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Windows 7: Moving the winsxs folder

12 Jul 2011   #1
ultralame

XP, Vista, W7, all flavors
 
 
Moving the winsxs folder

I have a system that I set up with two drives; a main SSD and a standard HDD. I used Sysprep to move Users and ProgramData to the larger, slower HDD to preserve the SSD. I realized that most of the writing to the SSD now occurs in the Windows folder, specifically the winSXS folder.

Is there any way to move this folder? I am scared to try a junction (I tried that once with Users and it was a disaster).

Any ideas?


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12 Jul 2011   #2
Maguscreed

Microsoft Community Contributor Award Recipient

Windows 7 x64
 
 

I would suggest against it. Actually the biggest writes to the drive will be the system restore information at this point. Most the other stuff is system logs and they are tiny little text files. Not enough activity to get upset over.
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12 Jul 2011   #3
profdlp

Main - Windows 7 Pro SP1 64-Bit; 2nd - Windows Server 2008 R2
 
 

I've seen references to it being done with Vista, but I think that's playing with fire.
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13 Jul 2011   #4
Bill2

Windows 7 x64 pro/ Windows 7 x86 Pro/ XP SP3 x86
 
 

The winsxs folder actually may not be taking up as much space as windows explorer reports because there're a lot of hard links and junctions used.
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13 Jul 2011   #5
logicearth

Windows 8.1 Pro (x64)
 
 

DO NOT MOVE THE WINSXS FOLDER. DO NOT! You will actually only take up more space by making the files in WinSxS become real duplicates. Hardlinks only work on the same local partition moving to another partition removes the link and makes the file a real taking-up-space-file. WinSxS contains every system file and everything hardlinks out of it. All the DLLs in System32 for example. Windows 7 in its bare state takes well under 8 GBs of space.
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13 Jul 2011   #6
karlsnooks

MS Windows 7 Ultimate SP1 64-bit
 
 

Quote   Quote: Originally Posted by ultralame View Post
I have a system that I set up with two drives; a main SSD and a standard HDD. I used Sysprep to move Users and ProgramData to the larger, slower HDD to preserve the SSD. I realized that most of the writing to the SSD now occurs in the Windows folder, specifically the winSXS folder.

Is there any way to move this folder? I am scared to try a junction (I tried that once with Users and it was a disaster).

Any ideas?
Don't.
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13 Jul 2011   #7
pparks1

Windows 7 Ultimate x64
 
 

WinSXS isn't taking the space that you think
WinSXS Folder not actually consuming lots of space
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13 Jul 2011   #8
ultralame

XP, Vista, W7, all flavors
 
 

Ah. thank you.
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13 Jul 2011   #9
DalekOverSeer

Windows 7 Ultimate
 
 

there is a article i ran across awhile for moving the winsxs folder. i had a 36 gig wd raptor at that time and with everything i was using and wanted i needed to free up a large chunk of space. the procedure works, but it is not for a novice. it took me a better part of a day, because i was following the step, checking it, rechecking it, then moving onto the next step. if you do decide to do it i strongly recommend you have you os drive backed up.

as for taking up as much space as explorer claims yes it does. the idea behind the winsxs folder is to keep multiple versions of a file. in doing this program abc that needs version .1, but would stop working if it only had access to version .2 of the file. while program def will only work with version .2 or above. in doing this both programs keep working.
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13 Jul 2011   #10
pparks1

Windows 7 Ultimate x64
 
 

Quote   Quote: Originally Posted by DalekOverSeer View Post
[COLOR=DeepSkyBlue][B]there is a article i ran across awhile for moving the winsxs folder. i had a 36 gig wd raptor at that time and with everything i was using and wanted i needed to free up a large chunk of space. the procedure works, but it is not for a novice.
For arguments sake, I'm going to have to disagree that such a procedure exists unless you can produce this article because of the fact that the WinSXS is simply a collection of hardlinks to files that are contained within other areas on the hard drive. Getting rid of that folder, would not free up the space on the C drive, as the actual files themselves are stored elsewhere and simply referenced in C:\windows\winsxs.

If you look at the link that I posted before, I took a 200MB hard drive and created a WinSXS folder on it. Then copied in a single 13MB file. Then I linked to that same 13MB file 20 times. Windows explorer reported that my WINSXS folder was about 270MB in size...even though my entire hard drive was only 200MB. But if you went to a command prompt and typed "dir D:\", it would show the 187MB free...since technically the only "real" file that existed was the original 13MB file. But Windows explorer, windirstat, and treesize free all claimed that D:\winsxs was 270MB in size. Moving everything out of D:\winSXS would not have freed 270MB on my 200MB drive. It would have freed up 13MB and removed 20 hardlinks.
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 Moving the winsxs folder




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