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Is there a way to clean up the WinSXS folder without rebooting first?

Posted on 2016-11-15
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Last Modified: 2016-11-18
Windows Server 2008 R2

Everything I've read says you have to download Desktop Experience and then reboot, but I'm pretty sure I already have the Disk Cleanup utility it would provide anyway. But, it does nothing to clean up that folder. Ideas?
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Question by:QMBB
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by:John Hurst
ID: 41888855
What it does not clean up needs to stay. This is a folder that cannot be reduced by much as it is a necessary Windows Folder. Perhaps look elsewhere to save disk space.
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by:jmac44
jmac44 earned 125 total points
ID: 41888857
Why do you want it? Are you trying create more HD space? I went through that madness with an old server and in the long run ended up compressing the files to create more space. It gave me enough time to replace the server.
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by:rindi
ID: 41888913
Besides the cleanup wizard, you also need KB2852386. Once that is installed the cleanup wizard will also be able to remove old Windows update files from the WinSXS folder:

https://support.microsoft.com/en-us/kb/2852386
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by:Gerald Connolly
ID: 41891257
As John and jmac asked, what is it you are trying to do? or what problem are you trying to solve?

If your problem is space on your system disk, then run something like Windirstat (windirstat.net) (NB run it as system so it sees EVERYTHING) to locate what is consuming your disk space, and if that doesnt help post a screen dump of disk manager so we can see how your disk is partitioned.
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by:QMBB
ID: 41891839
I already had that update, and I see the checkbox for update files, but it finds none that it can get rid of.

Goal is to just free up OS drive space... it's down to about 1GB.
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Author Comment

by:QMBB
ID: 41891843
I use something called Size Explorer which catalogs all folders and their size... the WinSXS folder is at about 11 GB on a 12GB partition.
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by:John Hurst
ID: 41891849
That is a normal size for WinSXS on that server.
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by:QMBB
ID: 41891857
Right, but friggin Dell sent me this box a few years ago with a 12 GB OS partition, totally stupid. I guess they had no idea that the WinSXS folder would get so big. So, it's normal but unworkable. Any solutions?
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by:John Hurst
John Hurst earned 125 total points
ID: 41891869
You need either to remove some other (user) files, or get bigger disks. The latter is the best way,
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by:rindi
ID: 41891985
If you have that KB, and the cleanup wizard won't cleanup further, then that's it, your done.
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Gerald Connolly earned 250 total points
ID: 41892498
So if you only have a 12GB System partition, i am assuming that there are other partitions on the disk

A screenshot of disk management as requested earlier would have helped!

So you need to backup the other partitions, then delete, extend your system partition and recreate the others and restore from backup.
NB there are some tools out there that will shrink partitions and move them on disk (you need contiguous free space to expand a partition into)

BUT BUT BUT just make sure you have a full backup of everything before you attempt any of this!
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