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WINSXS folder taking up all free disk space

Posted on 2016-08-09
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Last Modified: 2016-08-30
I have a Windows 2008 R2 x64 server with service pack 1 installed. Recently I noticed that all my disk space was all used up and found that my WINSXS folder was 13Gb in size. I tried disk clean up and that only relived 456MB and used DCIM.exe but it came back telling me there were no service packs installed. This server is my WSUS server so I tried cleaning up the server through server cleanup wizard but when I go to delete Unused updates and update versions the process fails with an error. I have searched the forums and cannot find anything to work. What can I do to cleanup my WINSXS folder without deleting the contents manually which isn't recommended nor do I really want to do?
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Question by:Tim
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by:John Hurst
John Hurst earned 1000 total points (awarded by participants)
ID: 41748829
The size of your WinSXS folder is correct and normal. You should not / must not delete things from it.

You need to look elsewhere for free space (documents and like) or else increase Disk Capacity.

I see this question frequently. Disk Capacity is the issue, not WinSXS.
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Author Comment

by:Tim
ID: 41748849
I have looked everywhere on the system to try to increase disk space but there is nothing and increasing disk capacity is impossible since this is the C: drive on our Domain controller. I don't believe WinSXS should be 13Gb in size. Why would the default size for the c: drive be 40GB if WinSXS is going to take up almost half the size of the drive?
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John Hurst earned 1000 total points (awarded by participants)
ID: 41748853
I don't believe WinSXS should be 13Gb in size.   Sorry but that is the normal size. Nothing wrong there at all.

40 GB for a server is MILES too small. 100 GB should be the minimum and now with ongoing updates and changes we are using 200 GB minimum and often choose 300 GB. Then the space will outlast the server.
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Expert Comment

by:FOX
ID: 41748865
Download one of these -install on the server and you will see what is actually taking up all the space
ref link: http://www.howtogeek.com/113012/10-best-free-tools-to-analyze-hard-drive-space-on-your-windows-pc/

I like windirstat
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by:John Hurst
ID: 41748869
I use Tree Size, but in this case the partition is SO small, it needs to be increased
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by:rindi
rindi earned 1000 total points (awarded by participants)
ID: 41748946
Have you installed the windows update kb2852386 on your server? If I remember correctly it comes as an optional update so it wouldn't get installed if you are doing automatic updates. You can also manually download and install it:

https://www.microsoft.com/en-us/download/details.aspx?id=42739

https://support.microsoft.com/en-us/kb/2852386

If it isn't installed, install it then run the cleanup wizard again. You will now have an additional option to cleanup old windows updates, those can use up a lot of space in the WINSXS folder, and it is the only supported way of cleaning up WINSXS.
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Author Comment

by:Tim
ID: 41749385
I have installed that update KB2852386 and that is where it freed up 456MB but I expected more that is when I tried DCIM.exe and that did nothing as well.
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by:John Hurst
ID: 41749389
You have to provide more disk space.
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by:FOX
ID: 41749393
did you download windirstat and run it on the machine in question? You will find out what is taking up your space.
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by:Senior IT System Engineer
ID: 41752261
Have your tried the combination of CCleaner and Dism command below:

DISM /online /Cleanup-Image /SpSuperseded

It works for my case most of the time.
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Author Comment

by:Tim
ID: 41752317
I currently have TreeSize free on the server and when I run it the folder that takes up the most space is the Winsxs folder @ 13GB.

When I run the DISM command above I get 'Service Pack Cleanup can't proceed: No service pack backup files were found. The operation completed successfully.'

I have Trend Micro Worry Free running on this server to and it is taking up 7.3GB which I will address and it what brought my attention to this disk space issue because each time I try to update the Pattern file will not updated due to insufficient disk space.
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by:rindi
ID: 41752585
Maybe you should uninstall trendmicro, then install it to another partition, if you have one available. Normally all non OS software should be installed to other partitions.
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