Sunday, October 20, 2013


Do you know what winsxs is? Do you want to save gigabytes on your SSD? Read on.

In Vista Microsoft introduced a capability intended to alleviate DLL Hell. I guess it did but it introduced a new problem.

I first observed the winsxs problem on my daughter's Vista ThinkPad. Her husband had tried repeatedly to install an anti-virus. You'll recall that anti-virus vendors had problems early on with Vista. The result of these repeated installs was a hugely bloated winsxs directory. A clean of Windows 7 fixed that.

But the problem didn't go away. When I build my T420s I began tracking the growth in winsxs. It went from 10GB immediately after install to over 16GB after 20 months.

I wasn't the only one noticing this. Here are a collection of articles on this problem.

In the October 2013 patches, Microsoft quietly slipped in an update that helps.
Update is available that enables you to delete outdated Windows updates by using a new option in the Disk Cleanup wizard in Windows 7 SP1
The steps on how to recover the disk space are here. My winsxs went down from 16.1GB to 10.8GB on my 120GB SSD. Even better I saved over 7GB on my X100e's 60GB SSD.

Make sure that your system is stable before you do this. Afterwards you can't uninstall any previous updates.

It takes a reboot to realize the savings.

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