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Windows 7: C drive space keeps disappearing - Winre.wim to blame

30 Jan 2011   #1

Win 7 Prof x64
 
 
C drive space keeps disappearing - Winre.wim to blame

I have a Win 7 professional x 64 installation that has run well for over a year. The last few months it has been gobbling up hard drive space at an alarming rate. I increased the partition size by 100 GB about 2 months ago and now I am down under 30GB. Until today the loss of space was a mystery. It was not in any file that showed up under explorer. So I downloaded total commander and selected to view all hidden files, and that is when I found the winre.wim file, which on my machine is 168GB. The total partition size is only 280GB. In my opinion something has gone haywire in how windows is managing the recovery environment file on my system. What I have been unable to find is a way to reset it, or make it shrink back to something reasonable without doing a complete system wipe and reinstall. Any help anyone can provide would be much appreciated. Regards taanru

My System SpecsSystem Spec
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30 Jan 2011   #2

Win 8 Release candidate 8400
 
 

Quote   Quote: Originally Posted by taanru View Post
I have a Win 7 professional x 64 installation that has run well for over a year. The last few months it has been gobbling up hard drive space at an alarming rate. I increased the partition size by 100 GB about 2 months ago and now I am down under 30GB. Until today the loss of space was a mystery. It was not in any file that showed up under explorer. So I downloaded total commander and selected to view all hidden files, and that is when I found the winre.wim file, which on my machine is 168GB. The total partition size is only 280GB. In my opinion something has gone haywire in how windows is managing the recovery environment file on my system. What I have been unable to find is a way to reset it, or make it shrink back to something reasonable without doing a complete system wipe and reinstall. Any help anyone can provide would be much appreciated. Regards taanru
That file is part of the recovery image. It can be moved and re-sized. From a technet article Deploy a System Recovery Image
My System SpecsSystem Spec
31 Jan 2011   #3

Windows Server 2008 R2
 
 

The size shouldn't continue increasing like that though - WinRE.WIM is the recovery environment boot.wim, it's not the actual restore image, and as such it should technically not be growing at all (and neither should the recovery OS .wim file either, technically - these should be static!). It might be useful to see what is writing to WinRE over and over to cause it to get so large (it would have to keep being remounted).

Creating a WinRE.wim and configuring it as the recovery environment also requires the OPK, so this machine is likely an OEM machine with an OEM image of Windows on it. Care to specify which make/model it is, so we can do some investigation there as well? You haven't filled out your system specs, so we don't know at the moment.
My System SpecsSystem Spec
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18 Apr 2011   #4

Win 7 Prof x64
 
 
Follow up / resolution

It had been a while since I created this post and I thought I would update it for anyone that may stumble upon it later. I have fixed the problem, I have no idea what the problem was, but it is gone. What I did was create a system backup using the windows 7 backup system. I stuck than on an external eSata drive. The backup file was about as big as the used size shown on the C partition (250GB or there about). I then stuck my Windows 7 disk in the DVD drive and rebooted and did a restore from backup - wiping the previous installation. After it completed and rebooted I was amazed that C drive was now only around 60 GB used. I have been running the system since that point in time and the used size of C drive has remained constant. In my opinion something went haywire in the windows recovery system and a wipe and restore reset it.

Regards and thanks taanru
My System SpecsSystem Spec
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 C drive space keeps disappearing - Winre.wim to blame




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