Even though Windows is good, it cannot be called lean. It is available to you with many programs and services which occupy more space or even reduce the speed of the machine. If you opt for slim installation of Windows, you will be able to create a Windows Installer that has many customizations using which you can make Windows the best OS. You can do it this way. installcorefaq.com.
You will get configuration tools which help you to alter the Windows installation disc. You have the option to get rid of features of Windows which you dont require, add any driver that you will find useful, manipulate Control Panel and many more.
You can have a disc which has Service Pack 1 and so you dont need to work on Windows updates each time you get Windows on your new system. The tools are very easy to use and they ensure that nothing screws up your system.
What is the outcome
The entire process would seem very lengthy and tiresome but the result is worth the hard work you put in. The tools can be used to customize the Windows 7 in too many ways. As an example you can reduce the installing time when you slipstream the Service Pack 1 by including all the favorite apps to the install disc and you need not install things every time you have Windows set up on a new system. You will have a minimalist version of Windows that will remove all the unwanted apps and services to make your system run fast which will suit the old or less powered hardware.
Space is saved when services and apps that are not needed are removed apart from things such as games or app that says that are not really needed and are annoying. You can also make system tweaks and hacking of registry prior to installing Windows which helps you not to make them at a later stage as an installation of Windows done cleanly also is a complete installation.
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Drivers can also be added to the install disc so you dont have to look for the same later. This will help you a lot when you want to install wi-fi drivers (because if you dont possess wi-fi drivers, you cannot reach the internet to download the drivers).
When you have completed, you will have the Windows disc which has all the settings, tweaks for improving the speed, and other apps that you need very much which can be installed on any system and obviously you have the Windows you had always wished for. It will be great when you get Windows installed on many machines or get the same reinstalled often. When these tweaks are made once, whenever you install freshly, they will get added.