Minimizing Server footprint

Iron Contributor

Hi everyone,


although this place seems rather empty to me, I'll hope that some feedback actually gets through. I did look at Feedback Hub Server category, as advised in the 17046 build announcement, but that's basically a mess.


First, I'm kind of a footprint enthusiast so I'm amazed how far has the current server build progressed. 2.5 GB when deployed compact, without recovery partition, pagefile, and with unused feature payload removed, is super awesome (comparing to previous server releases). But I have 3 further hints for a substantial improvements in this regard:


1) There seems to be leftover cache files in C:\Windows\Speech and C:\Windows\Speech_OneCore that can really be removed as Speech Recognition isn't AFAIK supported in Core installation.


2) After uninstalling Windows Defender, about 150 MB of unnecessary files remain in "C:\Users\All Users\Microsoft\Windows Defender" directory, that could have been removed automatically.


3) Removal of Wow64 Support role doesn't work well. After uninstalling the Wow64 Support role AND removing the payload, there still remain about 300 MB of files in C:\Windows\SysWOW64 which should be now useless. But even then, simple 32-bit executables still run.


Thanks for consideration and keep up the good work.


Jan Ringoš


5 Replies
I was just in a similar discussion with somebody yesterday; needless to say, he says that the footprint differences are so negligible that in our environment, there are to be no core installations. He's not the only one then ...

If you are deploying on regular-sized SSD and without using the tricks I've mentioned above, then the difference between Core and GUI is certainly unremarkable. But when you find yourself trying to put to use a few devices with 3.7GB embedded MMCs, it's nice being able to do without allocating more hardware.

They would look good if I had the time to sit and analyze. We don't have that much time for analysis, though, unfortunately, so I'm not surprised. Nor do we use SSDs on our servers. But ... if uninstalling Windows Defender, what then do you recommend to protect the server?

Removing Windows Defender was basically a part of an experiment. Generally we keep it. I do use devices without the Defender, but only in controlled environment, behind NAT and firewalls, or totally without physical connection outside.

Although on a single core 5W Atom, removing Windows Defender can make a world of difference in apparent performance.

Thanks for the advice. we'll definitely take it into consideration.