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C drive is getting full - winsxs and SysWow64 folders

Posted on 2015-01-17
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Last Modified: 2016-11-23
Running Windows 7 pro on Dell Optiplex 970

Drive C is getting full. I have moved everything I can think of off the drive.  The biggest folder on the drive is the Windows folder.  In there, the biggest folder is winsxs.    The next biggest is SysWow64

Q1.) What is the procedure to move winsxs to another drive?  I am not a computer expert.  What are the major difficulties if this folder is moved?

Q2)  What is the procedure to move SysWow64 to another drive?  I am not a computer expert.  What are the major difficulties if this folder is moved?  Please explain in detal.

Thank you for your help.
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Question by:donpick
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by:Will Szymkowski
Will Szymkowski earned 84 total points
ID: 40555432
Unfortunately you cannot move these folders without breaking core features in Windows. Both folders need to reside on the system volume partition.
http://support.microsoft.com/kb/2795190

Also, some of the other things you can do to free up disk space is disable hibernate within Windows.
Disable Hibernate in Windows

You can also move the page file to another drive if there is one available. You can also change the size of the page file if it cannot be moved.
Change Page File Size / Move Page File to another locaiton

Will.
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by:John Hurst
John Hurst earned 84 total points
ID: 40555470
In addition to the above, go the c:\users\you\AppData\local\temp and delete temporary files. Exit Explorer and now run Disk Cleanup. Choose the options to delete all you can.

Also make sure the vendor is not running Backups on you. Backups chew up disk space.

Get Tree Size (Jam Software) and see what is taking all the space.
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by:Predrag Jovic
Predrag Jovic earned 83 total points
ID: 40555558
And you can safely delete everything from folder
C:\Windows\SoftwareDistribution\Download
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by:Bing CISM / CISSP
Bing CISM / CISSP earned 83 total points
ID: 40555578
unfortunately these folder are essential system folders for 64-bit Windows therefore you can't simply remove them off the system drive.

can we know what files have been removed by your cleanup operation?

just want to make sure if any other system files have been improperly deleted and any more folders can be safely removed further.
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by:Rizzle
Rizzle earned 83 total points
ID: 40555589
In addition to whats already been mentioned I would remove any old restore points, run a Disk Cleanup and select "Clean up system files" option, run CCleaner and also remove any applications which you don't use.
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jcimarron earned 83 total points
ID: 40555661
donpick --
This is an illustrated guide to Disk Cleanup
http://www.sevenforums.com/tutorials/818-disk-cleanup-open-use.html
Notice where the Cleanup System Files button is (item 5).
If you do not have a Cleanup System Files button, you can use the hot fix from here
http://windowsitpro.com/windows-7/microsoft-releases-windows-updates-cleanup-utility-add-windows-7-sp1

Here is an explanation of Win SXS.  You only need to read the section "Why the WinSXS Folder Gets too Big" and the following paragraph
http://www.howtogeek.com/174705/how-to-reduce-the-size-of-your-winsxs-folder-on-windows-7-or-8/
It is all the files from past Windows Updates.  It is safe to delete those as along as you do not plan to remove any old Windows Updates.

But do not delete or otherwise mess with the SysWow64 folder or files.  They are Windows system files.  Disk Cleanup will not affect them.
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Author Closing Comment

by:donpick
ID: 40567840
Thank you for your prompt replies.  I appreciate your help.    I did not know about C:\Windows\SoftwareDistribution\Download  
I will check that.    I used a tool called TreeSize to discover which folders occupied the most disk space.  That's why I asked about the SysWow64 folder.    There are no other drives to which I can move anything to so I guess the next step is to backup everything to a usb drive and buy a larger drive and restore the image.
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