Smallest Windows 10 footprint (on the system partition) ever (not really)

Jan 27, 2023
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Good day everyone!

I want to try to make a miniature Windows installation. The task is to make Windows 10 take as little of space on the system partition as possible. Other drives are not considered; we can use as much space as we want. Debloating is okay as long as it will not remove any somewhat practical intended functionality from the system (i.e., OneDrive, Photos, Microsoft store, etc.). The problem I want to solve is to minimize SSD usage by a single Windows VM.

I plan to move as much stuff as possible from C: partition. I assume that everything Windows needs in there is C:\Windows\*. Is my premise true? If so, how to do so? I think of changing values in HKEY_LOCAL_MACHINE\SOFTWARE\Microsoft\Windows\CurrentVersion, but it will break stuff. Maybe the solution is to make such changes during installation.

Feel free to share your thoughts and ideas (and links to docs and sources). I don't NEED to use this particular approach. We may just find another way.

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