As I noted inmy review of Windows
2000 Professional Beta 3, one of the more annoying new
"features" in this product is the removal of a custom install
option, which allows the user to pick and choose the desired components
that are installed during Setup. Windows 95, 98, and NT 4.0 offer this
feature and I don't know of a single Windows NT administrator that
doesn't choose the "Custom" option during install. Why it was
removed has yet to be answered to my satisfaction (UPDATE: Due to my
complaints, Microsoft re-enabled this feature in the Server versions of
Windows 2000. The company tells me that it was left out of Professional
because they expect administrators to perform scripted installations of
Pro to achieve custom installs. This doesn't help individuals, however).
In any event, you can script a Windows 2000 custom install if you're
going to be installing a number of identical Windows 2000 Professional
systems. This achieves the goal, in theory, of a custom install, but it's
likely to be an option that is pursued at large installations only. What
if you've already installed Beta 3 (Professional or Server) and would
like to remove some of the more annoying Windows components, such as the
Accessibility features or the games?
First stop: Add/Remove Programs If
you're like me, you were probably confused by the lack of a custom
install. And, you probably went right to Control Panel --> Add/Remove
Programs to get rid of some of the stuff you'd never have installed were
you given the chance. But a quick look at the Windows Component Wizard
1), which is launched when you choose "Add/Remove Windows
Components" from the Add/Remove Programs dialog, shows that none of
these components are anywhere to be found. On a Professional setup, the
following components are available for installation:
Internet Information Services (IIS)
Management and Monitoring Tools
Message Queuing Services (formerly
Microsoft Indexing Service (formerly
Microsoft Script Debugger
Other Network File and Print Services.
And that's it. No games. No
Accessibility. No Communications.
But fear not, there is a way.
Time to edit an INF file
Hidden in the C:\WINNT\INF directory is a file called sysoc.inf. On my
Windows 2000 Professional system, this file contains the following text:
WindowTitle=Windows 2000 Professional Setup
WindowTitle_Standalone=Windows Components Wizard
The key here is the section titled
"old base components." If you remove the ",HIDE" text (or, ",hide" in some cases)
from the lines in that section, those components will show up in
Add/Remove Programs. You can also remove the ",hide" text from
the Image Vue and Fax entries above it if you so desire. When you're done
editing the file (it's wise to make a backup first just in case), save it
and re-run Add/Remove Programs.
Voila! The Add/Remove Programs we always wanted
Now that's more like it. With this simple editing session, the Windows
Component Wizard (again, launched from Add/Remove Programs) now allows
you to uninstall the following components (Figure
By removing the components you don't
want and will never use, you can save hard drive space and tweak your
system the way you want, not the way Microsoft hands it to you.
And, as Martha Stewart would say, that's a good thing.