Using minLogon to speed up booting and decrease footprint
**EDIT** Jan 6th, 2005: I updated this post to reflect the fact that there's only one registry entry that is necessary for minlogon to work. **EDIT**
Okay, I did it again!!! :D I was gonna go out drinking, but instead mpattonm's post (http://www.mp3car.com/vbulletin/winnt-based/37694-shrinking-system32-folder-oembios-bin.html) got me thinking of using another component of XPe, which is MinLogon. In a normal install, Windows runs a shell called WinLogon which as you can imagine from the name logs you onto the system. Well, for XPe MSFT figured some people wouldn't need that functionality and in order to speed up the boot process they created MinLogon which actually runs the OS as the system account. As an example, my VIA system is currently running on an old *** Maxtor drive since my 2.5" drive died and is getting fixed. Using bootvis trace bootup took 58 seconds. Real ****ty, but since I'm only using the system to do testing and it's not in my car yet it's not a big deal. Using MinLogon bootvis trace took 28 seconds!!! WOW. Before you try this keep in mind that I've only messed with it for an hour so I don't know what the side effects are yet. It seems to run fine so far. I wouldn't do this on a "production" system unless you don't mind running the XP repair. Hell, it may even require a full reinstall. As long as you follow these directions you should be fine, but if you hose your system don't blame me.
So anyways, here are the instructions:
*If you're using EWF don't forget to run "ewfmgr c: -commitanddisable -live".*
1) Go to \Windows\System32 and rename winlogon.exe to winlogon.exe.bak.
2) Copy the latest minlogon.exe file from XPe to \Windows\System32 and rename it winlogon.exe. You'll get a complaint from Windows File protection if you haven't disabled it, just cancel.
3) Create a file called minlogon.reg and using notepad copy the following text:
Windows Registry Editor Version 5.00
4) Save the file and run it. Now the reg entries should have been imported.
5) Reboot. This first boot will be longer because it's like booting up for the first time so Windows will "set up" the System account. If you decide you don't want to use MinLogon, just restore the original WinLogon. The My Documents folder is now under the Default User directory in Documents and Settings
Hopefully someone with a better drive can do some tests. Like I said, my boot time went from 58 to 28 seconds using a really old, slow drive, but it may have been an anomaly. Who knows.
The original reason we started this excercise was because mpattonm wanted to see how he could get rid of a file named oembios.bin from the system32 directory. This file is over 12MB!!!! Obviously this is a huge waste of space for someone trying to do a CF card install. Doing some searching on google, I found that it seems this file is used by WinLogon, but not by MinLogon so it can be deleted. Now, remember to back it up in case you decide to go back to WinLogon. Note that MinLogon doesn't improve the speed of resuming from hibernation, but I figure if we can get a cold boot fast enough to not need hibernation then we can get full XP installs to fit on smaller media (since you won't need space for the hiberfil.sys file). Some people are getting nLite installs down to 380MB's. Anyways, this may end up not being useful for most people, but it was still interesting I think.