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Windows 7: Disk Usage

23 Jan 2015   #1

Windows 7 - Home Edition - Build 7601x8086
Disk Usage

Hello all, I have some disk problems it may seem very irrelevant, though I need the windows to be below 8GBs is at 8.6 now and with the removal of features and optimisation it will be there though I have questions about some folders to perhaps drive it down even further.

These are my top usages above 12mb:

Blue: To be optimised, just a cleanup of unneeded files/folders to remain. (ignore)
Red: To be deleted, no need for these.
Orange: To be or all ready symlinked.
Purple: Proposed to be symlinked, if you think my decision is bad tell me.
Green: Nothing to be done
Grey: Need more information

  • Assembly folder - Can I symlink this, is used to store .net assemblies for shared applications... would moving this cause a slow down?
  • IME - I know I can optimise this by deleting the help files they're imagedisk files are these easy to move or is it best to leave it? And by best I mean will it cause error to symlink.
  • - Can this be moved safely is the framework but updating to all the revisions for backward compatibility purposes takes a lot of memory (I have yet to update this copy of windows) so if the whole folder can't be symlinked can only the not often used versions be moved?
  • INF - is this safe to move, this would be ideal to move for me for streamline purposes will it cause problems?
  • Config - Some things look moveable, others don't can this folder be symlinked safely without performance loss?
Note: WinSxS - I know this folder is deceiving with regards to size. Microsoft says the folder is about 400mb by default, There are large amount of debates around symlinking this and for 400mb I would say it's worth the hassle. Looking at the folder files I'd say there is not much room for optimising the base size. So I've opted to move this.

Attached Images
Disk Usage-diskusage.png 
My System SpecsSystem Spec
25 Jan 2015   #2

Windows 10 Pro X64

What are you trying to accomplish? Why do you want installed Windows to be below 8GB?
My System SpecsSystem Spec
25 Jan 2015   #3

Windows 7 Home Premium 32-Bit - Build 7600 SP1

Just a standard install with nothing else is going to be in the low 20 GB range. Good luck getting it below 8 GB.
My System SpecsSystem Spec

26 Jan 2015   #4

Windows 7 - Home Edition - Build 7601x8086

Is complicated to explain why, though I am attempting to create the most miminal install of Windows. Though I have it below 8gb now as aforementioned and through a custom install should knock it down a bit lower. Though there is always room to improve on this, so I was simply wondering what those folders in mention were about. At the end of day a virtual machine can suffice in answering this. Though have not spent the time to reach this point, will take a long time and on this piece of work is slow going.
My System SpecsSystem Spec
26 Jan 2015   #5

Windows 7 Ultimate x64

You should also look at the program files folders that contain some of the built-in utilities. I guess lots of files there are hardly needed at all, for most purposes at least.
Given that you mention symlinks, there are already a lot of them in the default install. Most files in system32 and syswow64 are actually symlinks that point at files actually stored in winsxs, possibly some more exists. Note that Windows Explorer don't take them into account when counting disk space, and will happily add their size twice.

An excellent example of a minimalistic Windows install is provided by MS itself, the Windows installer. If you look carefully you'll see that the Windows installation routine is an instance of Windows itself! The installation DVD contains two images one of the installer (sources\install.wim) that is extracted to RAMDrive during boot and that guides you though the install or repairs of existing installs, and a second bigger image that contains the "clean install" of Windows that is extracted during installation.
You may want to investigate the first one carefully, for it contains a working Windows 7 install in near 150 MB. Granted, it's deprived of almost everything, being barely capable of extracting an image (the "install" process), open a command prompt and a few more, but that's all.

BTW, what's the purpose of all this? Just experimentation?
My System SpecsSystem Spec
26 Jan 2015   #6

Windows 7 - Home Edition - Build 7601x8086

Only refering to the folders mentioned in the Windows folder. Relocated all else prior. That's correct, not sure of those outside the scope of WinSxS and Services though as mentioned based on what Microsoft provides I've accounted that as 400mb and is all ready been decided to be moved (WinSxS).

Indeed it is, this has come in handy restoring my copy of Windows many times over. :P All though your mention of it being 150MB is inspiring. Is a good basis to work off. A command prompt would be all I need for all intensive purposes. I guess I would have to develop the image first and then assess what is needed from there.

Am marking this as solved, thanks for the post gave me some interesting prospects.

Is a project, to design a platform that allows resouce intensive protocols on low resoruce machines. There are so many data storage formats you can use, and space is increasing though cost/size is till a factor in relation to performance. Want a low cost format but also want to run mutiple images on a single drive, and whatever is moved will need a local copy in non networked** environments so space is crucial as it needs to be formated into various partitions. Thats why I was curious about those folders I mentioned. Was working on test project of my system. But based on feedback is going to be easier just to go on scratch.

Thanks again you helped more then you know.
My System SpecsSystem Spec

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