vLite gives an edge for Windows Vista enterprise deployment
My PC is no slouch. I’m running a Core 2 Quad Q6600, 4 GB RAM, and a slew of other nice hardware. So why is it that, when I run Windows Vista (especially the first few times after install), it takes longer to boot than my XP box did (it ran a Core 2 Duo E2160 with 1 GB RAM)?
If you have wondered this kind of wonder, vLite is something you might be interested in. This is a freeware tool for customizing Vista installations. The vLite website is http://www.vlite.net/ – have a look.
If you don’t do technospeak, here’s what they are saying. This program lets you manipulate Vista BEFORE you install it – this way, you’re not trying to rip out components that are already installed. In other words, hopefully we can keep from breaking it while getting it to be a little more resource-friendly.
Now, after looking at this, I see some good points. Here’s some of the highlights for me as an enterprise IT tech:
– remove components/tweak installation
If you’re an IT tech, you probably have found things in the OS that your users could waste time with. Minesweeper, FreeCell, Paint, Windows Movie Maker, and the list goes on. This gives you the option of adding, removing, or customizing components prior to install. Enterprise techs use this kind of technology all the time (called a transform when used on individual programs). Most recently, I used it on Adobe Reader, though it also comes in handy on MS Office installs. Using this technology helps you set up default options, remove garbage, and keep your users out of the Games folder.
– unattended setup
We’ve seen this on other OSs, and though I haven’t used it much (we clone our HDs, so I don’t have to do many OS installs). You get to start it and walk away.
– driver integration
If you have lots of PCs with the same hardware configuration, here’s your ticket to get it all set up ahead of time, so when you boot the system after the install, you’re all set. Enterprise techs LOVE this kind of thing.
– create ISO and burn bootable CD/DVD
Here’s another one we IT people love. You can save your work and burn a DVD – presto! Your own customized Vista install. As I mentioned before, transformed installs are popular in the IT world. But this is the first I have heard of one for Windows Vista.
So here’s the downside. Two that I can think of. First, you have to know what you are doing with operating system installations. You have to know what the program is talking about before deciding you don’t want it. Otherwise, you may not be able to get your hard drive to boot, or who knows what else?
Second, you actually have to do the customization BEFORE you install. So, that means that you would have to reinstall your OS to make any changes using this program.
Bottom line for me – if you aren’t comfortable working with a few technical terms and some things that could seriously mess up your PC, I don’t think I’d worry too much about vLite. Either that or you could get your Vista-savvy cousin to help you. But if you’re a PC tech who has to widely deploy Vista, this tool (properly learned and tested) could be a real time and resource saver.
BTW, here’s the post that tipped me off to this tool.