Customize Windows Installation with nlite

Have you ever wanted to remove Windows components like Media Player, Internet Explorer, Outlook Express, MSN Explorer, Messenger… How about not even to install them with Windows ?

nLite allows you to customize your Windows XP or Vista installation CD and add/remove extra components of your choice. You can use it to deploy additional software packages including drivers, service packs or to remove miscellaneous Windows components that you have no use for it.

Here’s how you can integrate additional packages to Windows XP with nlite.

Customize Your Windows XP Bootable ISO Image

1) Create a folder on your hard disk and label it “XP_Source”.

2) Copy the full content of the XP distribution CD into this folder.

3) Start nLite. The welcome screen shows you which version of nLite you are running and allows you to choose an alternate language. To continue click on Next.

nlite installer

4) Click Browse and locate the “XP_Source” folder that you have created just now

select XP source location

5) nLite recognizes the language and version of your Windows installation files and displays the information. Click Next to proceed.

Details about the XP Source

6) You can save your current presets for future use or load presets from the last time you used nLite. Click Next to proceed.

Import Settings

7) Choose your customization

Select Options for Customization

– To Integrate a Service Pack, first download the correct pack for your operating system and save it to your hard drive.

– Click on the “Select” tab and integrate the service pack.

Select Service Pack Location

8) Next we arrive at the option to integrate drivers that Windows does not install by default. These can be drivers for almost any type of hardware as long as you use the correct driver. Click on the “Insert” button to search for drivers to install, make sure that you open “.inf” files only – If your driver is in the .exe format, you will have to extract them with Winzip, Powerarchiver or Winrar (not all exe file can be extracted though).

Click Insert Tab to add driver location

Insert the INI file of drivers

9) You should now have something similar to the screen below. Select the required drivers and click “Next”.

Driver List Included

10) The Unattended Setup portion allows you to provide an answer ahead of time to all of the questions that windows typically asks during installation, such as your CD key, networking information, and time zone. Browse through all the tab pages and make adjustments.

nlite Unattended Installation for WinXP

11) After configuring the Unattended Setup, click Next and ┬ánLite will ask you to confirm, select “Yes” to continue.

Click Yes to Confirm Changes

12) nLite will start processing all of the selected tasks. The exact length of time it takes will vary on your system and the number of tasks.

Processing all Customization

13) Click “Next” to create an ISO compatible for CD burning

Click Make ISO

14) You now have a bootable ISO image of your customized windows installation. Burn the ISO image to a CD and you will be able to install your customized Windows XP with it.


Fasil is a Systems Engineer,who likes to explore Linux kernel stuffs and involves in blogging as a spare time activity.His interests are exploring open source software's and Linux kernel.He blogs at about technology stuffs.


  1. Hi:
    I downloaded all the drivers I need to (upgrade to a former technology) on my Dell Inspiron 1525. The drivers are all in .exe(cutable) format, so I enpacked them with 7zip (my usuals, Jzip, winzip, etc wouldn’t unpack them). My question is: there are a number of .inf files (some have up to 15-20) in the driver .exe file, as well as numerous other files. Are any of the other files necessary for the driver to load or function properly. I read a tech report on slipstreaming and it was mentioned that the .cat files are needed too. I’m not clear on what files are needed from these driver packs. I’ll keep researching, and info would be appreciated. Brielle

    1. With Dell drivers, just select the main INF for the driver. I have a Dell Inspiron 1501 which is virtually the same. 99% Chance the WIFI utility won’t install but you can use XP’s built-in utility.

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