Tip

Add and remove optional features of Windows XP

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I first mentioned this technique in an old Technology Showcase for Windows 2000, but it still works in Windows XP and can be quite useful. For some reason, Microsoft has removed the ability to specify which Windows components you want to install during interactive setup, and when you go into Add/Remove Windows Components in the Control Panel, you still don't have the full list of applications and applets you can add and remove. Thankfully, this is easy to fix.

To dramatically expand the list of applications you can remove from Windows XP after installation, navigate to C:WINDOWS//inf (substituting the correct drive letter for your version of Windows,) and open the "sysoc.inf" file. Under Windows XP Professional Edition, this file will resemble the following by default:

[Version]
Signature = "$Windows NT$"
DriverVer=06/26/2001,5.1.2505.0

[Components]
NtComponents=ntoc.dll,NtOcSetupProc,,4
WBEM=ocgen.dll,OcEntry,wbemoc.inf,hide,7
Display=desk.cpl,DisplayOcSetupProc,,7
Fax=fxsocm.dll,FaxOcmSetupProc,fxsocm.inf,,7
NetOC=netoc.dll,NetOcSetupProc,netoc.inf,,7
iis=iis.dll,OcEntry,iis.inf,,7
com=comsetup.dll,OcEntry,comnt5.inf,hide,7
dtc=msdtcstp.dll,OcEntry,dtcnt5.inf,hide,7
IndexSrv_System = setupqry.dll,IndexSrv,setupqry.inf,,7
TerminalServer=TsOc.dll, HydraOc, TsOc.inf,hide,2
msmq=msmqocm.dll,MsmqOcm,msmqocm.inf,,6
ims=imsinsnt.dll,OcEntry,ims.inf,,7
fp_extensions=fp40ext.dll,FrontPage4Extensions,fp40ext.inf,,7
AutoUpdate=ocgen.dll,OcEntry,au.inf,hide,7
msmsgs=msgrocm.dll,OcEntry,msmsgs.inf,hide,7
msnexplr=ocmsn.dll,OcEntry,msnmsn.inf,,7
smarttgs=ocgen.dll,OcEntry,msnsl.inf,,7
RootAutoUpdate=ocgen.dll,OcEntry,rootau.inf,,7
Games=ocgen.dll,OcEntry,games.inf,,7
AccessUtil=ocgen.dll,OcEntry,accessor.inf,,7
CommApps=ocgen.dll,OcEntry,communic.inf,HIDE,7
MultiM=ocgen.dll,OcEntry,multimed.inf,HIDE,7
AccessOpt=ocgen.dll,OcEntry,optional.inf,HIDE,7
Pinball=ocgen.dll,OcEntry,pinball.inf,HIDE,7
MSWordPad=ocgen.dll,OcEntry,wordpad.inf,HIDE,7
ZoneGames=zoneoc.dll,ZoneSetupProc,igames.inf,,7

[Global]
WindowTitle=%WindowTitle%
WindowTitle.StandAlone="*"

The entries that include the text hide or HIDE will not show up in Add/Remove Windows Components by default. To fix this, do a global search and replace for ",hide" and change each instance of this to "," (a comma). Then, save the file, relaunch Add/Remove Windows Components and tweak the installed applications to your heart's content.

This was first published in June 2002

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