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Windows 7: Need a straight answer for installer folder mayhem

13 Dec 2011   #1

Windows 7 Home
 
 
Need a straight answer for installer folder mayhem

Hello,

My coworker gave me her Dell Inspirion 1464 laptop running 7 Home Premium, version 6.1.7600 Build 7600.

She complains about running out of space, and after a quick disk inventory it appear as though 60% of the hard drive is being eaten by these cancerous "winsxs" and ".dll" files, which I'm told are installer files.

I'm also told there is a retired Installer Clean Up utility that MAY ruin things if you decide to use it. After an hour on the internet, the best advice I found is

1) risk the utility and hope for the best
2) manually delete the files (terrible advice I gather)
3) re-install windows 7

Seriously? I'm a unix guy – I need some help. But I don't want to ruin someone else's file structure. Isn't there software we can buy for this? Thanks–


My System SpecsSystem Spec
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13 Dec 2011   #2

Windows 8 Core X64
 
 

How about providing some specs for the computer?

Make and model.
Drive size and free space.
How much ram.

You don't want to mess with the winsxs directory. If you do, it will only be rebuilt.

I would recommend installing and running Treesize Free to see exactly what is using the hard drive space.
My System SpecsSystem Spec
16 Dec 2011   #3

Windows 7 Home
 
 

I'm not sure of the RAM size, but the hard drive is 60 GB and about half is taken up by these files. I downloaded and installed WinDirStat which graphically and numerically showed me the contents of the drive, which is how I ruled out her user folder as the culprit.

Any other thoughts on a next step? If every application does this, why doesn't everyone have this problem? I find it hard to believe that Microsoft hasn't developed a free utility that takes care of this if it's inevitable for the system.
My System SpecsSystem Spec
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16 Dec 2011   #4

Windows 7 x64 Ultimate
 
 

Uh no, those are not installer files. Those are the files that make windows work.

Those are windows and program code libraries and are absolutely necessary for windows and many programs that run on it to function.

The size of the winsxs folder is a bit misleading as well.

Bottom line do not touch anything in there ever

One thing you can try to free up space more safely...

Start->Accessories->System Tools->Disk Cleanup will clean up temp files and such.
My System SpecsSystem Spec
16 Dec 2011   #5

Windows 7 Ultumate x64
 
 

WinSXS Folder not actually consuming lots of space

maybe you should refer to this?
My System SpecsSystem Spec
16 Dec 2011   #6

Windows 7 Home
 
 

Quote   Quote: Originally Posted by mrwearysinner View Post
Ok, that was really good info that I didn't find before – much appreciated.

So it solves diagnosis, now what can be done? It's great that it doesn't actually take up space, but how do you get the system to allow you to use that space? Every time we try to run a virus check it claims that there's not enough room...
My System SpecsSystem Spec
17 Dec 2011   #7

Windows 8 Core X64
 
 

The best thing to do is install a larger hard drive, 120, 160 or 250 GB, then you should have plenty of room. You would want to take an image backup of the existing drive then restore it to the new drive unless you have a Win 7 Install DVD or Dell recovery DVD.

You can order the recovery DVD from Dell, $20 to $30 I think. I just ordered a Vista Home Premium from HP for $13.50, no shipping.
My System SpecsSystem Spec
18 Dec 2011   #8

Windows Server 2008 R2
 
 

Um - I don't know what exactly is in that machine, but according to Dell that system ships with a 500GB (5400RPM, which is crap, but it's still 500GB) hard disk.

Are you saying 500GB is basically consumed, as far as explorer or the command prompt is concerned (and yes, anything that doesn't read raw disk data will show incorrect usage due to WinSxS and hard links)? It would be very interesting to see a screenshot of WinDirStat or SpaceMonger from that drive...
My System SpecsSystem Spec
18 Dec 2011   #9

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

The reported size of the drive concerns me - have you checked in Computer Management to see if there might be another partition? I'm wondering if you somehow installed Windows to the Dell recovery partition or something.
My System SpecsSystem Spec
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 Need a straight answer for installer folder mayhem




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