What and why not to remove [Win 7]


Well-Known Member
Additional information to the one included in the NTLite's notes

Hardware support
Infrared devices.- Needed for Bluetooth (at least, Bluetooth Audio, i kept hidir, mdmbtmdm and usbcir infrared devices just in case, i haven´t tried removing them yet).​
Portable devices (WPD/MTP)
Portable Device Enumerator Service.- Needed for access to mobile devices as Phone and Tablet.​

Still Image Class Installer
Windows Image Adquisition (WIA).- Needed to access to media in PTP devices (when changing android phones from MTP to PTP and an error popup related to Photo viewer, while Photo viewer works ok).​

Fonts.- Some websites need some fonts by design, if you remove all except the compatibility protected, make sure to keep the fonts that uses the website you are visiting very often.​
Malgun Gothic.- Needed to show (arrows or other signs) or hide (verified in Audio mixer) some characters.​
Ms Gothic and MS PGothic & MS UI Gothic.- Needed to show arrows in On-Screen Keyboard.​

Enhanced Video Renderer (EVR)
Media Foundation
Windows Media Codec.- Needed for access to media in MTP devices (can't install these devices' drivers) and some audio/video edit programs.​
Windows Media Player.- Needed for Samsung Smart Switch and some audio/video edit programs.​
Photo codec
Photo Viewer
Photo Viewer - 32 bit.- Needed for some (or all) the 32 bit programs that launch Photo Viewer 32 bits for image visualization.​

Distributed Link Tracking Client.- Doesn't include notes, needed for: move desktop, docs, music, images, etc. folders from User's folder to another drive and still will be accessible as always from "open file from/save file to" when click on the shortcuts at the left panel​
File sharing support
SMB Server common.- Needed for displaying Workgroup name and it's description.​
SMB v1.- Needed for displaying Workgroup name and it's description.​
SMB v2 - Client.- Needed for displaying Workgroup name and it's description.​
Multiple UNC Provider (MUP)
Workstation Service (Computer Browser).- Needed for displaying Workgroup name and it's description.​
Internet Explorer JScript.- Needed for 'Open file location' option.​
Internet Explorer HTML viewer.- Needed for many Browsers that uses the IE engine.​
Routing and Remote Access support
Remote Access Service Client Tools.- Needed for Windows Media Center (could be needed for retrieving the programming list).​

Remoting and Privacy
Diagnostics and Troubleshooting
Windows Error Reporting Service.- Needed for diagnosing and solving errors (verified when trying to fix a network error).​

.Net Framework Core.​
Net Framework 2.0, 3.0 and 3.5
Windows Presentation Foundation.- Needed for many installers, not only Intel chipset installers​
Task Scheduler.- Needed for retrieving system information with 'wmic' (needed if you want to set manufacturer, model and as the computer name, the machine serial number unattended, all the info taken from the system when installing).​
Microsoft Data Access Component MDAC.- Needed for Task scheduler and many more third party programs.​
Performance Counters
Performance Logs and Alerts
Performance CMD Tools for Tracing.- Needed for WinSAT benchmarking.​
Shell Search
Windows Search.- Needed for Antivirus (Avast and AVG confirmed).​
Text Services Framework
On-Screen Keyboard (Tablet PC)
Tablet PC.- Needed for Digitizers (Pen and tablet), as Hanvon (Graphics) and Wacom tablets. Don't disable Tablet PC in Features page.​
Windows Component Database.-​
Windows Component Store (WinSxS).- Needed for Driver integration​
System File Check (SFC).- Needed for msi installers and exe containing msi installers​

Most of this information has came out of trial and error, if more come out, will be added to this post.


  • Fonts safe removal.xml
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This is appreciated very much:oops:
Thanks, if you find that a component is needed for a program or hardware, let me know and i'll add it.

I need to make sure that there is not a bug.

I'll update today with CEIP and Windows Error Reporting.
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Nice list. Is there a way to import this as a Compatibility check box?

The only item I might question is keeping SMBv1. I know it breaks NetBIOS/NetBeui when one removes it. But it's a known vulnerability for malware (the Wanna Cry?). Even before that, M$ was suggesting the ppl disable it. See https://blogs.technet.microsoft.com/filecab/2016/09/16/stop-using-smb1/

If I have it right, when SMBv1 is removed, users have to use TCP/IP for home network sharing instead of NetBios.
Info Updated:
Windows Media Codec.- Is required to open (run) some video edit programs.

Testing Performance CMD Tools for tracing, is needed for WinSAT benchmarking (diskperf.exe maybe).
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Windows Media Codec "may" be needed by some audio editors/DAWs/media players. Sound Forge complains if codecs have been removed but it still installs.

You might find those video edit programs may fail during installation. I havnt seen it yet.

I need to check which one but a sony program fails if .net3x if not present, it will try to download it, if it cant, no instally. I need to check some .net and c++ requirements, will let you know my findings.
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Kasual. Found some service dependencies. Export System Packages by knarz wont run if Network Store Interface Service and Workstation are disabled, stopped. :)
That would be good for another thread for services, something like "Stop/disable Services: trouble free"
Note - Remote and Privacy. CEIP (SQM).- Could be needed for Battle.net app (from blizzard).
Test by disabling CEIP and CEIP and related scheduled tasks.
I have never used the " CEIP (SQM).- " I use battle.net and play Overwatch and tried Diablo but havent found any error yet.
I allso used Emma's Barbone present long time ago without any error :O
"W7-Installwim-Barebone-v3" - "w7-barebone+networking-v2"

Edit: It can be that I use some windows update that I dont get any error.
Updated with:
Hardware compatibility: Infrared devices.- needed for bluetooth
Windows Media Player.- Needed for Samsung Smart switch (and other audio/video edit programs).
I just did a refresh of my Win7 desktop using my previous Preset with "add backs" from your work.

Specifically, I added back MDAC because of Task Scheduler. (As I write this, I should probably have added back Dist Link Tracking Client because I use a Registry Hack to remove Libraries, and sometimes that hack causes problems.)

Anyway, my latest refresh seems to be working better than my previous build.

That has me wondering: If MDAC is needed for Task Manager, than perhaps it should be moved to Recommended? As it is now, it is only preserved if one has "Office" enabled for compatibility.
Enhanced Video Renderer - EVR. MPC HC includes "MadVR". Source. EVR maybe safe to remove.

MPC HC maybe discontinued. Source. MPC BE(Black Edition) appears to be active.

MPC HC includes MadVR but MPC BE doesnt not, you need to download it seperately.
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I just tried the Search feature in WMC. In an earlier build of Win7, where I had removed MDAC, the Search feature crashed WMC after I entered more than two characters. Now, with MDAC, the Search feature works fine.

Can't say for sure that MDAC was the only variable that changed, because I used a newer version of NTLite (1.) to make this build; I didn't do any cleanup until Live; and I integrated one more KB at the beginning of the build. And also, WSUSOffline Updater added only 44 updates where it previously added 48.

I suppose I could remove MDAC via Live and report back to see if that breaks WMC. But I'm having too much success now to mess with a good thing. (Maybe I'll try later.)
Windows Media Player and Codecs are probably only needed for WMA and WMV because they are MS patented codecs, not sure about WAV though. Probably only needed on higher end programs, Audacity REAPER Wavosaur VLC(all run portable) all have enough built in codecs or need LAME and FFMPEG and those 4 run on w7 bareboned with windows media player and codecs removed, I only kept EVR for VLC. Thats running on Realteks onboard audio, dont know about usb audio interfaces though, sods law says their software needs .nets or c++'s. Fraunhofer MP3 patent has now expired.

Kas, you mentioned this before. It may be possible to fool those programs into thinking wmp is installed by just manually removing folders and leaving their registry info alone.
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Kas, you mentioned this before. It may be possible to fool those programs into thinking wmp is installed by just manually removing folders and leaving their registry info alone.

It wasn't me, otherwise, i would say files and reg info, not only folders because most of the times, files are scanned, i think pmikep found out that keeping iexplore.exe could solve an issue.

I tried keeping Windows Media Player files for Smart Switch, starting with WMV codecs but after i dropped back about 4 dll's requested by Smart Switch setup, i stopped and decided to keep WMP.
W7 Pro N doesnt have evr.dll and is about 600mb smaller than non N version. It should be possible to add evr.dll files to N version, i dont know if they will need to be registered or not.

Its in Microsoft-Media-Foundation-Package-amd64-6.1.7601.17514 or just copy from a non N install.
C:\Windows\System32 and C:\Windows\SysWOW64

The same will probably be true for w8/8.1 and w10 N versions. Possibly for the KN(Korean N), cannot confirm though.
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Try adding the media feature pack and search for evr.dll. If there is evr.dll, there is no need to do anything else.