Reduce size of Winsxs on Server 2008 SP1

Posted on 2016-10-13
Last Modified: 2016-11-03
I know this has been asked many times, but I'm hoping there is an answer. We have a Windows 2008 SP1 server with a completely full 40GB C drive and a 13GB winsxs folder. Going to be replacing the server soon, so just need to buy a few GB to get it by until then.

Is there any way to safely shrink that folder on pre R2 versions of Windows 2008 servers? The disk cleanup options mentioned all over the place all refer to R2 as far as I have seen.

Thanks for any advice
Question by:willp2
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LVL 96

Accepted Solution

Experienced Member earned 250 total points (awarded by participants)
ID: 41842702
The system is normal size and you should definitely not tamper with it.

40 GB is NOT enough space for server operating system. You need to (must) back up, get a bigger disk and restore the system onto a bigger disk.

If you have Server Desktop Experience installed, you can run Disk Cleanup (Admin tools) and when it comes up, select Clean up System files.  Restart after that. That may give you one or two GB to get by on.
LVL 31

Assisted Solution

by:Scott C
Scott C earned 250 total points (awarded by participants)
ID: 41842729
Other than the regular disk clean-up,  no, there is no way to shrink this.  If you try to do it manually, you risk corrupted your OS install and completely ruining your server.

About the only thing I can think of for you to try is move the pagefile to another drive if that hasn't been already done.
LVL 88

Expert Comment

ID: 41842773
No. For Pre 2008 r2 you can't reduce the size of the WinSXS folder.
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Expert Comment

by:Senior IT System Engineer
ID: 41842776
Use the below batch script to cleanup after every windows update.

REM Windows Server 2012 and above: 
Dism /Online /Cleanup-Image /StartComponentCleanup /ResetBase

REM Windows Server 2008 R2: 
Dism /Online /Cleanup-Image /SPSuperseded

Open in new window


Author Comment

ID: 41842836
Thanks for the comments so far. I am aware that I shouldn't tamper with it and that the drive is too small. That's why I'm here. It's a RAID array, so we can't reasonably swap drives and I'm not willing to repartition the drive at this time.

We've done things like disk cleanup, move swap files, point some temp files to other drives, reinstall apps on other drives. But there's just so much you can do when about half the drive is taken up by the  WinSxS and SysWOW64 folders
LVL 82

Expert Comment

by:David Johnson, CD, MVP
ID: 41842923
Then you are between a rock and a hard place. Your only option is to increase the storage space and you don't want to do that, so basically you're stuck
LVL 92

Expert Comment

ID: 41843107
check what's on the drive for any software - or parts that can be deleted
treesize shows the disk size for each :

Author Comment

ID: 41843953
OK, thanks for the comments
LVL 92

Expert Comment

ID: 41844672
you can Always look for tmp, or temp files and folders to delete
also look for old - not used software anymore - and uninstall it

Expert Comment

by:Dhanraj Pratap
ID: 41844734
I run TFC.exe

It sure gives me couple of GBs.

Make sure users are not logged in.

If they are working on Excel, Word etc.... the user will not be able to save changes to their files as the temp files are flushed out by TFC.

Also be aware, it may ask for a system reboot.

But a useful program.
LVL 31

Expert Comment

by:Scott C
ID: 41871793
First two solutions answered the question.

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