Windows 8: How to slipstream the ISO, strip out features and pre-configure the installation

Ever since learning this technique for Windows XP, I've always gutted out useless features from my Windows installation. There's no point bloating up the drive and wasting space with stuff I'll never use.

Note: You'll need to run this from a Windows 8, so set up a copy in VirtualBox or something.

First step is to grab WinReducer. At time of writing it's WinReducer 8 (v0.90 beta).

After extracting the contents of the zip file to C:\WinReducer, it should look like this.


Run whichever executable you're working on (x86 vs x64).

Setup is a bit tricky, but the setup screen helps a lot with the "Website Download" links.


Download the missing software mentioned to fill in both x86 and x64, by clicking on the links on the website download links.

Assuming default install paths:

  • Download and install 7zip 9.30 alpha (at time of writing)
  • Click the checkbox next to 7zip and go to "C:\Program Files (x86)\7-Zip"
  • Select 7z.exe
  • Click on the download link for ImageX. It'll take you to a forum where you can grab "GetWaikTools.7z"
  • Use 7z and open GetWaikTools.7z and run the exe
  • Use the following settings


  • When asked, select "C:\WinReducer8\APPS"
  • It'll then proceed to download a bunch of files into that folder. This tool saves you from downloading and installing hundreds of MBs for no reason.
  • After it's all done, select ImageX from "C:\WinReducer8\APPS\Waik_4\x86"
  • "oscdimg" should be in the same folder also.
  • For "SetACL", there's a tiny box on the right hand side which takes you straight to the download link without having to scroll
  • Download and extract the EXE version of SetACL to "C:\WinReducer8\APPS".
  • Choose the appropriate SetACL file from "C:\WinReducer8\APPS\SetACL (executable version)\32 bit"
  • Finally, download and install ResHacker.
  • Select it from "C:\Program Files (x86)\Resource Hacker" and select "ResHacker.exe"


Don't forget to select the appropriate versions for the x64 (amd64) counterpart.

You should no longer have any red fields to fill in.


Some advice to keep in mind:

  • 7zip v9.20 is the current stable version, but WinReducer requires 9.30 which is (currently) only available in alpha from the right hand side column (it's stupid and doesn't explain why)
  • GetWaikTools will give you ImageX and oscdimg tools for both x86 and x64.
  • This process could be much simpler, but hey it's still beta.


Once you're done, click Save and continue.


  • If you've got a Win8 ISO, click "Extract an ISO" and then Open.
  • If you've already extracted a copy somewhere, then just click Open and select the folder.



Notable features?

  • Remove Earth, Flower and High Contrast themes
  • Skip Metro and boot straight to desktop
  • Remove charms/Windows Sidebar
  • Strip out Metro apps (starting to see a pattern here? hehe)


After you're done removing things and going through the settings, click Apply. Watch as it ever so slowly removes all the stuff you've chosen.


lol sports, might as well get an Xbox One.

As with Windows 7, this will take some time so be patient.

Once you're done, you have the option to save the WIM (Windows setup image) or to "save WIM and create ISO". I chose the latter since I wanted to test it out straight away. Again, it'll take even more time to save and compile the damn image.

After a fairly light trim, I managed to reduce my Windows 8 Pro image from 3.41gb to 2.80gb.

Ran into no problems whatsoever when trying it out on a VirtualBox VM. Not bad I must say!

Personally Windows 8 still isn't for me, but I'm sure there are plenty of people out there content with it who wouldn't mind a slightly less bloated experience. To those people, enjoy!


Then again, there are others who enjoy Mac and won't STFU...

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