NTDEV, the electronics student and YouTuber behind the Tiny11 and Tiny10 Windows shrinking projects, is embarking upon another fascinating venture, provisionally titled Live11. There's a clue in the name — but if you haven’t got it, it's a live image of Tiny11 which fits on a DVD and will load completely into RAM and boot.
Here is a proof of concept of live11, a live image of tiny11 that loads completely into RAM and fits neatly on a DVD! pic.twitter.com/MBOLZ5NyH1April 2, 2023
In the embedded Tweet above, you can see a video that appears to show the full boot process recorded from the computer screen (as well as a little bit of Windows action). At the start of the video we see the output of what appears to be Grub4Dos, a bootloader which is commonly used for making bootable Windows and Linux disks, USB drives, CDs, DVDs, etc. This appears to read 4GB of data from the Live11 DVD, shovel it into RAM, and then boot from the RAM disk that has been set up.
The preliminary file copy operation takes just under a minute. After this, we see the familiar Windows logo appear with the spinning dots. This actual Windows 11 booting process from RAM disk takes approximately 12 seconds. On the topic of timing, the teaser demo came from a virtual machine (running in VMWare), and, due to the 4GB copy speed, we think the 'live image' was most likely a disk image saved on the system's SSD — not an actual physical DVD.
On the Widows desktop, NTDEV prods around a little to demonstrate the 'proof of concept.' Here we see that the RAM disk is 3.87GB with just 324MB of free space remaining. The task manager shows that the PC in use is powered by an AMD Ryzen 7 5800HS, and the virtual machine has been allocated 8GB of memory, of which 4GB is available and 1.3GB is in use by Windows.
This is an interesting project for people interested in having a lightweight live image of the newest version of Windows for testing or whatnot. It could be a familiar friend if something goes wrong with your computer, but would probably be more practical as a USB stick than a 'DVD' in 2023. Of course, there are also purpose-built bootable images for trouble shooting, with all sorts of software tools pre-installed — or you can always make your own.
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Mark Tyson is a Freelance News Writer at Tom's Hardware US. He enjoys covering the full breadth of PC tech; from business and semiconductor design to products approaching the edge of reason.