As part of an effort to enable Windows software to run on inexpensive tablets with as little as 16GB of storage, Microsoft added a new feature to Windows 8.1 that allows installations to take up as little as 3GB of disk space — or less than half of what the software would usually require.

The feature is called WIMBoot, or Windows Image Boot, and basically it allows Windows to be installed with some core features hanging out in a compressed image instead of being unpacked on your device’s disk. It could mean that future Windows tablets with small amounts of storage will still have a reasonably large amount of free space for programs, media, and other files. But some users are already using WIMBoot to free up space on existing devices.

wimboot t100

For instance, members of the Transformer Forums have been experimenting with using WIMBoot to reinstall Windows on the Asus Transformer Book T100 2-in-1 tablet. Asus offers a model that has just 32GB of storage, and WIMBoot allows users to gain a few gigabytes of usable disk space. You could also use WIMBoot on a 64GB model, but the more storage you have on your device the less important it probably is for you to free up disk space.

In a nutshell, the trick is to install Windows on a separate disk partition much the same way you would store a recovery image on the disk. In fact, since the image is read-only, it can actually serve as a recovery image, avoiding the need for a separate recovery partition. Then you configure the C drive to point to the disk image and use the files as needed.

You can find instructions for using WIMBoot to install Windows on an Asus Transformer Book T100 at Avisek.pl. You might be able to modify the instructions a bit to install the software on other devices, but you might want to do some more reading before getting started on that task.

thanks CyberGusa!

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12 replies on “WIMBoot frees up space for Windows tablets with 32GB of storage or less”

  1. I have built truly one-click software which converts any pre-existing Windows 8.1 Update 1 system to WIMBoot. This tool is called DoubleSpace and is available from http://www.zipmagic.co/doublespace.html.

    You will not need external storage, a Windows PE environment, manually created images – or anything of the sort – to use DoubleSpace. DoubleSpace runs in one-click, and all you need to choose is compression strength – 4 are available, between MaxSpeed – MaxSpace. No lengthy tutorials to follow at all.

    You can even recompress a disk that has been previously compressed.

    I trust you will enjoy using the tool as much as I enjoyed building it. I welcome any feedback!

  2. I found something extremelely frustrating about WIMBoot; Microsoft claims that it will leave “12GB free on 16GB devices”, but they are meaning it will leave a 12GB partition you will have access to. In reality, you will still only have around 9.4GB free, depending on how much space is used by drivers/bloatware preinstalled.

    I have created a WIMBoot Install in VMWare using the recommended methods by Microsoft and, with only VMWare Tools installed, there is only 9.39GB free. This is with a 16GB VHDD mimicking a device with a 16GB SSD.

  3. I’m writing new tutorial “How to make own install.wim file with WIM-Boot”,and I think it will be ready today or tomorrow ๐Ÿ™‚

  4. just did it to my t100ta simple steps and i have the 64gb version

    1. How much space did you save? I assume most of the performance hit is during boot or does Windows frequently load and unload some of the compressed data? Also, do you have control over compression (ie. algorithm, compression level, etc.)? For example, NTFS compression uses a real-time Lempel-Ziv based compression algorithm and you don’t have control over the settings. It usually provides 15% – 20% space savings with a negligible performance hit.

    2. Write to me how much space do you have in your version, because I tried WIM-Boot only on my 32GB version of T100TA

      1. i used backtracker and delete the restore partition after making usb so it was something like 10 to 9 gigs of free space i got just from the wim-boot as for performance you cant really tell but i only been web surfing and watching movies and i cant tell now maybe if i was editing

        1. got both version now 32 and 64 32gb with 500gb keyboard and the 64gb with no extra drive wim-boot on both

          1. Can you tell me how did you removed the restore part with backtracker? Cant seem to find any steps on it. Also i have a 64gb version, which version of Avis’s script did you ran to make it work? He has like 3 on his tutorial
            Thanks

          2. used backtrack to make usb backup to restore later used backtrack to delete restore partition and then used the first script posted so if there two more scripts there maybe one for 32 and another for 64 i just edited to my own needs so only need it one script hope that help you

  5. Transparent compression at the file system level, which is a feature that NTFS already offers, is a better way to achieve space saving. Having that plus a HORM image for fast booting is what I want.

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