XP lite?
December 14, 2005 11:46 AM   Subscribe

Has anyone used one of the hacked windows XP-lite distros? The ones that remove unnecessary stuff and leave you with a faster machine? a- how stable are they, can you use them for resource intensive apps like photoshop, autocad, etc.? b- do they support non-english keyboards? c- is the performance gain worth the hassle of finding and installing them?

Yes, I know that they're illegal in some countries. Let's say I have a merely academic interest.
posted by signal to Computers & Internet (8 answers total) 1 user marked this as a favorite
many years ago i ran a "lite" version of windows 98. It worked well, but i really didn't notice much of a performance bump.

I think you can get better performance by using the windows classic theme, and turning off all the shiny doo-dads (transitions, etc) as well as disabling unnecessary processes. Do a search on optimizing xp for more tips.
posted by freq at 11:56 AM on December 14, 2005

I used and likednlite on my new computer, but I was mainly after the easy slipstreaming of service packs, drivers, etc. It requires you to already have a copy of XP too, so there's no legal issue there.
posted by PinkStainlessTail at 12:01 PM on December 14, 2005

seconded..nlite is the way to go. It let's you create a highly customized xp install based on your original cd.

My standard install cd(built using nlite) has SP2 slipstreamed, all necessary drivers not included w/ the xp cd and a ton of junk removed from the standard xp install.
posted by zerokey at 12:19 PM on December 14, 2005

I recently put Windows XP "End User Edition" (built by some guy at The Pirate Bay) onto a machine for someone else. Someone at work showed it to me, because they were running it on a PII with 128 MB of RAM, and it was moving right along.

My experience with it has been quite positive so far, except for the video driver installation. It didn't seem to want to use the normal Catalyst drivers from ATi so I had to go get some hacked third-party drivers and now it works fine.

The computer that I put it on ended up being much more powerful than I intended, but I can still see a good bit of performance gained compared to a normal install. It boots in practically no time, and most importantly there isn't any of the crap built into it that you never use. I got quite a shock when I opened "My Documents" and there was absolutely nothing in there.

As far as resource intensive apps, I can't speak for CAD or Photoshop, but I did test out some games like The Sims 2 and Civ 4 (which is a total hog) with maxed out graphics, and they ran flawlessly.

As for whether or not it's worth it, that depends. How old is your machine? How much is the lack of clutter worth to you? This particular version requires you to do the Javascript trick to do updates, is it worth that hassle? On my machine I use a full version of XP because it's easier, but I can definitely see where these other versions have a place.
posted by Who_Am_I at 12:23 PM on December 14, 2005 [1 favorite]

And I just checked, it does seem to support non-English keyboards. I don't actually have one, but the options are still there.
posted by Who_Am_I at 1:15 PM on December 14, 2005

Who_Am_I: the torrent doesn't seem to be working any more. Any idea where...um...that might be available?
posted by null terminated at 7:05 PM on December 14, 2005

Don't overlook just tweaking your existing installation. Anyway, for my money, adding a little RAM or disk space works wonders. If you're tweaking because those are limitations for you, you're going to run up against them some time eventually ... just later.

I used to do this for a living, but I hate having a machine that's so customized that when I upgrade I have to start all over again. If you're some gamer or whomever who reinstalls from scratch every 2-3 months anyway, this makes more sense.
posted by dhartung at 10:34 PM on December 14, 2005

No, I'm afraid not. I got my copy directly from a friend. I can't seem to find it in any of the places that I usually look, but if you're savvy enough (I'm not) I'm sure it's on Usenet somewhere.
posted by Who_Am_I at 6:29 AM on December 17, 2005

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