tools (WinRAR). Its nice to have all these apps stored in your Windows OS CD as apposed to having to load several CD’s. Keep in mind that the additional apps that I add are not integrated into the OS installation like they would if you were to slipstream a service pack or hotfix. They are simply the setup/installation files I would normally run after the default Windows install anyway. Again, its just another time saver.

Keep in mind that if you lose said CD, it will have your Windows CD key built right in if you choose that option during the creation of the custom Windows CD. Meaning, anyone can then install Windows with your license since they will never be prompt to enter the key. Keep that in mind.

Give it a shot, its a sweet tool for all you Windows phreaks out there. 😉

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