Wednesday, October 10, 2012

WinSxS folder occupying huge space on the drive

WinSxS folder occupying huge space on the drive

                    In windows 2008 R2, there is will be low disk space on the root directory on which the Windows operating system is installed. This may be due to Winsxs directory occupying some huge space on the drive ranging few GBs.  

To brief about Winsxs , it is  directory where all .dlls and library components are stored. This is built on Side-By-Side technology (SxS) .   Side-By-Side Assemblies are used by the operating system as fundamental units of naming, binding, versioning, deployment, and configuration. The Winsxs folder includes all manifests, optional components and 3rd party Win32 files.

Winsxstores multiple versions of a DLL in the WinSXS subdirectory of the Windows directory, and loads them on demand and thus reducing the dependency issues for application that needs SxS. 

So for obvious reasons you cannot delete this directory or move it elsewhere. It is also not advisable to delete anything inside the folder as that could probably make your applications un-workable or even break your system.

From Windows Vista , the operating system started using WinSxS for its core components.  To fix this issue, Microsoft has built a tool to run and clear the disk space by few GBs.

Note: This process is available with Windows Vista, Windows 7 and Windows 2008 R2. 
The procedure is the following:
  • Install Windows Service Pack 1.
  • Start and elevated command prompt (run 'CMD' as administrator).
  • Run the DISM command:  
DISM.exe /online /Cleanup-Image /spsuperseded
  • Wait for few minutes (may be upto 10 minutes max). When completed, “Service Pack Cleanup operation completed. The operation completed successfully” will be displayed.
·         The /online switch tells DISM to work on the running OS installation
·         The /spsuperseded option removes the backup files created during installation. 

Please note after running the above tool, you won’t be able to uninstall Service pack from the operating system. 

Check the disk space on the drive. Though it will not clear all the disk space used by WinSxs folder but will reduce the size by few GBs for sure.


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