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Upgrade to Microsoft Edge to take advantage of the latest features, security updates, and technical support. Windows 10 IoT Enterprise is constantly improving by adding features, like Window AI and Windows Subsystem for Linux 2, that empower businesses to achieve more by providing intelligent solutions to complex problems. With all this progress has come an issue that we’ve been hearing about from our partners and customers, namely that the OS is simply getting too big.
This is especially problematic for devices with limited disk space; many dedicated devices fall into this category, like thin clients, gaming devices and medical equipment. Image size can also impact boot and deployment time.
We’ve been working on this and now have some ways to reduce the size of Windows 10 IoT Enterprise. Windows 10 introduced new features that take two separate and independent approaches to reduce the OS footprint:. These two features, on a typical bit Windows system, saves around 6 GB disk space.
This topic focuses on the Compact OS feature in Windows 10 and tell you how to compress the OS files to save disk space, as well as share some best practices to help further reduce image footprint. It’s a deployment option available for UEFI systems to save disk space on devices.
The basic idea of WIMBoot is that the OS image is compressed by default and is only de-compressed if it needs to be modified in any way.
Since the WIM file is immutable, when a file compressed in WIM is opened with write access, it causes the file to be replaced with a full uncompressed version stored on the disk to enable writing to the file.
The WIMBoot feature has a couple of issues. First, WIMBoot wasn’t something that could be easily done. It had to be done at deployment time when the system image was put onto the computer, it was mostly done by OEMs or system administrators. The other issue was when there were security updates to the operating system, more and more system files would be replaced with a full uncompressed versions and over time Windows would grow to fill more and more of the drive space, the benefit of the WIMBoot partition would become less and less.
Similar to WIMBoot, Compact OS installs the operating system files as compressed files and lets you run the operating system from the compressed files to save disk space. Because the files are no longer combined into a single WIM file, Windows update can replace or remove individual files as needed to help maintain the drive footprint size over time.
The Compact OS feature can be enabled while deploying Windows or at runtime after Windows is installed. You can enable the Compact OS feature in a couple of ways. Below lists the most common methods. You can check this page for a complete list of methods to deploy Compact OS feature.
Format and prepare the partitions, and then apply the image to a partition using DISM tool. If you’ve already installed Windows 10 on your computer, you can use the compact. Extensive analysis and tuning were done for the compression algorithm of the Compact OS feature. For most recent devices including low-end ones you shouldn’t observe much of a performance downside. The actual performance impacts really depend on the relative performance of the storage device and the compute device.
Because of this, it’s strongly recommended to measure the performance running your scenarios on your devices to evaluate the actual impacts of enabling Compact OS feature. These toolkits provide a complete solution for evaluating overall performance impacts of Compact OS. Typical performance factors that are related to Compact OS are:. The virtual overlay is a temporary location that is usually cleared during a reboot or when a guest user logs off.
When enabling both Compact OS and UWF on a device, you need to consider the order of enabling these two features to make sure both features work properly:.
Consider the following actions to further reduce the disk footprint and keep disk footprint optimized. Enable Single-instancing for LoB apps. Single-instancing allows you to run your LoB apps directly from the compressed provisioning package.
For more details about single-instancing, check the Single-instancing of provisioning packages. Please note that the bottom 5 Language Feature FoD packages will be automatically reinstalled after uninstallation unless the following scheduled task is disabled:.
Removing all above preinstalled FoDs can save you more than MB of disk space. After installing an update, the old versions of OS files are still kept in the component store for a certain period time.
You can use the DISM. After cleaning up the component store with the ResetBase option, you will no longer be able to uninstall any of the previously installed updates. The ResetBase option freed up additional MB of disk space on the reference update. Hibernation creates hiberfil. If your device doesn’t need hibernation, you can disable it:. If disabling hibernation entirely isn’t an option, you can still reduce the size of hiberfil.
See here for more details. To disable the page file from the registry, you can set an empty string for the following registry value:. See add and remove drivers to learn more about adding and removing drivers.
Enabling Compact OS will compress OS files and some select set of program files, highly optimized for executables and read-only binary files.
For custom read-only program files added by OEMs, you can target and additionally compress them with Compact. If files compressed with this option are ever opened for write, they will automatically be decompressed. For writable files, you can use the traditional NTFS compression. They remain compressed even if they are written to. Windows 10 IoT Enterprise OEMs are expected to conduct thorough tests to assess perf impact of applying such additional compression beyond Compact OS against their fixed scenarios.
The above guidelines may help you optimize your image and reduce the disk footprint. It was captured on a virtual machine with minimum drivers.
The actual size for drivers could vary per devices. You also need to reserve additonal space for taking updates. Once you have created a final image and deploy to your target device, we recommend that you thoroughly test the scenarios to ensure that your device provides a good user experience.
Skip to main content. This browser is no longer supported. Download Microsoft Edge More info. Table of contents Exit focus mode. Table of contents. Note After cleaning up the component store with the ResetBase option, you will no longer be able to uninstall any of the previously installed updates. Note Windows 10 IoT Enterprise OEMs are expected to conduct thorough tests to assess perf impact of applying such additional compression beyond Compact OS against their fixed scenarios.
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