Compressing winsxs folder

I have a Dell file server with 64 bit windows 2008 R2 installed.
Over time the C:\Windows\winsxs folder has grown to 17 GB and this has almost filled up the system drive C.
There is only 61 MB free of 39.9 GB.
Is it ok to apply file compression to the C:\Windows\winsxs folder to claim more disk space ? Does the system require additional disk space initially to perform the compression and am I likely to kill the system if I attempt to compress the C:\Windows\winsxs folder ?
Roger AlcindorAsked:
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JohnBusiness Consultant (Owner)Commented:
Newer systems (Windows 10) are providing for compressing system folders like winsxs but I do not think this applies to Server 2008.

Run Disk Cleanup (add it in from Windows Features in Programs and Features) and click on the System Cleanup button. Then run it and select most cleanup selections. Do this in an off time because it will take a while and you may have to restart the server to have any effect.

Also, get Tree Size from Jam Software. Install it and run it. Then see where you space is and where you might be able to save. Winsxs is a normal size on your system.
The Cleanup wizard is part of the Desktop Themes feature, so that is what you need to add first. Then you also need to install kb2852386 which includes the Windows updates cleanup option to the cleanup wizard. If you then run the cleanup wizard, it will first scan the system for unneeded stuff and and allows you to put a checkmark to delete them. Old unneeded windowsupdtates accumulate in the winsxs folder and that will remove what isn't needed:
JohnBusiness Consultant (Owner)Commented:
Check after you do this. Cleanup in Windows 8 removes superfluous Winsxs files. However, not nearly as well in Windows 7 (which is now on life support). I don't know if it works on Server 2008. Other files will get cleaned up, though.

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It works fine on 2008 r2 server if you have installed the patch I mentioned. Without it it isn't available.

On 2008 (without the "r2") you don't have that option.
Seth SimmonsSr. Systems AdministratorCommented:
how big is the page file?
do you have another volume you can move it to?
that will help also in addition to the disk cleanup
haven't tried compressing but you may or may not get a lot of compression from it so i would try the desktop cleanup first and see what that yields
Roger AlcindorAuthor Commented:
I do have another volume that I can move it to; the D: drive which maps to the remainder of the system disk.
How would I configure Windows for the new winsxs folder location should I wish to move it ?
Natty GregIn Theory (IT)Commented:
I normally put the folder on its own drive,  you cannot run compression there is no space left to hold temporary files while they are being compress.

best option stick at 1TB drive in there and move the files over

THIS  is FROM BRANDON J CLARK at this forum

Nonsense!  I move the winsxs folder on any install I'm fortunate enough to have another disk to send it to.

Now, the method of moving it is probably different than what you are thinking.

1)  Close any running applications (This is important).

2)  Copy your winsxs folder to another location (preferably off of your SSD :)

3)  Now comes the magic:  You are going to create a junction point to literally trick Windows into thinking the winsxs folder is in the same place.

3a)  Start > Run > Type "mklink /J "c:\Windows\winsxs" "d:\winsxs"

The mklink command functions as such:  mklink LINK TARGET, so in the above example the c:\Windows\winsxs acts as the LINK location where you want to trick Windows into thinking it still exists and the TARGET location is of course the d:\winsxs on another drive.

The only real drawback of this is if you manage to boot your computer without the other location and then you try to launch an application.  However, if you are running an internal drive configuration then I guess I wouldn't worry about it.

I use this method ALL THE TIME for moving certain games in and out of the Steam folder on my gaming computers at home and even successfully moved the Adobe Creative Suite's MASSIVE install to one single location on another drive off of my wife's SSD.


I would NEVER do this in an Enterprise environment but at home it's just golden.
Roger AlcindorAuthor Commented:
I am awarding points in advance of any actions as I am waiting to arrange a site visit to address the issues and won't be able to report back for several days (or weeks). Thanks for your help.
JohnBusiness Consultant (Owner)Commented:
@alcindor  - Thanks for the update and I was happy to help.
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Windows Server 2008

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