sorry for my delay, but I was involved in experiments related to the other topic because is not clear if it is better WinSXS cleanup or WinSXS compression, plus the folder compression feature of WR appears to be buggy.
Ntlite has two methods, the first one is also supported from WR (I should say "It was" in year 2017, but now not for sure and who know from how many time: [You must be registered and logged in to see this link.]
I reported the bug with technicals details if you want more info although I'm afraid that this is just an abandoned feature and I don't understand the reason since this should be the main important feature to keep working for a tool like this.[You must be registered and logged in to see this link.]
The second method (v1.2) is called "Host refresh Wizard" which basically should be the first method fully automated (one-click style). This is amazing and that's why I am wondering why winterstorm never evaluated to do the same implementation.[You must be registered and logged in to see this link.]
Unfortunately seems that it is not possible (someone may want to correct me if I am wrong) to update winreducer iso through Ntlite because it requires its own presets files.
Concerning components reintegration, when I build a stripped down ISO, the tool close itself automatically once the task is completed. When I reopen WR, I browse "ExtractedByWinReducer", but all the components I previously removed are greyed out and cannot be restored unless I reopen and mount again the original ISO. Unlike Ntlite which allows to keep the original ISO mounted, WR automatically cleanup the mount folder once the building process is completed.
This is just a minor annoyance, but what I would really like to see in WR is the possibility to remove or reintegrate each component side by side as does Ntlite. As of now, to reintegrate a single component we have to open and mount again the base ISO, then strip again the same components (and this is a long process) except the one we want to reintegrate. For a component restoration which should only take a couple of minutes, we are forced to rebuild everything from scratch.
I have no doubts that WR has better reducing capabilities since other users also reported this (although I have also to say that software evolves and I cannot say for sure that this still applies), but saving 300 Mb from the ISO at the expense of doing a full reinstall each month just to have a cumulative update it does not make sense. Although many taks can be automated it's still a big manual and long work. Applications like Visual Studio (along with its addons) and many others of this type cannot be made portable and restoring their settings requires lot of work (it's not just a "Import Settings from file" style).
I am talking about the main monthly CU, but what if after a week of reinstall Microsoft release a cumulative update (or some other important update) for .Net framework and we need it?
This is why before going through the Window Update complete removal, I want to be sure that the only way is a full reinstall since this is not clear at all when talking about WR.
Did you ever tried MSMG ToolKit? A year ago I checked their forum and it was updated daily with messages from users. Today I still see the same, the author fully involved in the development included the support of CU in very stripped down ISOs.
I was thinking to give it a try, but would like to hear what think before I am going to lose time. It would be nice if could be used to update a winreduced iso, but I am afraid that, just like NtLite, it will only work with its own preset file.
This tool kit lacks of a GUI, but I consider this an advantage because it allows to fully automating the entire process. This is very useful if we're forced to do a reinstall each month.
WR does not accept command line arguments and honestly I am surprised why such similar lack because it only requires 10-20 lines of programming code!
I always do a blueprint and keep records of all removed components in a text file along with their descriptions on what works and not. Without this I can't even imagine how could be possible to ever imagine an extreme ISO.
My main problem is the updates and if I am really forced to do a monthly install, then I really need to carefully evaluate how much automation I can obtain (and how I can make the whole process as short as possible).
Your suggestion to keep data (downloads, documents, portables apps etc) in a separate partition is really great (yes, browsers are not a problem at all). Sometimes we are going to search for complicated solutions when the easiest ones are just in front of our eyes.
Then in WR we change the default location of user folders and system folders and everything should work out of the box, but I heard that some application can have troubles if they are not at their default location. Did you encountered troubles?
Why you recommended to use a third party tool when this can be done directly from Windows which also allow to resize partitions when we need more space?
Many thanks for the USB pendrive suggestion, I am going to buy a new one. It was on my to do list from very long time. I have a 16Gb pendrive, but it is 2.0, therefore not only is bad for running Winreduced isos, but also for storing them! However, even if I upgrade to 3.0 it may be good for storage, but I am not sure how much can be good for running wireduced isos. Testing them directly in the OS through virtual machine I believe is still the only way to speed up everything.
You said that it is possible to delete all the Hyper-V system to test in real time the isos with the main system still operational. How is this possible without an emulator like hyper-v, VirtualBox etc? And what about performance? I switched from VB to Hyper-v at the middle of my entry in the wireducer world and although hyper-v learning curve has been longer than expected I have been impressed from performance improvement and all the possible customizations. It is very hard now for me to switch to something else, but you made me very curious.
What you can tell me about this?
PCMOVER PROFESSIONAL should be the successor of Windows EasyTransfer and the company is partnership with Microsoft. This is something that was already in my target and will try it for sure, but I am wondering how can work if both the operating system are supposed to be online to do the transfer.
I also discovered chocolatey or, even better, Microsoft OneGet which support more repositories included chocolatey. Plus it run through PowerShell meaning that can do everything faster and automated. Did you ever tried it during your the reinstall of your iso?
How you deal with modern ui apps? In theory, once we reconnect to Microsoft account, they should reinstall themself along with their settings, but I am not sure about this. Not sure if it is required "Microsoft account" or "Windows Store" protection mode (or boths). I can only remove OneDrive and other related stuff if I disable these protections. Downloading and installing still work, but I didn't tested a Microsoft account (since at that time this was the last of my problems), so I am wondering if is still possible to keep these functionalities without the Microsoft bloating stuff (included their useless 5Gb OneDrive).
Those applications will sure help a lot, although there are still lot of things to sort out when reinstalling a system from scratch and we're still very far from when we can update without a full reinstall, so I still want to keep this only when I am 100% sure is the only solution.
Many thanks for all of your help, I am sure lot of people will benefit from this topic because we brought to the light so many obscure and hidden aspects of Winreducer.REGARDING YOUR RESPONSE IN "THE FORUM IS DEAD" TOPIC:
I have always built an ISO with integrated CU and then reloaded that ISO to proceed to reduction. It always worked whether the iso is extreme or not and this seems to be how winter recommended in some topics. I suppose that this the recommend method when we want full optimization (WinSXS cleanup, Windows Update removal etc) and do a full rebuild+reinstall on each time we want to update our system with a new CU.
What's wrong with what I am already doing?
By searching deeper I also found that your method seems to be the same as the one described here:[You must be registered and logged in to see this link.]
However, as stated from winter, this method only applies when we want to preserve windows update functionality (including CU) through the settings app (which still don't work as I reported in bug section), but in case of direct integration like I previously stated it does not make difference.
So, why you're using this method even in the latter case?
I am not sure if I have understood well your steps.
Step2: I must do the integration by opening the same winreduced ISO obtained from step1? Or I must build a second ISO from an untouched win10 iso with all integrations (and no reductions) just like I already does?
Step3: you say to open iso obtained in step1 and win reduce it, but iso obtained in step1 is already reduced.
I am little confused, please accept my apologies!
I also saw conflicting reports about the integration process. In some topic people say that when doing everything in one step (untouched iso + integration + reduction), WR strips down components and then apply updates (which seems the wrong way to me), other says that it first applies the updates and then proceed with the removal process (which makes more sense to me).
Unfortunately, if I remember well, I saw that (in the apply process) WR first remove components and then apply updates.
For this reason I first prepare an untouched ISO with all updates integrated and then reload that ISO to remove components. It would be nice to do everything in one step, it is safe?
Regarding drivers I didn't yet tried the integration. I kept this as the final process because I have always considered it something to not take care about because I have always believed that it was just a matter of doing a copy and paste in the drivers folder.
It seems to be that I was wrong and even for drivers, there is still the same hell like updates. Yahooo!
However, I suppose that it should be safe in case of the method I stated at the beginning. Just like in this way works CU, it should work with drivers too, right?
Regarding .Net 3.5 I never thought about integration since I only develop in 4.8 and most of the older apps requires no less than 4.0. In the rare case that I have to deal with a .net 3.5 application I thought that it was just a matter of downloading the installer. Is that correct? Or I will be forced to reintegrate it through a full reinstall?
Regarding wccf, I initially adopted the same method including writing the number of options for each tabs and a full complete list in order to easily detect the number of the new options to take care about in new WR versions.
Then, I felt a bit stupid in doing a drastic and time consuming thing like this and that trying to keep record of everything was only a waste of time. Therefore I revised the entire list to a more compact and less descriptive (thinking that would have been more intuitive and faster).
It seems that I was wrong! When we deal with new and unkown things, most of time the time the first intuitions and the correct ones!
Fortunately I also kept a 70% of the list (and records on why components have been kept or removed).
Hope that people seeing this topic will take advantages of your gold recommendations (and my mistakes!).