So basically what has been said is that this folder is reporting larger used space than is actually being used. Between this thread and the other referenced called WinSXS Folder not actually consuming lots of space
I think most of use can get a handle on what is happening.
But what about third party programs. (I'm talking about SSD drives) My SSD is 80GB. Windows 7 plus 3 or 4 of the newer games and this drive is full. (no hibernate, pagefile move to a fast HDD) Third party programs do not understand about hard links. They just ask windows how much space is available. If there is not enough, well your screwed then. It is great to now know what is going on with the winsx Dir. But that does not help real world use for SSD's
There needs to be a way to reduce or be able to move this dir to another drive (for advanced users). I have removed the SP1 backup files with dism/ & diskcleanup, & cleanmgr sageset/run, but my winsx dir is still over 10GB as windows reports it (57K of files & links) that can not be used to install other programs to the fastest drive I have.
Just for kicks, I made a back up image of my win7 instal. Then deleted 9gb of the oldest files in winsx. I got about 4gb back. I installed a couple more big programs just to fill the drive. As I suspected, when I installed the last program that needed more space than what windows explorer reported, it would not install. winsx grew some in size during this exercise. The system was stable until patch Tuesday. Installing updated hosed the win install. It would boot, then freeze, or sometimes reboot itself, but never got back to the desktop.
I want MS to put a method out in the wild to help me (us) get back that space on SSD's. 12.5% of my SSD is basically not usable, and I want it back.