Monday, December 3, 2007

nite your XP installation for your Asus EEE PC

This tutorial will show you how to slim down your Windows XP install using the program nlite. A few people have followed this tutorial and I haven't heard any reports of people having problems installing drivers or software afterwards so it's pretty safe to do. Completing this tutorial will shrink your XP installation down to 687mb from the usual 1.5 gigs.

You can click on the images to download a higher res version if you are having problems seeing them.

1. Download nLite from . I’m using version 1.4.

2. Download hotfixes from I’m using “Xable's XP post SP2 lite update pack”. The direct download link is .

3. Also you can find a lot of addons in For more addons, you can find them from here

4. Install nLite.

5. Create a folder and copy XP installation files (everything) from CD to that folder.

6. Run nLite, in the welcome window, click Next to Locating the Windows installation window. Click Browse button to locate the folder that you created. Click Next, nLite will check the Windows version infomations.

7. Click Next to Preset window. In the first run, you don’t have any preset ini files. It will show empty here. Click Next.

8. In Task Selection window, select all except Service Pack and Drivers. Because we don’t have any service pack that newer than sp2. If you select driver, nLite can embed the drivers into XP installation. I think it is not good idea to add EEE drivers into XP installation, because we need run ACPI before install EEE drivers.

9. Click Next to Hotfixes, Addons and Update Packs window. Click insert to insert hotfixes and addons. I didn’t add Adobe Acrobat Reader, Windows Live Messenger and Divx addons, somehow these don’t work well for me.

10. Click Next to Components window, and popup Compatibility window. This is just for preventing accident remove some important components for selected function. Don’t need select anything and click OK.

11. In Components window, you can select the listed items that you feel don’t need for EEE.

Here is my selections:
I think Defragmenter is no use for 4G SSD, but I keep Defragmenter anyway, no biggee.

Select all to remove cause we have EEE driver CD.

Hardware Support:

Select remove all then recheck the ones you need.

Select all to remove except the language that you need.


I kept windows messengers because Live messenger has annoying ad bars. It is not good for 800x480.

Operating System Options:



12. Click Next to Unattended window. In General tag, put you XP serial number here, then it will not ask for it during installation. Also, check Turn off Hibernate.

Users tag:

Owner and Network ID tag:

Regional tag:
Desktop themes tag:

Display tag:

For other tags, you can leave as is.

13. Click Next to Options window. In general tag, don’t need to change anything.

In Patches tag, choose Disable SFC.

14. Chick Next to Tweaks window.

Here are my settings in General tag:
Boot and Shutdown:



Internet Explorer:

My Computer and Network



Start Menu:


Visual Effects:

Windows Media Player:

I didn’t change anything in Services tag:

15. Click Next, nLite will process changes base on these customization.

It will take a while. After it is done, it shows the new installation files size.

16. Click Next to Bootable ISO window. Click Make ISO button to generate ISO file.

17. Use Nero to burn ISO file, and then you are ready to install Windows XP for EEE.

Once you have the ISO created you can install from usb flash drive if you want or from a cd, if you decide to go with usb check out the install xp from usb flash drive tutorial.



Anonymous said...

Select all to remove cause we have EEE driver CD."

How do you install the EEE drivers if they are on a CD and you want to install from USB ? Can they be added to nlite ?

Aug said...

You can copy the entire XP drivers from the Eee DVD to a USB, then pop the USB drive in after XP installation, hit Setup, and you're golden.

Goran said...

Just want to say that you should leave the Printer drivers otherwise you will not be able to install many printers over a network. When I tried connecting to my friends network printer it tried to install the drivers but couldn't (because he runs linux) so a message comes up saying insert XP disk to find the generic drivers. However when I point to my USB drive it can't pull any off of it because the whole printer drivers were taken out during nlite.

cmcloughlin said...

I have used nLite to shrink the XP installation and am trying to run it from a flash drive using the instructions here: When I try to access the CD made from the nLite ISO or the folder made by nLite with USB_prep8 , I get a message that it doesn't contain the Wondows Source Files. The instructions mentioned above say 'If you use the program Nlite be sure to keep the manual installation files as the USB_prep8 script relies on these files.'. Can you tell me what files they are and how to get nLite to keep them as I suspect this may be my problem. If I point USB_prep8 to a fullinstall CD it accepts it OK. Thanks

Anonymous said...

Yup i think you may be onto something. I succesfully followed the instructions and install XP via USB onto my EEEPC. But i tried to be to clever and 'slipped' the eeepc drivers in. It screwed up the install so i started again leaving them out this time and got the same thing 'cmcloughlin' did.

Is there something left behind in the usb-prep stage that may make subsequent nlited installs fail?

3rd attempt same prob. But pointing to original distro works?

Anonymous said...

Hi Nick thanks for the great guides... all Nlited now and USB installed. Couple of 'gotcha's' that i found may be worth considering. If you are going to feed the nlited version straight to USB via the USB PREP method you may need to mount the final ISO with DAEMON tools or the like so you dont get the 'doesn't contain the Wondows Source Files' message.

Also its worth adding that PeToUSB does not like large USB flash drives (over 4GB). I ended up cheating with my 16GB by using a util that came with it to create secure partitions on it. I made a 14GB secure partition leaving only 2GB recognisable for PeToUSB to deal with.

Thanks again for all your great work

Anonymous said...

Ya im having the same problem with the "dose not contain windows source files" message. what exactyl do u do with DAEMON tools to get it to think that it is the source for windows?

Anonymous said...

Anyone get USB Prep working with an NLite ISO? USB Prep just keeps saying doesnt contain source files.


Rene A. said...

Just wanted to add one important information, that did cost me about 5 hours of work :)

I deleted the stock linux and where running eeeXubuntu - and I reformated the ssd to be just one big partition.
The problem was, that my windows install CD never showed the blue setup screen (right after booting the cd).

The solution:
After giving up - I decided to restore with the asus dvd - which reformats the ssd. -> I tried the windows cd again - viola it works.

So there must be something special with the initial partition layout ;)

Anonymous said...

To keep Manual Installation files uncheck "Manual Install and Upgrade" in Operating System Options in the Components window.

Slagathor said...

Mr. Anonymous Sir, THANK YOU!! I tried at least 10 times different things, and it's the uncheck "Manual Install and Upgrade" that did the trick. Finally got the Source Files it needed.

Whoever writes these fantastic guides really should mention to uncheck that one and it will save tons of headaches. Literally. My head is killing me.

Anonymous said...

Real good guide , I had full blown xp install earlier through usb_prep .
DO I go through the same process with
Nlited XP , I see comments like does not contain windows source files has anyone solve this

Anonymous said...

For those having problems with the "no windows source files" message, I found that if you actually burn the cd, this message does not appear. It did for me if I just navigated to the folder, but not when I burned the cd and navigated to it.

Anonymous said...

Hi I just got done installing Windows XP on my Asus EEE 4G Surf and its working like a charm now.
I followed his tutorial to the tee but failed when I did some other guys suggesting by keeping the original partition layout, well in my case he was wrong because I had to delete all the partitions and make one large one after that I got rid of the "cannot find ntldr" error message.
hope this helps.

Anonymous said...

To those people who are getting the "does not contain windows source files" error:

The easy way around this is to mount your original XP image with daemontools or whatever, and then select your drive. THEN change the image in the drive. This has worked multiple times for me with different nlited XPs.

Anonymous said...

I found this guide very helpful, however I have one thing to add...

I advise not to disable the autorun of cd drives etc, as when you shove in the three mobile broadband modem it does not auto install the relevant drivers etc and there is no way to access the drivers on the modem.



Poch Benel said...

hello all! I have a newbie question. So were you guys able to install nlited XP from a flash drive?

Anonymous said...

For those of you with the question of how to do the nlite usb drive there was one step omitted from the directions that I think is valid.

1.burn your ISO to cd

This will ad you greatly in the fact that the program cannot read from the harddrive files but will read from the files if its burned to disk. Strange as it may sound mounting them to a virutal drive only lead me to have more troubles with it. I use this to load many different types of computers and it works wonders when you dont want to use alot of CDs to make images... Hope this helps.

Anonymous said...

I followed all the steps in this tutorial (and the tutorial about installing windows from USB) however I have a big problem....I choose to boot from USB drive and a get a black screen and a blinking cursor and then it hangs...

Does anyone knows what could be the problem and how can I fix it ?

Anonymous said...

I would just like to confirm the problem with the USB method mentioned on a guide on this page.
The program wont find the windows sources if you try to point it to a directory on your HD will produce an error and quit.
Instead, let nlite make an iso, mount it with a program like daemon tools or magicdisk and point the usb prep program to the virtual drive.
That will allow the procedure to proceed.


Anonymous said...

Nice, still it curently didn't work to slipstream sp3 without having the problem that my official serial wasn't accepted.

Also a problem with the multitouch drivers from asus after changing the programm files folder to the other partition (D:\programm files)
They simply not work and there seems to be no way to make them work. It seems that there is some fixed paths somewhere hidden in the driver code. I miss the multitouch on my E900 :(

Sherri said...

I was so incredibly frustrated with all this. I was trying to use nLite, then went to the tutorial on how to install from a USB flash. Everything seemed to work out well, and I got all the confirmations I should get, but after two days of working on it, I could never get the install to stop sticking in the install. I finally did a full install and skipped nLite and got futher along, then got stuck with a message that said Windows has a computer disk hardware configuration problem.

I advise anyone who wants XP on their Eee PC 901 to just buy it already installed. It isn't worth the headache. I'm sending mine back to exchange.

Juan Manuel said...

i folowed the tutorial (and the USB one) step by step and now XP "nited" is running on a brand new (for me) EeePC 900. Thank you very much.

jrferrao said...

I make a lot od nlited versions but everytime that i point to image apears a message "does not contains XP setup source files" a try to burn in a cd and emulate the image, nothing works. Then i try to trick and i change the image after the prep_8 accept the complete image. this works!! but wen i go to install appears the crash blue screen. I don´t know wathever i can do. anybody can help me?

Ian Hancock said...

Guys, I just got an Intel 901- you MUST leave Multi Processor CPU unticked in the hardware support options otherwise you cannot install the ACPI driver and the annoying pop up wont go away.

Other than that the guide works fine.

TheHermit said...

Anyone wanting to install a 3G broadband USB or similar device should take a look at this link before duplicating this Nlite. some vital modem and dial up driver files are left out of this Nlite. which the USB modem relies on

Anubis said...

the problem with "does not contain window source files" lies within the usb_prep8.cmd file. you have to make the following edits.. (right click the usb_prep8.cmd file and choose edit)

then make these changes.

Line 519 replace :
xcopy %xpsource%!xpdir!\!btfile! %tmpdrive%\%btdir% /i /k /y /h
xcopy %xpsource%\%xpdir%\!btfile! %tmpdrive%\%btdir% /i /k /y /h

Line 521, replace :
xcopy %xpsource%!xpdir!\!btfile! %tmpdrive%\%btdir% /i /k /y /h | tee.bat -a usb_prep.log
xcopy %xpsource%\%xpdir%\!btfile! %tmpdrive%\%btdir% /i /k /y /h | tee.bat -a usb_prep.log

Lige 525, replace :
copy /y %xpsource%!xpdir!\%%H %tmpdrive%\%btdir%\%%I
copy /y %xpsource%\%xpdir%\%%H %tmpdrive%\%btdir%\%%I

Line 527, replace :
copy /y %xpsource%!xpdir!\%%H %tmpdrive%\%btdir%\%%I | tee.bat -a usb_prep.log
copy /y %xpsource%\%xpdir%\%%H %tmpdrive%\%btdir%\%%I | tee.bat -a usb_prep.log

Anonymous said...

I made the changes to usb_prep8.cmd but it still throws the "does not contain window source files" error -_-

Anonymous said...

I had the same problem. I fixed it by setting the value I would have set in the menu on Line 75. I.E. set xpsource=K:\

Anonymous said...

Nice work on this and the other pages of this site. Do you know how helpful this stuff is? Muppet proof.

I had source file problem. I got around it by burning the contents of the nlite'd XP back onto CD and no more error. Screwy and a bit random but this might work for some.


Anonymous said...

I have tried and tried this with my new 901. The ASUS support DVD revision 1.0 that I have seems to contain the XP source files, but not in the expected order or folders. There is an i386 folder, but with very few files, and an i386XP folder which appears to have the XP install files.

I tried changing the name of the i386XP folder to i386 and nlite appeared to recognise the files as an XP source, but said the win51ic file was missing. I have checked and this does not exist anywhere on my DVD. nLite offers to copy the file and then says that the source is SP 0! But after spending ages going right through the rest of the process and appearing to produce an install CD - when I tried it I got the initial blue screens but then just an "Insert the Windows XP Home Service pack 3 installation disk in drive A".

Has anyone managed this with a 901 support DVD yet?

Anonymous said...

This nlite installation did not allow any of the eee drivers from its disk to install correctly - message "Can not open AsusACPI.sys" and "Can't find Asus ACPI Driver: AsusACPI.sys".

Workaround - since Atom is multithreaded processor you MUST uncheck the "multi-processor" option under "hardware" when using nlite. Just adding that fixes the problem with future driver installation.

To Casino said...

I did what is says but i need remote desktop connection , how i can enable it after the installation ? or i have to reinstall?

Tricky said...

Its worth mentioning that you don't want to remove "multiprocessor support" from the hardware tab if you're running on an Atom processor. This behaves like a dual core (but isn't) and without the multiprocessor support you will probably have trouble installing the ACPI driver from your EeePC disk.

Michael said...

Well I followed the instructions completely, and he states you can get the installation down to around 600MB from the usual 1.5GB, this is wrong, my installation still took over 1GB and AVG will not load at all. I will just have to buy a bigger SD card as I use a asus eee 701 4GB (soldered onto the board).

Sueli Santos said...

hi people
please I know that is not your expertize but I'm quite desperate. I have here a Asus P5VOC-X Mobo wich don't boot from CD. The Contoller Chipset is VT8237A, and I can't find the correct driver for it, please if anyone could help me I would appreciate, thanks.

Anonymous said...

I can't create a new ppoe conection.This option is no longer available,anyone knos why?

Anonymous said...

Just a small correction:

"Users tag:" would be far better as "Users tab:".

The same goes for all the other "tags".

mahmoud said...

nlite doesn't create a bootable disk when we customize windows like what you said,
i don't know why and afterward we couldn't make a bootable usb for installing windows on EEEPC

Marina said...

This to much to do.

Best way to make usb stick bootable to install XP without cd is try this utility. One click to ready.

Sarf2k4 said...

Hi, great guides but i couldn't boot my asus eee pc 4g xp after the setups. I keep on getting blue screen on when the windows xp logo appeared. Perhaps it's because of the windows xp i used or is it the hardware or the 2gb ram? Currently using the full xp sp3 though but a little bit of modded by the uploader before. I will try to use my original copy of win xp on eeepc4g but please drop by a solutions

Anonymous said...

hi,this is incredible i do exactly like the guide and worksi add drivers sound wlan,graphics,etc and delete internet explorer and windows media player cause i use opera and winamp and delete too windows messenger,i m so glad it workks,and is occuping less (2gb)i ll put a video on youtube,thanks,and bye

Anonymous said...

Can anyone help me out? I removed Linux and replaced it with a lite version of XP. The problem is that I can't get Wifi to work. It seems something is missing as I can't even see anything in the toolbar. This is the second one I have done and the first one works fine. I have a feeling I need to add things, but I don't know what. Can anyone offer a suggestion?

Anonymous said...

Ricky is my Name

Thnx a lot author!!..

youra life saver thnx!!..


Anonymous said...

Interesting, but so what.
My XP runs on a desktop PC which a bucket load of programmes installed. It is fully updated to SP3. It is 702MB.

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Anonymous said...

Try UNetbootin for your New ISO. There's an option for Win_XP installs. Worked for me!

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