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As per title, how do I remove Microsoft preinstalled programs like notepad, paint, etc from Windows Server 2008.

There is no add/remove windows components as seen in Windows Server 2003.

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Why do you need to? – Alex J Jun 1 '09 at 10:27
up vote 3 down vote accepted

I'll try to answer the question without asking why...

Some applications are hidden by having the comment "hide" after them in the Sysoc.inf


However they will just reappear after every service pack etc.

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Ok...I am going to ask why you would want to remove notepad. It can be used to open practically everything. I always put a 'send to' shortcut to notepad on every machine I have.

Also, I use paint for saving screenshots. This is especially necessary when troubleshooting issues that you need a picture of for later reference.

I would not recommend removing these.

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I agree. Notepad, in particular, is relied upon by some applications, such that MS goes to great lengths to ensure that it is always easily found by even the most broken of apps. In fact it's considered a system-protected file on modern Windows installs and Windows restores it from a backup if you modify it. – Mr. Shiny and New 安宇 Jun 1 '09 at 12:28
Removing notepad feels a bit like not having vi on a unix-like system... but I see the general idea of limiting attack surface. However, even the slimmed down Server Core still has notepad - for various reasons.. (not sure it can run mspaint though, I have to check ^^ – Oskar Duveborn Jun 1 '09 at 12:46
Argh. Removing notepad to cut down on attack vectors reminds me of an admin I used to work with who turned off the taskbar clock on the NT servers to conserve CPU cycles. /sigh – Matt Simmons Jun 7 '09 at 20:00
I fully agree with cop1152. We have a pretty large terminal services enviroment, having paint on the users desktops and educating them to crop images before sending out bug reports helps tremendously. – pauska Jun 24 '11 at 11:19

vlite is freeware application for creating customized installation CDs of Windows. It works partially with Windows Server 2008 and Windows 7 as well.

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