• Strip windows of the junk stuff

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    Strange question but hear goes  I am a ham radio operator and use a SDR (software defined radio) transceiver. Its a old radio but a very good ,even by today’s standards.  Never had any problems with windows 10 till 2004.  1909 worked flawless. With 2004 I was re introduced to the BSOD. It was bad, anything you did in the program could – would trigger it. Re installed  2004 fresh, same thing. 20H2 came out and things got better but still it happens .

    Computer is old, 6800 processor 8M memory and  I have to use a fire-wire card 1394 .  Windows versions  XP to 1909 worked, did not know BSOD even existed.  2004, 20H2 ??

    What I want to do is strip windows of all the junk , Skype, one drive ,Facebook and all else that is not needed.I need basic windows, internet ,audio virtual comports, simple stuff.  A long time a xp was reworked to tiny-xp , it was very good. You had basic xp and you had to install what you needed. That was better than trying to find and uninstall what you didn’t need.

    If anybody knows ,has knowledge of how to,or where to go to find out how to do this . Or suggestions on the problems.  This would make a lot of people happy.  Thanks Walt


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    • #2339406
      • #2339508

        Thank You

        I think you have given me the stuff I needed. On the Net Framework PowerSDR will install what it needs ,maybe. This should keep me busy for a week or two   Thanks

        • #2339511

          Don’t forget to backup before changing Windows.
          Don’t forget to backup regularly because hardware fails.

          cheers, Paul

        • #2339608

          I haven’t tried the Micro 10 but use decrapifier on almost all our machines. Best run during the OOBE but can be used after install. I also use O&O Shutup and disable tasks and services. Have Win10 running on some old boxes with 2GB memory satisfactorily for what they are used for.

          Never Say Never

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    • #2339449

      Windows 10 doesn’t come with Facebook.  If you install the OS from scratch you get a pretty clean operating system.  Much of the crap comes from the OEMs.  If you buy business models – or refurbished machines via Amazon they are actually pretty clean.

      Susan Bradley Patch Lady/Prudent patcher

      1 user thanked author for this post.
      • #2339682

        That’s what I did I bought a referb from a local  computer shop and it was lean no junk.  They used the power shell and made it look like  a W7  machine.

        • #2343707

          Much of the crap comes from the OEMs

          Susan is correct. Dell computers come with approx 10 applications/tools installed. Lenovo does this too. I remove them everytime after purchase and our PC work just fine. If problem occurs, I can solve this manually. Our company has 80-120 PCs. In the past I had sysprepped image for installing new PCs, but the evolution is so fast, thats its easier to install few PCs manually, other than make new “generalized” image every half year. Same with SCCM, the cadence is just too fast and newer PC cannot run 1809 for example, some drivers are missing.

          They used the power shell and made it look like a W7 machine.

          It takes some effort to customize. I like the idea mr. Anonymous is sharing. Ill take a look at this Windows 10 micro, but im somehow sceptical with these custom builds. Who knows, whats implemented in there. Remember, some people can have evil deeds 😉

          Dell Latitude 3420, Intel Core i7 @ 2.8 GHz, 16GB RAM, W10 22H2 Enterprise

          HAL3000, AMD Athlon 200GE @ 3,4 GHz, 8GB RAM, Fedora 29

          PRUSA i3 MK3S+

          1 user thanked author for this post.
    • #2339505

      How good are you with computers ?

      For uninstalling everything Microsoft store apps :

      Portable O&O AppBuster
      Portable Windows 10 Apps Manager

      For in depth removal of services, processes.. Black Viper’s Windows 10 Service Configurations

    • #2339610

      Thanks for the reply  Facebook  was just a example of things I didn’t need but stuff put in by Acer ,HP, Dell and so on really trash out the computer. In my life I have only bought 2 already made computers. All my others I made. (I’m 72)In the early days I worked at IBM in Manassa , and made parts for mainframes .

      What I am doing or trying to is strip windows. If you are familiar with SDR radios all I need is basic windows OS to run my radio program. Don’t need the store , skype or any of the other trash stuff. Just the Internet, networking,  WiFi and Bluetooth  few more things maybe. windows is more than a pc on a desktop .Your ATM machine ,your Ford ,humm did your Ford do its Tuesday patch correctly , scary thought.

      A few people gave me some good stuff to work with so I’m good to go for now.  Thank you

      • #2341824

        Yes tried using the MCT early on and it broke me so no going back.

        Here’s something for anyone may need a little extra cleaning up afterward to slow down that call home stuff W10Privacy. I’ve been using this script from 1st edition and now after the Decrap .

        I’m an extreme remover and that Micro 10 scares me. It looks similar to Nlite but with Nlite you modified your own legit sources.

        I don’t need backups of Windows only my D drive where I store everything including all my apps I use that I can select and reinstall many at a time using RunOnceEx and of course with all their settings. W10 install is only 12-15 minutes so I can change whatever I like afterward.

        • #2343711

          If I may add something to this discssion.
          I think the simpliest thing is to create new user. Then OOBE will appear (its a set of few questions). Simply answer “No” to every question raised, pick always the lower choice. That means, you will minimize the ammount of data sent to Microsoft, targeted advertisement will be lowered too, etc.
          If you dont use MS Account, just log with local account, that can lower the ammount of mined data too – during the OOBE select, that you have no connection to the internet, you will log with local account. That shold keep W10 as slim as possible.
          Maybe this could help you.

          Attachment is how OOBE looks on the screen.

          Dell Latitude 3420, Intel Core i7 @ 2.8 GHz, 16GB RAM, W10 22H2 Enterprise

          HAL3000, AMD Athlon 200GE @ 3,4 GHz, 8GB RAM, Fedora 29

          PRUSA i3 MK3S+

    • #2339680

      Is NTLite worth a look?  It was NLite back in the day for XP.  Now it’s 40 Euros, altho there is a version of it that is “free to download and use in its basic version for personal and trial purposes.” I didn’t see any info on what the free version can do.

      • #2339728

        NLite/NTLite are used to modify the install source to give you a customised installation – really for use in large environments. Not much use for a one off clean up.

        cheers, Paul

    • #2339781

      Never had any problems with windows 10 till 2004. 1909 worked flawless. With 2004 I was re introduced to the BSOD. It was bad, anything you did in the program could – would trigger it. Re installed 2004 fresh, same thing. 20H2 came out and things got better but still it happens .

      1. I would suggest recreating a new Windows 10 20H2 installer using Microsoft’s Media Creation Tool (MCT). There’s been recent improvements to it that have removed a couple of bugs that caught several early adopters out. I had the same issue when I downloaded it originally but have now redone my MCT-created 20H2 installer USB stick and the issues have gone.

      2. Save your current Start menu layout for re-use. It saves time recreating your favourite look. Open up an elevated PowerShell prompt (by right-clicking on Start and choosing Windows PowerShell (Admin)) and enter the following:

      Export-StartLayout -Path "C:\users\All Users\Desktop\MyStartMenuLayout.xml" -verbose

      This will save a copy of your current Start menu (in XML format) to the desktop. Move the XML file to a USB stick or portable hard disk for re-use.

      3. Carry out a clean install offline (no internet access)… and by clean install I mean delete *all* previous partitions so the new installation uses ‘unallocated space’.

      I personally pause the Out Of the Box Experience (OOBE) and run the Windows 10 Decrapifier script that others have mentioned here. There are other methods but they rely on changing existing accounts on the device… so you have to make changes to each account. The advantage of the Windows 10 Decrapifier script is that – used ‘properly’, i.e. during the first OOBE – the changes it makes apply to *every* account from the first one created onwards (which saves a lot of time).

      Make sure you use the latest version of the script tested with Windows 10 20xx as several changes have been made to the script to take Windows 10 2004/20H2 changes into account.

      I created a topic 6 months ago called Customize the initial Windows 10 installation which takes you through pausing OOBE and running the Windows 10 Decrapifier script. The basic process hasn’t changed.

      Whilst there is a learning curve to the script to get the most out of it (I’ve been gradually adding my own tweaks to it), it can be used out of the box as is if you pay attention to the $GoodApps variable on line 87.

      So, for example, I *only* want to retain Calculator, Miracast (for casting media to a smart TV) and the HEIF extension support (to view HEIC images imported from my iPhone). I also suggest *always* keeping the Store, just in case. As a result, *my* line 87 looks like this:

      $GoodApps = "calculator|store|miracast|HEIF"

      I imported my previous Start menu layout so the Start group (lines 101-105) is now:

      <start:Group Name="" xmlns:start="http://schemas.microsoft.com/Start/2014/StartLayout">
      <start:DesktopApplicationTile Size="2x2" Column="2" Row="0" DesktopApplicationLinkPath="%ALLUSERSPROFILE%\Microsoft\Windows\Start Menu\Programs\Accessories\Notepad.lnk" />
      <start:DesktopApplicationTile Size="2x2" Column="4" Row="0" DesktopApplicationLinkPath="%ALLUSERSPROFILE%\Microsoft\Windows\Start Menu\Programs\Accessories\Paint.lnk" />
      <start:DesktopApplicationTile Size="2x2" Column="0" Row="0" DesktopApplicationLinkPath="%APPDATA%\Microsoft\Windows\Start Menu\Programs\System Tools\File Explorer.lnk" />

      This gives me the following Start menu as the default for all new accounts:

      (Next, I’m going to try to get rid of OneDrive and Tips… neither of which I use.)

      One new addition to the latest script is the default creation of a transcript/log. I changed line 570 from:

      Start-Transcript $ENV:SYSTEMDRIVE\WindowsDCtranscript.txt


      Start-Transcript WindowsDCtranscript.txt

      This way the log is now captured in the same place that I run the script from (which is a USB stick) rather than to the root of the system drive (C:) as before. The log shows everything that has been removed (and any errors, with line nos).

      It’s quite long so rather than paste one that I created today, I’ve included one as an attachment so, if you are interested, you can see the *huge* amount of bloatware removed using the script with no switches. You will also notice that I tried and failed to disable the Xbox Live Game Save scheduled task (line 465). (I don’t play games and have no interest in anything to do with Xbox Live [or Dead 🙂 ]… so why can’t I disable a scheduled task for a service that I will never, ever use?)

      I use the script from a USB stick and have a text file on it so I can just copy and past the PowerShell commands into an elevated PowerShell console:

      Set-ExecutionPolicy unrestricted
      CD D:
      Set-ExecutionPolicy restricted

      This changes PowerShell‘s default execution policy temporarily, changes to the USB stick, runs the script then sets the execution policy back to its default. That’s it… goodbye bloat! (And telemetry – both gathering and uploading – as far as MS allows for non-Enterprise/Education editions of Windows 10.)

      If you *are* going to use the Windows 10 Decrapifier script then feel free to ask questions here or join Spiceworks’ Windows 10 Decrapifier discussion forum. (Links are in the script at the top. Note however that the latter can sometimes be quite technical as the script was written for a business environment rather than consumer.)

      I started using the newest script earlier today, importing and testing the tweaks I had added to an earlier version. I’m also trying to get rid of the unwanted Open with Paint 3d context menu option that persists even after Paint 3d is removed… but haven’t yet got the syntax right (hence the errors in the transcript at lines 650-665). I have a small ‘to do’ list of changes I’m going to see if I can implement via the script… like *always* showing all Notification Icons as default

      However, I’m already very pleased that my test device – a 6-yr-old Dell Latitude E7450 laptop with 128GB SSD and 4GB RAM – is showing 0% CPU usage after a minute of starting, even with 112 processes running (which I’m hoping to reduce outside of the Windows 10 Decrapifier script… but this will be a work in progress):


      Transcript: WindowsDCtranscript

      (Finally, many thanks to csand – the author of the awesome Windows 10 Decrapifier script.)

      Hope this helps…

      2 users thanked author for this post.
      • #2342298

        Hope this isn’t a dopey question, but is DC any use for cleaning up my current Win10Pro 2004 install? Or is it only of use when carrying out a clean install?

        • #2342357

          Nope, it’s designed for a new installation.

          cheers, Paul

        • #2342614

          Hope this isn’t a dopey question, but is DC any use for cleaning up my current Win10Pro 2004 install? Or is it only of use when carrying out a clean install?

          Yes. It works but in a limited fashion, i.e. it only cleans the user profile that it’s run from rather than cleaning the machine and creating a new default profile from which new user profiles are based on.

          Hope this helps…

      • #2342839


        Here’s a Powershell function to uninstall OneDrive. It’s from my CMsStdSettingsForm program posted elsewhere here.

        Function UnInstall-OneDrive {
        <# .Synopsis Uninstall Microsoft OneDrive and disnable in Explorer. .DESCRIPTION Uninstall Microsoft OneDrive and disnable in Explorer. .EXAMPLE Uninstall-OneDrive.ps1 .Inputs N/A .Outputs OneDrive will be removed from the comuter along with the appropriate registry settings. Message reminding the user that a Restart is required. .Notes Programmer : RetiredGeek (WSL) aka: ComputerMentor Created : 13 Jun 2017 Last Updated : Current Vers : 01.00 #>
          Stop-Process -Name explorer -Force -ErrorAction SilentlyContinue
          Stop-Process -Name 'OneDrive' -Force -ErrorAction SilentlyContinue
          If (Test-Path -Path "$env:systemroot\System32\OneDriveSetup.exe") {
            & "$env:systemroot\System32\OneDriveSetup.exe" /Uninstall | Out-Null
          If (Test-Path -Path "$env:systemroot\SysWOW64\OneDriveSetup.exe") {
            & "$env:systemroot\SysWOW64\OneDriveSetup.exe" /uninstall | Out-Null
          New-PSDrive -PSProvider Registry -Root 'HKEY_CLASSES_ROOT' -Name 'HKCR' | Out-Null
          #One Drive Sync Disabled $ODFS = 1  Enabled $ODFS = 0
          $GIPArgs = @{
             Path = 'Registry::HKLM\Software\Policies\Microsoft\Windows\OneDrive' 
             Name = 'Disablefilesyncngsc' 
             ErrorAction = 'Stop'
          Try {
               Set-ItemProperty @GIPArgs -Value 1
          Catch {
            "Error: Property DisableFileSyncNGSC not set!"
          #One Drive File Explorer Integration
          $URArgs = 
               @{RegPath = "HKCR:\Wow6432Node\CLSID\" +
                 KeyName  = "System.IsPinnedToNameSpaceTree"
                 KeyType  = "DWord"
                 KeyValue = 0
          Update-Registry @URArgs
          $URArgs.RegPath = "HKCR:\CLSID\" +
          Update-Registry @URArgs
          Remove-PSDrive -Name 'HKCR'
          #Requires a Restart to take effect!
        } #End UnInstall-OneDrive


        May the Forces of good computing be with you!


        PowerShell & VBA Rule!
        Computer Specs

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        • #2343700

          OneDrive and almost all other Windows programs you don’t need (hello Cortana, I’m looking at you) can be uninstalled and will stay gone. MS has an annoying way of changing drivers on upgrades, but that’s another issue.

    • #2341848


      On permanent hiatus {with backup and coffee}
      offline▸ Win10Pro 2004.19041.572 x64 i3-3220 RAM8GB HDD Firefox83.0b3 WindowsDefender
      offline▸ Acer TravelMate P215-52 RAM8GB Win11Pro 22H2.22621.1265 x64 i5-10210U SSD Firefox106.0 MicrosoftDefender
      online▸ Win11Pro 22H2.22621.1992 x64 i5-9400 RAM16GB HDD Firefox116.0b3 MicrosoftDefender
    • #2342439

      Revo is real good after the fact but I work on getting rid of the stuff so it isn’t needed

      Wanna see what’s left in Windows after any of this. Run this in a .cmd file. You will be surprised. It gains admin privy’s so if you don’t have them rights it will not work. OK

      Don ‘t see the code quotes in this message thing so will try without.

      Below here paste to a .cmd file of your naming I call it “POWERSHELL WHATS LEFT.cmd” and I keep it on the desktop.

      @echo off
      Color 1F
      REM mode con:cols=140 lines=300
      SetLocal EnableDelayedExpansion

      :: BatchGotAdmin
      REM –> Check for permissions
      >nul 2>&1 “%SYSTEMROOT%\system32\cacls.exe” “%SYSTEMROOT%\system32\config\system”

      REM –> If error flag set, we do not have admin.
      if ‘%errorlevel%’ NEQ ‘0’ (
      echo Requesting administrative privileges…
      goto UACPrompt
      ) else ( goto gotAdmin )

      echo Set UAC = CreateObject^(“Shell.Application”^): UAC.ShellExecute “%~s0”, “”, “”, “runas”, 1 >> “%temp%\getadmin.vbs”

      exit /B

      if exist “%temp%\getadmin.vbs” ( del “%temp%\getadmin.vbs” )

      mode con:cols=140 lines=600

      pushd “%CD%”
      CD /D “%~dp0”

      ECHO Your remaining AppXPackage:
      ECHO Get-AppXPackage -AllUsers ^| Select Name, PackageFullName
      PowerShell “Get-AppXPackage -AllUsers | Select Name, PackageFullName”
      ECHO Your remaining Provisioned Apps:
      ECHO Get-AppXProvisionedPackage -Online ^| Select PackageName
      PowerShell “Get-AppXProvisionedPackage -Online | Select PackageName”


    • #2343794

      I found out that CCleaner > Tools > Uninstall lists all applications and all store apps and allows you to uninstall any of them, where Control Panel > Programs and Features does not list the store aps, and Settings > Apps & Features doesn’t allow you to uninstall some store apps.

    • #2343800

      The best debloater I’ve used, and before I learned how to debloat natively, I tried everything, is Windows 10 Debloater.  Very simple, works very well, maybe too well for most users but for just a radio app, perfect!


      Basically just a bunch of ps scripts.  You can disable or remove all the kiddie apps.  Removal won’t wreck the OS but may prevent it from updating.

      You really need to be on Pro for changes to the basic OS, no matter how they’re done, to remain.  Home will probably revert them on updates, since Home’s an ad server without access to Group Policy needed to effect changes permanently.

      The exception for Home would be scripts that run at each boot but even those may be disabled by Home.  Use Pro!

      • #2344028

        Group Policy is really a glorified login script and pretty much anything done with GP can be done in Home.
        For those on limited income, a much better use of the funds is an external backup disk.

        cheers, Paul

    • #2344080

      I just stumbled onto — Windows Update Cleanup (4 GB) in Disk Cleanup, and the Panther folder (440 MB)  in C:\windows. W10 did NOT delete — windows.old — after 21 days so I used Settings/Storage module to do it – Panther may have been a net result.

      Searches show many Delete both WHEN a Return to an earlier W10 Ver is NOT desired, but some of you may help others by commenting IF there are reasons to keep either beyond that.

      W10 Pro 22H2 / Hm-Stdnt Ofce '16 C2R / HP Envy Desk-Ethernet - SSD-HDD/ i5(8th Gen) 12GB / GP=2 + FtrU=Semi-Annual + Feature Defer = 1 + QU=0

      • #2344088

        Windows.old gets deleted by disk cleanup if you select
        “Previous Windows Installations”, but somtetimes it leaves the directory still, but only with 40MB or something like that. You can delete them manually anyway, if you dont want to roll back after upgrading. Windows updates are located in Softwaredistribution folder in C:\Windows
        I think Panther contains some log files (upgrades, sysprep, ..) so if you delete it, maybe you wont be able to rollback anyway, so.. I think you should delte both panther and windows.old or none.

        Dell Latitude 3420, Intel Core i7 @ 2.8 GHz, 16GB RAM, W10 22H2 Enterprise

        HAL3000, AMD Athlon 200GE @ 3,4 GHz, 8GB RAM, Fedora 29

        PRUSA i3 MK3S+

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